“Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world.”
Growing up in a society subjected to intense social evolution and transitions in the perceptions of society, it never fails to amaze me that human rights are still a much sought after topic for debate in today’s society. Often termed as the debate for equality, the fact that it is a part of our society today- the contemporary society of the 21st century is a matter of shame in itself. Let us examine where we went wrong as a progressive civilization.
When I was ten years old, I heard my aunt, quite casually, saying to my cousin: “You are our only hope because you’re the only boy in our family.”
Being unable to comprehend the essence of that statement at that young an age, I refused to take it to heart, despite the recessive sinking feeling inside of me which had successfully recognized that my abilities had been undermined and my potential for being the bread-earner of the family underrated on gender basis.
It was my first encounter with gender stereotypes. It was multiplied manifold by the fact that it came from a trusted relative, who was a female herself, ascertaining the fact that she did not believe in her own potential and was willing to sacrifice her own recognition of herself at the altar of someone else’s acceptance.
The gender spectrum has continued to be the decisive factor in the academic environment, different career fields, and households. However, it’d be extremely unfair to discern this situation as a constant one, for there have been considerable changes in the position of women in today’s society.
Today, we have women that know to speak up for themselves and are not willing to down themselves under any circumstances, knowing and believing what they deserve and in their endless potential to earn it for themselves.
A close examination of the situation would reveal in clear-cut terms as to why such an unreasonable barrier-the barrier of gender exists in the society at large. A woman’s choice to stay at home to tend to the family in primitive times must have been translated later on as a necessity and involuntary confinement to the household, which failed to be an appealing world for some women.
This particular issue extends to the opposite gender. A man’s choice to stay at home is interpreted as a lack of masculinity, thus shining a light on the development of an absolute lack of respect for individual choices.
Fortunate enough to attend a Convent school all my life and having grown up with great role models, both men and women, I have been fortunate enough to realize that there are no differences between a man and a woman, except in terms of their physical being.
A man, or a woman, is, in ultimate terms, a human being and therefore deserves the basic human right to equal treatment and equality where abilities are at par. Both can participate in similar activities without any flawed and presumed limitations imposed upon them.
That abilities differ with respect to sex is akin to a fragile story that will crumble in the face of the factual reality that imagination, hard work, and creativity should not be subjected to any limits, a message shared by Emma Watson, who is one of the strongest advocates of gender equality.
The world of tomorrow is solely the responsibility of the youth of today. We, the young, will be the designers of the societal framework that will define society for the next 30-40 years, the sweepers of any residue of discrimination in our society, our country, and the world.
It is an empowering vision, albeit a difficult one. However, when has our generation succumbed to any challenge instead of staring it in the face, followed by combating it with the sole motive to destroy the old to clear the way for the new? To achieve a society free from the shackles of gender inequality, we need to subscribe to gender equality in the first place and strive to incorporate it into society. Change starts in the now with a decision, a choice, and bold action.