Who Run the World? Girls.
SUPPORT GENDER EQUALITY THROUGH EDUCATION
"All MEN are created equal."
Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. Throughout history, women have be treated and perceived as inferior to men because of differences in biology and socially constructed gender roles. These social constructs have been ingrained into society so far, that inhibiting women from participating in civic duties was written in the US Constitution until 1921 (see the 19th Amendment). Although the most countries have changed laws to legally include women as a citizen, there is still a negative stigma associated with women in the workplace and at home. The only way to change that is through education.
Inequality in the Workforce
Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the equal, if not the main, breadwinner in four out of ten families. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2014, female full-time workers made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, making a gender wage gap of 21 percent. Recently qualified female doctors in the U.S. make almost $17,000 less than their male counterparts. Women have made tremendous strides during the last few decades by moving into jobs and occupations previously done almost exclusively by men, yet during the last decade there has been very little further progress in the gender integration of work. In some industries and occupations, like construction, there has been no progress in forty years. This persistent occupational segregation is a primary contributor to the lack of significant progress in closing the wage gap.
Despite the increase in women in the labor force since the mid-1900s, traditional gender roles are still prevalent in society. Women may be expected to put their educational and career goals on hold in order to raise children, while their husbands work. However, many women do choose to work as well as fulfill a perceived gender role of cleaning the house and taking care of the children. Despite the fact that different households may divide chores more evenly, there is evidence that supports that women have retained the primary caregiver role within familial life despite economic contributions. This evidence suggest that women who work outside the home often put an extra 18 hours a week doing household or childcare related chores as opposed to men who average 12 minutes a day in childcare activities.
How to fix this? Education.
Girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives. Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will; less likely to die in childbirth; more likely to have healthy babies; and are more likely to send their children to school. When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that influences generations to come. Girls’ education is essential to the achievement of quality learning relevant to the 21st century, including girls’ transition to and performance in secondary school and beyond. Adolescent girls that attend school delay marriage and childbearing, are less vulnerable to disease including HIV and AIDS, and acquire information and skills that lead to increased earning power. Evidence shows that the return to a year of secondary education for girls correlates to a 25 per cent increase in wages later in life. Education works for boys too. By teaching boys in school to treat girls equally, they are more likely to carry those habits when they are older. If all children are taught to treat each other equally, the upcoming generations will have completely eradicated the notion that women are inferior to men.
Join the #HeforShe Movement now!
The only way to promote and sustain gender equality is for people to get involved, and that includes you! HeforShe is an organization that works internationally in order to create a gender equal world. Learn more about their work and how to get involved by clicking the link below.