How would you feel if you and a friend washed cars and the boy got paid £5.00 and the girl got paid £3.50?
Unfortunately, in many places today, gender inequality such as this still happens.
Men and women have different unequal access to school, jobs, politics and even food.
So what can we do to help?
We need to make sure that girls around the world have equal access to education, so that they too can take part in politics and secure good jobs. We also need to set laws that support women to receive equal opportunities, for example, equal pay laws.
There are lots of ways that anyone, including you, can make a difference to achieve gender equality. For example, you could: organise an event to celebrate International Women’s Day or talk to your friends and family to break down gender stereotypes at home.
Everyone can take action to make real change. What will you do?
There are lots of charities that need your help to fight for gender equality.
For example, The Fawcett Society campaigns for women’s rights, The Equality Trust review research on inequalities and guide campaigns and Equality Now uses the law to protect and promote the rights of women.
See how you can support them in their amazing work.
Say you and a friend of the opposite gender want to earn some pocket money by washing people’s cars. After a busy Saturday, you eagerly sit down to count everything you made. To your surprise, you find out that the boy usually got paid around £5.00 and the girl got paid closer to £3.50.
This would be a shocking situation but unfortunately, it isn’t that far from reality. Women are often treated unfairly simply because they are women.
Gender Equality is when men and women are treated the same. This leads to happy and peaceful societies where everyone can contribute their own ideas and talents. Societies can then be more productive, helping their economiesHow much money a country or person has. grow. When men and women aren’t treated equally, it is called gender inequality. Even though there has been a lot of progress in the last century, women are still lagging behind men in terms of equality.
All over the world, it often happens that men and women have different opportunities. Take a look at some areas where inequality exists.
It’s shocking but in some countries, it still happens that fewer girls attend school than boys. In some cultures and religions, sending girls to school is frowned upon, so they are often excludedWhen you aren’t allowed to be part of something. from getting a decent education.
It also happens that poor families sometimes choose to send their boys to school rather than their girls. They may believe that girls are less intelligent and don’t need an education as much as boys do. Many girls stay at home to do chores or earn money.
To make matters worse, the girls living in poverty have a major hurdle to getting an education when they start going through pubertyWhen a teenager’s body changes and becomes like an adult’s body. and they start getting their periodWhen a girl/woman starts bleeding every month.. With proper period products, such as pads, girls on their period can continue with life as normal. But some girls cannot afford period products so they have to stay home when they are on their period. Whatever the reason, girls who cannot go to school during their period can miss out on as many as 1 to 2 days out of every 10 school days. You can only imagine how hard it is to catch up on so much missed schoolwork, so it becomes nearly impossible for them to finish secondary school and many drop out as a result.
There are even gender issues in countries such as the UK where girls and boys have equal access to education. Here, gender normsWays of behaving that are considered normal in a particular society. often suggest that girls cannot do well in science, technology, engineering and mathematics so they are discouraged from trying.
Fact: Women earn on average just 68% of what men are paid for the same job.
In many places, women are less likely to be employed and those that are employed have fewer opportunities to progress and tend to be paid less than men. Women are less likely to be promotedGiven more responsibility at work and being paid more. out of lower-level, less well-paying jobs. This is called the ‘glass ceiling’ because there is an invisible barrier that prevents them from reaching the top.
Fact: Only 12.5% of Heads of State/Government worldwide are women.
All around the world, women aren’t represented enough in politicsThe things that are done to rule a country.. This means that women’s views and interests are often overlooked when decisions are made in a country. For example, many women may feel frustrated by not getting the same pay as men considering that they are doing the same job as them. If there were enough women in politics, they would understand this problem and be able to do something about it.
Fact: 60% of the world’s hungry people are women or girls.
In some cultures, women are expected to eat last, after all the men and boys have been fed. This means that if there is not enough food, the women are the ones who don’t eat enough.
The final estimated price is :
The world has come a long way in creating gender equality and women now have many rights that they wouldn’t have had in the 20th century.
Just over 100 years ago women were not allowed to vote. Picture this: your great, great grandmother probably wasn’t allowed to vote. This meant she couldn’t have a say in who ran her country and her beliefs about how the country should be run weren’t heard. Her opinion didn’t matter to those in charge, simply because she was a woman. Approving women’s right to vote was a team effort but we have one very special lady to thank and her name is Emmeline Pankhurst. Emmeline Pankhurst was the leader of the women’s rights movement during the late 19th century and early 20th century. She fought for 40 years to achieve equal voting rights for men and women. Equal voting rights were finally granted in July 1928, just a few days after she died.
But we cannot stop at voting rights. Although gender inequality is worse in some countries than in others, it still persists everywhere today.
There are lots of different ways to combat gender inequality in all walks of life.
Girls and women all over the world deserve to be educated just as much as boys and men.
People need to be taught that it is just as important to send girls to school as boys. But having equal numbers of girls and boys in school is not enough. People need to be made aware of the fact that girls are just as capable as boys. This empowers girls to believe in themselves and to work hard to achieve what they are capable of.
Educating girls opens many doors as they become women. They will be able to secure better jobs, make better decisions to keep themselves safe and participate in politics.
Laws need to be made to support women receiving equal opportunities and treatment. Governments can make laws that ensure women are treated equally. These include:
These laws mean that men and women doing the same job should receive the same pay. Another option is that companies could be required to publish gender pay data so that employees and other companies can view the data. This makes it attractive for companies to make sure that they pay their employees equally.
Using quotas in businesses can help ensure that women get the same opportunities to progress to higher positions within the company.
This ensures that women can take time off to look after their baby without losing their job.
This means that men can take time off to look after their baby. Paternity leave means that the baby’s mother can go back to work and the father can stay at home and look after the baby.
Now that you understand a bit more about Gender Equality, it’s time to make a difference. If you want to do something practical to help, the power is in your hands. Take a look at some ways you can take action right now.
If you have any other ideas of SuperKind things people can do to help fight for gender equality, we would love to hear from you here.
Here are some amazing young people who cared about creating a society with equal genders and took action to make change happen. These change makers were all passionate about the same cause but used their unique skills to make change happen in different ways.
Everyone can help make a difference. Consider what your unique superpower might be. Are you someone with a strong voice who likes to spread awareness by talking to everyone you meet? Or do you prefer a behind the scenes approach – making sure that donations are collected to take to those in need?