All we have to do today is, to allow eachother, independent of gender bias to unleash their complete potential for the full benefit of our nation. By ignoring the social barriers faced by the opposite gender, we are objectively holding back our country from taking a leap that can bring us back all the years we ever lost to history. Only individuals can bring the dreams of this nation come true.
Are we waiting for a revolution to take place without participating ?
We are getting suppressed in the mirages of aspirational dreams. Here we are , choking our country from performing its capability.
How can we wait longer ?
Gender Equality cannot be resolved by our government, because there are scarecely any women in the policy making. Think about the real life immediate leadership centres you come across ; like home, school, workplace, communities etc.
Act, Advocate and Allign with your opposite gender to support each other like a community. That is what will make gender equality heal us ‘together’ as a nation one day.
Smt M Uma Nagendramani joined the noble profession of Nursing in the Medical Wing of South Central Railway in the year 1983. Starting as an auxiliary mid-wife, she rose to the rank of Chief Matron and at present is on the strength of three decades of nursing service. She is currently serving as the Vice President for S.C.Railway employee’s sungh and National secretray at INTUC.
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Hon’ble President of India presented the glorious Florence Nightingale Award to Smt M Umanagendramani, at the remarkable award function held at Rashtrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi on 12th May, 2015.
She not only proclaimed her efforts to her job but also inclined towards the social welfare of railway men and women. She paralled her duties with her passion and gave her whole life for an unconditional rage against discrimination and gender inequality. Fighting alongside the dominance of hierarchy and gender she enlarged her vision to impact bottom line sub urban population directly and indirectly influenced by the railway. She brought healthcare, micro management and welfare closer to beneficiaries and remained the first person to launch several gender inequality and anti sexual voilatory campaigns in early 1980’s. The society stumbled upon to see a women actively fighting against discrimination happening at HIV AIDS patients but she rose to be a leaning shoulder to the suffering. She has travelled more than 20 countries advocating for the human rights of labour union.
My association with her dates back to more than a decade, she is my high school classmate’s mother. Hosted me for combined study sessions and ended up having conversations about ground realities of people’s struggle in every layer of society. After more than 10 years we again met ! This time the conversation was more intimidating and it all began to resonate with my soul purpose. If conspiring is true, I have expirienced it through meeting and discovering the same her but who believes in me that I shall deliver my little role in a larger way.
“I am honoured to find her again for a bigger purpose and learning ” – TO FIGHT AGAINST GENDER INEQUALITY.
Gender Equality is an insulated topic admist the false moral regulations. Indian constitution provides equal rights to men and women whereas the differences are unmeasurable. The economic health of our country is divided between men, women and neutral genders. Even in today’s context, the conditional differences are wiping out the fundamental rights of the person by blocking it with gender stereotyping breaking out their original potential to generate financial independence through employement or self employed sources.
” BUT “
Whether it be a family, school, government or any institution; the efficiency of functionality will be deeply effected due to the discriminative pullbacks consisting of gender bias. Business solutions cannot free the mental stigma that has been induced by generations worth of embedded preachings which classify roles and deliverables based on gender. Limitations created by the common belief backed by majority is a comfirmed as a backlog for a healthy ecosystem. Talking about India’s diversity of resources where are we in providing those resources to our women equally ?
Here isthe thing, poviding resources does not mean a special status. It means not occupying someone else’s freedom of availing their fundamental right to health, education, employement, marital implications, sexual descisions, childbirth and many pre formed templates into which objective genders are categorised into.
The change has to begin from within us, to be able to believe the statistics which say that India can add upto $770 billion—more than 18%—to its GDP by 2025, simply by giving equal opportunities to women, according to an April 23 report by the McKinsey Global Institute.
While the end beneficiary of gender inequality could be either of the gender’s situationally; although women are the most fabricated in stigma. The whole other perspective of looking at gender inequality is analysing the economical areas of the country which are depleting due to ground level stereotyping. The few major economic drivers of our country are the following:
RURAL ECONOMIC DRIVERS
Research and Development
Foundational skill building
Independent of the sector, gender has crept into the root cause of driving imbalance. Our country is a mega diverse economy where gender is percieved in numerous ways. Gender inequality can cause a slump in GDP ? Women equal participation ? Categorising house hold ? Placing the priorities under social timelines is a challenging descision making scenario. If you are wondering that gender equality is not your area of action; probably we need to restructure every field and resource for equal distribution to gauge the power of balanced sex ratios.
I aim to explain the undervalued strength which lies in gender inequality that is contemplating on toxic levels with the existing opportunities. I hope this article does reflect that your role does exist in playing the gender equalizer.
Why is India on the 132 nd position out of 187 countries on gender inequality index? Women showed manifesting participation in every field, still what makes Gender Equality a prime goal for an inclusive development of the world. If half our country’s population is women then imagine what would happen if half of us are unable to unleash our fundamental potential and are held back ? Gender is an unimportant economic plague without it’s equality.
The International Monetary Fund finds that India’s GDP will increase by 27 percent if women equally played a role in economy . There are some serious issues dangerously affecting the developing economies and gender is the major cause for some of these following irreversible changes enforced by gender bias on women.
BIRTH — Female foeticide is irreversible. It results in the decline of sex ratio of the country, causing societal imbalance. Social discrimination begins with sex determination.
PRIMARY EDUCATION: Government provides free education to all, making education a fundamental right for children. But early school drop outs are dominantly gender bias inflicted victims. If any difficulty arises in the family, education will sail apart from HER in the first place.
EMPLOYMENT: Employement is a social luxury for majority of women in India. This phase of life needs courage, whereas working women can be easily objectivised by stereotypical gender policing. Literacy rate of Indian women is 67% but the turn out at work place of women is inconsiderably low, hampering the GDP drastically.
WORK ENVIRONMENT: Does not get any easier here !! Safe working atmosphere, commuting challenges against the time of the day, women centric generalised expectations and traditional beliefs contrasting the work efficiency or performance remain the first hand hassles for many ( infact most ) working Indian women.
MARRIAGE: Society/ Family play the dominant role in marriage choices, than the person actually getting married. Changing that person’s life in a day for the rest of their life. Marriage is created into generational upliftment of families and not individuals. How will more and more women be able to contribute to the country if they are held back in imaginary beliefs and regulations ?
MOTHERHOOD : Sadly, even motherhood does not come as a personal choice to many women while ignoring the health and financial implications induced onto them. Domestic voilence, gender dominance, rape and many other reasons can cause motherhood, which can never be taken back or changed from that women.
UNPAID LIFESKILL: Under-utilised and unpaid skill delivered by women in domestic roles is highly under valued. Revisit the unmeasured power of homemakers and direct them for delivering a skill that can trigger the country’s outbound potential. Our homes are carrying the most value watsed power.
Gender Equality is an emergency not an emerging need. Everyday that we don’t take action, millions of women are facing the cruel effects of gender inequality.
In Feb 2017, I set out on a trip to Sri Lanka to find my answers. After an intense one year of Masters in Social Entrepreneurship, it was emotionally overwhelming for me to picture my purpose, burning with a restless soul I wanted to find my place in the world. To explore what my heart connects with? way of giving back? the cause that I can take responsibility of and make it the reason for my existence.
UNDP – AIESEC facilitated voluntouring, training, travelling and hopping around Sri Lanka to schools, churches and village centres. I chose sustainable development goal 5 to teach the locals and create awareness about gender bias related affects ; if possible convince them to break out of the social stigma they are told to live with. It’s true, that by giving back to the community, things begin to settle down for an other start of what I call my independent introduction to social action !
Sri Lanka is a long long story for a single shot. Hence, I breakdown down my moments of Impact and share about my uniquely special expiriences. Here is one such story from Sri Lanka of a boy who wrote a letter to me after I gave the session on Gender Equality at school, for the 6 th grade. He was shy to speak out. Yes, even strong boys can be shy to speak up. I call him strong because of what he wrote in the letter. Below attached is the image of the letter from the boy.
What did you feel after reading his letter ? That it is a common teenage ritual which I am exageratting? Instead, lets look at the other side of the most common.
The young boy took the initiative to write down his problem. He cares, thus, he is strong.
He is feeling scared of being supportive to his female friend.
At such a young age he is worried about society making up stories. Who is the society? What are we ignoring while providing education? Peer pressure is unavoidable, but societal pressure for a kid ?
He is thinking about his friend’s trouble, dealing with his reputation, confused about right and wrong, holding back to speak up because he knows he might be isolated further and still able to balance himself.
He did not stop helping his friend. He is perseverant and is ready to think about a sustainable solution.
I answered him to do the right thing confidently and share with trusted elders about the situation in detail without being scared like how he came up to me.
Society means nobody if we don’t account ourselves into it. Children are continuously learning from surroundings. His letter showed me how it feels to reach your first milestone in life. But there are millions of children confused in the context of contaminating gender inequality.
Hope his letter gives you something valueble too that inspires you to act.
Gender is independent of an individual’s sex, it is an evolving choice and personal conception of how one wants to live their life. Gender based education is very important at a young age for self discovery. Here we do not discuss the type of genders, instead we first learn to embrace the diversity of gender for a gentle ride for all.
Many of us around us are quietly taking on the burden of making personal choices about appearance, lifestyle, professional path and intimate universe. Gender is how a person chooses to live their life. There is a lot of imbalance in developing societies, the imbalance that shuts down risk taking abilities of a person based on the objectively formed gender biases.
Not only Education and awareness but also a community that embraces the differences between people independent of gender is essential.
What can you do ?
Promoting an inclusive society for co existence (Not feminism and gender diversity alone)
Talk to your friends and allow them to share ( Hear to indifferent unharmful personal perspectives with respect)
Create awareness about gender diversity to normalise your surrounding about it ( Fearlessly speak up to the abnormal reactions)
Destigmatize the decision making process at least for the immediate person you are dealing with. ( Give your hand to those who need it to cross societal barriers)
Question the stereotypes about gender stigma around you ( If you feel something is not right, then question)
In the journey of life everyone goes through their own battles, but gender is one fight that we can resolve better together.
India is the world’s largest democracy and second largest populous country. With stinkingly diversified geography compassed with an ancient history, India is excelling rapidly in technology, skill building and various fields. But what is the place of Gender Equality in India ? What are the areas affected due to the deeply rooted Gender Inequality? How can it bleach into an outburst of social downfall ?
The Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Gender Equality to me, converts into equal opportunites and access to economic resources for every person regardless of gender or behavioral uniquness. In addition to the brutal practices fought against Gender like Female Genital Mutilation, Child marriage, Discrimination against men through child labour and many more, it is very challenging to gauge the impact of Gender Equality just with it’s definition, as it prevails in soo many forms on every level in almost all sectors. Let us explore some basics of picturing the futuristic red zones in Gender Bias…
Regardless of the social hierarchy, gender bias exists in Politics, Healthcare, Economic positions, Entertainment, Education, Sports, Aviation , Agriculture, Low income working forces and Homes.
The challenge comes in form of Right to Education, Employment, Descison making, Marital implications, Financial access, Socio- economic limitations, Professional bottomline choices and Gender based behavioral expectations.
Resulting in seperation of normalcy between different genders at young age that supresses my transgender friends to speak up, young girls to drop out for home needs or marriage and men to discontinue education for a daily wage.
While the problem is socially stubborn, the change has to start from Homes? Schools? Work place? Government? – to create awareness asking for a mindshift in unlearning the stereotypes that came along.
We must come together and believe strongly that Gender Equality accelerates the country’s economic growth. By providing communication channels, digital tools, reducing the financial stigma on men, maternity support and women empowerment indexes creating socially aware and healthier families.
Discrimination of any gender hampers the balance in performace at home, public or private sector – affecting the productivity that will benefit everyone in the end.
Gender Equality is far more than a fundamental right. The only sustainable way to achieve it is to be aware, create awareness, empower others and don’t stop!
Above is an introduction for the key role indicators and challenges faced by Gender Equality that are affecting us like an epidemic. Let us build on this idea – to live the dream of a world free from Gender Inequality.