A Human Rights Issue Not Limited to Women
I should elaborate;
Although gender equality is typically associated with women, it is not limited to them. It is no secret that women have fought long and hard to achieve the same rights that men have always had, and they are still fighting today, however they are not the only ones struggling. Men, women and children all face gender-based discrimination and stereotypes every day all over the world. The sad part is these issues are talked about less because the only thing society tends to focus on is the radical feminist movement. Gender inequality has become a joke to most people for this very reason. The truth is, men, women, and children all face discrimination due to gender-roles and stereotypes that have been around for awhile, and it only seems to be getting worse.
An Issue For Men Too...
Some people may laugh at this statement, but it's the truth. Although men have not went through the same legal and professional struggle women have went through, men do face gender inequality in their own way. The issue with men seems to revolve around gender-roles and gender-based stereotypes that we are all guilty of. However, these stereotypes are becoming stronger in our society, and it is becoming increasingly harder for men to be themselves. According to society, men are supposed to be strong, macho, even emotionless. If a man is sensitive he is considered feminine, and less of a man. Men with mental disorders often refuse to seek help because they don't want to feel like less of a man, which is why in the UK suicide is the number one cause of death in men between 20 and 49. Men should not cook and clean and do work around the house, rather they should be working on cars or doing something that requires strength. Men are also less common in jobs like nurses and secretaries because the jobs aren't "manly enough." It has also become a common misconception that fathers do not play as big of a role in children's lives as mothers. Only in about 10% of divorce cases do men get full custody of their children. So, believe it or not, men face discrimination just like women do.
...Women... (of course)
This is the obvious one, however discrimination against women is no longer taken seriously due to radical feminists. Many people laugh at the cause because they see it as women complaining about things that don't really matter. Gender equality movements for women are now synonymous to man-hating and women "nagging." However gender inequality in women is a serious issue, especially in countries who aren't as lucky as the U.S.. Many women in developing countries are not afforded the same opportunities as women here. Some girls are not sent to school because the family can't afford it or they would rather send the boys to school or the girls labor is needed at home. Women are extremely susceptible to HIV/AIDS in these countries because they are not educated enough to protect themselves and they lack power against the men who give it to them. Even in countries like the U.S. gender equality is a problem. Women make up less than 1/5 of congress, we have never had a woman president, and in some cases women are paid up to $0.20 less on the dollar than men for the same jobs. Gender equality in women is a real problem everywhere, whether people want to admit it or not.
This is the one that seems the scariest to me. As parents, adults are supposed to help their child grow and become whoever they want to be. Parents are supposed to be one of the few people in children's lives who love them and accept them for who they are. However, due to gender-roles, children are sometimes forced to be something they aren't. We all know the stereotypes; pink is for girls, blue is for boys. Girls play with Barbie dolls and boys play with toy cars. Girls wear dresses and boys wear jeans. The list goes on. However, when a child strays from these gender roles, they are called "non-conforming," meaning they don't follow the stereotypes set in place by society. When a little girls wants to have short hair and wear jeans and play outside with the boys, for some reason that is wrong. And if a boy wants to paint his nails or play with the girls and their Barbies that's wrong too. We no longer want to accept the child and encourage them to do what they are interested in. Instead, many parents will scold the child and force them to do something suited for their gender. In the long run this hurts children and is the main reason why gender stereotypes are present in the adult world. It's just the way we are raised. if we ever want to change, this is the place to start. If we start to accept children and let them do what interests them, maybe they will not conform to our society's gender stereotypes later in life.
In Case You're Interested; Emma Watson's Gender Inequality Speech...she pretty much sums it up.
Emma Watson UN speech