The Beginners Guide to Gender Equality
By Mangaliso Ngomane
When this all blows over you will have picked up a host of new habits if you have been following QRATE on Social Media and the recent #TogetherAtHome campaign, you’ll definitely gain some new skills.
Today let’s talk a bit about equality. What is equality? Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights or opportunities. Qrate, for example, aims to promote equality through various programmes with a focus, particularly on gender.
If you believe in gender equality then believe it or not: YOU are a feminist.
I am Mangaliso Ngomane. And I am a Feminist. Forget what you’ve heard, men can also be feminists because all that Feminism is simply is a belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. This theory extends to the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.
Gender equality means that the different behaviours, aspirations, and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It respects the differences of the two and does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.
Gender equality is the concept that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices. That’s my favorite definition of it. Gender equality is freedom and freedom that is only for some is not freedom at all.
“Gender equality is not just about equal opportunity but it is also about shedding some light on discrimination.“
For example, a boy is not entitled to a better education than a girl, but all children have the right to quality education. A woman will become pregnant and a man will not, this is not grounds for unfair advantage with regards to payment and promotion in the workplace.
So serious is the issue of gender equality that it is number three on the list of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). This is the world’s big to-do list of urgent issues to attend to by the year 2015. The world has met considerable progress with regard to meeting that goal.
However even though society has made great strides from where we were only 100 years ago, there is still so much to be done. Even in 2020, women around the world still have to fight daily, at home and at work, to overcome gender inequality.
“Men are an important voice because these women do not live alone and discriminate against each other in isolation. Often it is men reinforcing these stereotypes and discriminatory behaviors by choosing to look away or not say anything.”
In her article, This is What a (Male) Feminist Looks Like, Heather K Adams rounded up five traits of a man who does not just use the feminist tag as a shield. Remember we’re all in this together and neither gender is “better” than the other.
So gentlemen, here is the list:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A man that is truly interested in being informed about an issue will show it by asking questions, don’t assume you already have the answers.
2. Listen closely.
Do not roll your eyes when you get an explanation of why something is important.
Show your commitment by paying attention.
Being a Feminist is a process that involves learning and growth.
The Feminist man isn’t perfect, no one is, but he does all of the above all the time because the work of a Feminist is never over. Never stop trying.
You don’t have to start out by saying how much of a man you are or by asserting your masculinity before announcing your alliance with femininity. The idea isn’t about your gender at all. But your genuine belief in social justice and equality.
Gentlemen, if you run a race and win do you still feel like a real winner if your opponent ran and lost with an injury?
We’ll talk again about this very broad topic but until then check your privilege Qraters! And Stay Home. Stay Safe.
Mangaliso Ngomane is Qrates Public Relations Intern. Mangaliso is a 27-year-old traditional man with a modern mindset. He is creative, but in today’s world who isn’t? His quest to make a change has to lead him here.