18 Jun Beware of Gender Inequality! 3 Types of Inequalities and the Struggles
Gender inequality among us. Humans are created in the world to have male and female sexes. However, when it comes to gender, it is not just about gender, but also about the characteristics of a man, a boy, a woman, and a girl. These characteristics also concern socially constructed roles, behaviors, and norms.
Gender can change from time to time and varies from society to society, so there is definitely the possibility of overlapping inequalities, for example in economic and social aspects. Not only intersect, but will lead to discrimination which includes ethnic factors, socioeconomic status, age, location, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Gender Inequality Leads to Discrimination
So, if discrimination occurs, who is the most disadvantaged by gender inequality and what kind of gender equality do you want to achieve?
Based on UN data, women and girls feel gender inequality is the most severe. Thus, the commitment to promote gender equality is stated in the 5th Sustainable Development Goals by bringing improvements in the fields of child marriage and female genital mutilation, as well as the representation of women in the political arena.
This commitment may be too ambitious because, in fact, to enjoy full-gender equality there are still obstacles to legal, social and economic access. COVID-19 exacerbates existing conditions where there has been a spike in violence against women and girls. In addition, the increasing role of women during this pandemic is on the part of health workers.
The level of domestic violence has increased during this pandemic due to the lockdown, so that they cannot return to their homes. For example, those who are stuck with an abusive partner, coupled with their powerlessness to report this violence, account for less than 40 percent of women who report the crime or seek help.
The following are the obstacles faced by women and girls:
- Mobility barriers
- Lack of access to decision making
- Lower literacy
- Barriers to access to health
And so forth.
Gender Inequality among Women
- Talking about domestic life, indeed not all women do unpaid domestic and care work, but most of them hold that responsibility and spend three times more time doing unpaid domestic and care work than men. It is also possible that some are taking care of their children and having a career or working outside the home. Because there are too many burdens to do, women will tend to experience “Emotional Labor”, namely fatigue due to excessive work, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Sometimes women are not free to go out alone. Uncertain conditions that may be safe and unsafe on the road become a separate consideration for them. Women who experience harassment are even blamed because their clothes are “inviting”, when it is the abuser who should be blamed. Victims of sexual harassment, whether verbal (catcalling, insulting/demeaning) or physical (sexual offences) are often linked to their attire.
- Not only that, sexual bribery is also troubling, which is a request for sexual activity in return for or the lure of money, the aim is to get satisfaction and maintain the confidentiality of intimate relationships.
As a woman, in the end, they are required to continue to be careful and vigilant in any conditions, at home or in public places. Therefore, there are several solutions that can be taken to avoid or deal with sexual harassment or gender inequality:
- Dare to say “NO” firmly
- Find out who is responsible for handling sexual harassment cases to avoid similar cases in the future
- If abuse has occurred, immediately tell the closest trusted person for moral support, and/or consult a psychologist/psychiatrist to deal with the trauma.
This harassment does not look at women or men, but this is also part of gender inequality. This form of harassment is not solely motivated by sexual desire and does not involve sexual activity. Gender harassment is based on the violation of cultural stereotypes on gender. For example, men who become effeminate are then humiliated because of the societal stereotype that men should be strong, heterosexual, and brave.
While gender harassment of women is the opposite, women are considered gentle but do traditional jobs that are usually held by men. In the end, the harassment led to the sabotage of equipment and supplies they considered unreasonable and an arrogant attitude to tell them that the job was not suitable for them.
In other words, gender harassment refers to verbal and nonverbal behavior that is intended to be insulting, demeaning and hostile, and not to solicit sexual activity. Comments that are considered jokes actually contain insults that tend to demean the person being insulted, for example, women are considered unable to be in leadership positions or not smart enough to carry out scientific careers, and use harsh terms, such as “sluts”.
“Gender equality matters to all of us.“
To respect gender equality and remove the stigma of gender inequality, since 1992, World Women’s Day has been celebrated every March 8 and Pride Month Day has just been celebrated in June 2021 to honor the freedom of minority groups (LGBT) to overcome the existing stigma about them in order to be more respected as human beings because, basically, humans have their own rights the same rights as others do.