I recently had a conversation with my father about gender equality. And it was interesting to see that the topic can mean different things to different people. Because of this discrepancy, I want to write about what gender equality (SDG number five) really means. And also, what it doesn’t.
I’m a girl, and I was taught to bat out of the park and go above and beyond. This is an upbringing all children should have, irrespective of their gender. Opportunities should be given based on merit and readiness to do one’s best, not on gender.
The fact that women can’t inherit property in some instances, the pay gap, and the discrimination women experience in their day to day lives are all real problems that have to be addressed. Women are often treated as second class citizens, hence the need for SDG Number 5. So, gender equality is more than fixing the pay gap or addressing gender-based violence. Gender equality is the freedom of both genders to pursue happiness and chase their dreams, replacing the despair of discrimination with hope for the future.
The point of SDG number 5 is to advocate a level playing field for both women and men.
In a world with gender equality, GDPs would increase, hate-crimes would decrease, and the lives of children all over the world would be better. The earth would be happier! Think about it! An existence with more opportunities for women to bring their talents, gifts, and unique perspectives to the table. Sounds good to me!
A hero of mine, Malala Yousafzai, once said “We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” Advancements have been made, and these should be celebrated. But there’s always more to be done. So instead of holding women back, let’s propel them forward!
Voice of Anisa Daniel Oniko
Anisa is an author, and a UN child ambassador for the SDGs. Who employs her writing to entertain and shed light on her causes.
She is delighted to invite adults and children alike into the realms of her imagination to provide fun, twists, lovable characters, and inspiration to keep reading!