“Gender equality holds no importance today.” Discuss.

Gender equality has gradually developed from an ideology during the time of the famed Rosa
Parks to a massive human rights movement today. The movement has borne many fruits, and
catalysed progress in society in this aspect. The notable achievements in this field and the
ubiquitous acknowledgement of gender equality have slowed down the once fervent race. The
reducing number of protests, placard marches and campaigns has raised doubts in the minds of
many. Perhaps, today, in a world as developed as the one we live in, gender equality and the
fight for it holds no importance. They are wrong. Gender equality, and the fight for it, is still, if
not more, important today, than it was in the past.
Indeed, the fight for gender equality has brought many changes in the world in the previous
years. The suffrage movement managed to win rights for women all across the globe. It had not
only increased the value of women in society, it did the same to a woman’s sense of self-worth.
The suffrage movement unveiled a plethora of injustices and sought rectification and
compensation. It demanded equal playing fields for both sexes, sending ripples through the many
patriarchal societies, brought education to women, a right now largely recognized, and allowed
women to contribute to society. It raised a woman’s status, esteem and notion of self-worth. The
fight also kindled considerable results in the working world, which was once largely dominated
by males. The fight for gender equality has decimated glass ceilings in jobs across the spectrum,
allowing women to take on higher societal or organizational positions. Today, Women enjoy
equal opportunities for many companies now function on the system of meritocracy. As a matter
of fact more than 30% of high position jobs are occupied by women, compared to less than in the
80s.
Furthermore, women have been able to inscribe their names in the political arena; Condoleezza
Rice and Hilary Clinton are among the few women charging head-on into a once foreign field.
Hilary Clinton ran against Barack Obama in the Democratic elections in 2008, matching him
state-to-state until the end. Clinton is a stellar example of how women can contribute more than
their two cents worth. Despite losing to Obama, Clinton continues to stay in the political game.
The fight for gender equality has opened up many doors, managing to even allow women to take
a slice of the political pie. Angela Merkel and Pratibha Patil are among the other women who
were successful at forging an identity of their own in the political world. This demonstrates that
if given the opportunity, women can showcase their capabilities and equate themselves to men.
Even though the success of the fight is blatant, today, many are questioning if enough doors have
been opened for women, and whether the importance of the fight has disappeared. This may ring
true for developed countries, but for developing countries which are still far lacking in resources,
and the courage to take on an idea seen as absurd to some, or dangerous to others, women are
still at the losing end. It is only because the developed countries refuse to acknowledge this fact
that it seems as if the fight for gender equality has outlived its welcome.
In strict Muslim societies such as Afghanistan and Iran, backward traditions and mentalities
impede the countries’ growth. In the former, statistics revealed that less than 10% of the reported


cases of rape have received justice. Ridiculous clauses, such as requiring at least two adult male
witnesses willing to support the rape claim, prevent many cases from even gaining access to a
court hearing. This injustice has long plagued the country, with little being done to rectify it.
However, this problem is also the reason for Afghanistan’s uncivilized laws, which prevent it
from gaining a good standing on the international level. This could lead to a stagnant economy,
or even worse, a stagnant economy trapped in the dogmatic principles of the past. In many parts
of Pakistan, girls are not allowed to have access to education. In 2013, Malala Yousafzai was
shot by the Talibans when she was militating for girl’s education. Although this incident
contributed towards encouraging girls to raise voice for their right to gain access to education, it
highlighted the fact that in some parts of the world the fight to ensure educational access to girls
is imbued with terror and difficulty.
In the economic domain, developed countries are no exceptions. The perception that a male has
more value than a female is deeply ingrained in countries like India and China. Both countries
are, today, facing an imbalanced sex ratio, that of China being one female to every 1.6 males. In
China’s case, the one-child policy is the main culprit. Set during revolutionary days, the one-
child policy allows each family to have only one child, or two, in special cases. While this was
done to combat the problem of a population growing faster than its country could support, it has
given birth to many problems. In both countries, infanticide ranks high on the causes of infant
deaths. The desire for a more valuable male offspring has led to an elevation in the rate of
abortion cases and caused an increase in the number of baby girls being abandoned. The
imbalance in the sex ratio also brings along with it many serious repercussions. It has been
linked to increased crime rates, with men unable to find a bride, resorting to kidnapping, buying
or trafficking women to fulfill their needs for companionships or carnal desires. A largely
unmarried society could ironically lead to the downfall of the family unit, a component of society
valued by Asians
It is age-old out-dated views, captured in equally old saying such as “Eighteen goddess-like
daughters are not equal to one son with a hump”, that still call for the fight for gender equality to
continue. Statistics like that fact that women make up 60%of South Korean graduates but
constitute less than 25% of the working force only compound the problem. Crusaders of this
mission have yet to fully spread their message, with only larger communities benefiting. Besides
the fact that the ‘cease-fire’ could bring repercussions such as the ones faced by China and India,
the fight for gender equality is also, above all, a stunning example of human spirit. Just like the
heart-warming stories of Chinese natives who went out of their way to help their fellow men
after the Sichuan earthquake, the fight for gender equality tore social theories, such as social
Darwinism, to bits. Philosophers like Charles Darwin believed that Man is born selfish. The
continued fight for gender equality proves otherwise.
Gender equality, and the fight for it, is still very important today. It will help to level unequal
playing fields, giving women a voice and a place in society. It will display the full capacity of the
human spirit, with both men and women, spanning the various races, jobs and social standing,
joining in the biggest human rights movement of all time.