Prioritising gender equality
The world has been undergoing a severe gender inequality over the ages. This inequality not only has a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of girls and women but also on the entire population, and economy. It is true that the world is giving a considerable focus to get rid of this menace which causes women submissive leading them into life- time despondency.
But it is time to review over the issue that how much the world has witnessed success in regard to bringing up gender equality? Certainly the developing countries are bearing the most brunt of gender inequality and especially the Asian nations are more vulnerable in this regard as women in these territories are found stressed to combat the crisis making an unwelcome situation across their life cycle.
However, among the South Asian countries Bangladesh has been ranked the top country in bringing down gender gap. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, the country has reduced 72.6 percent of its overall gender gap and ranked 50th position out of 153 countries globally.
Undoubtedly, it is a good sign for the people of the country and the economy that contribute to us with many more success events. Thanks to the farsighted and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for leading the country to a height before the global community. Nowadays women are entering a wide range of professions --from grassroots to the centre; everywhere they are contesting with the male counterparts and proving their worth.
They are working as entrepreneurs and establishing their self-identity in the family as well as in the society. Above all, women empowerment is significantly noticeable in the country over the recent years. Along with this, the country has seen a tremendous success in regard to the enrollment of female students at primary and secondary education level. At present the rate of female students at primary and secondary level is strongly satisfactory.
It is obvious that women have seen economic solvency to some extent but it does not guarantee that they are free from the evil inequality culture.It seems that though they contribute to the family, the attitude gap of the male companions towards women is still pervasive amid the society that brings nothing but a dire catastrophe.
Women are abused both in indoor and outdoor. In most cases the state law is not enough to give them a secured life while they are participating in outdoor work force.
They go on with enduring verbal or digital attack at their working places regardless of their ranks and status. On top of that, in many cases their working capacity is not considered as productive as it is thought for men increasing gender inequality that causes obstacles to the country's development.
It is noteworthy to observe that women are coming out of their traditional cocoons but at the same time they are being treated with disparities and such inequalities against them create scopes for violence against them.
Women suffer from chronic abuse, torture, and violence in their homes. Report shows that 66% Bangladeshi women are victims of domestic violence. Findings of a human rights organization show that at least 4,249 women were subjected to domestic violence in 27 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh in recent times.
Violence against women is more severe and it takes many different forms, including battering, stalking, rape, sexual assault and harassment, child marriage, sex trafficking and domestic violence, etc. Global data show that 35 percent of women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Also they endure mental torture making them more vulnerable across their life cycle.
In most cases our socio-economic context along with conventional mentality is the causes working to create such discrimination between males and females.
The agrarian society tells them that they are inferior to male counterparts and should not go out without the company of the male members. They hardly have any influences in family decision-making. Many parents still think that educating girls are wastage while educating boys is an investment as they expect supports from their sons when they grow older. Their only concern is to marry off their daughters and this attitude accelerates child marriage in the society.
However, in developed countries it is common to observe that indoor and outdoor activities are shared by both husband and wife that develops mutual respect for each other but such a practice is hardly seen in our city areas, may be beyond thinking in the countryside which may deepen gender disparity.
As gender inequality is a topmost challenge in the 21st century, it should be the priority how to tackle the ongoing crisis of gender inequality in a bid to bringing forth gender equality amid all spheres of the society. It is imperative for the patriarchal society to consider girls with their knowledge and skills and needs to change the conventional outlook that women are born to enduring disparity.
Schooling with values should be on focus at every learning stage of children in order to make them understand that girls and boys have no difference in regard to their potentials for contributing to the nation.
Highlighting gender education with gender awareness is must to ensure gender equality. More importantly, it is time to change our years' long conventional outlook and prioritize gender equality to ensure a standard living of girls and women along sustainable development of the country.
The writer teaches at Prime University