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Gender Equality

March 11, 2006
International Women’s Day came and went without much attention.  I fully recognize that Women are at a disadvantage in a male dominated society, especially in third world countries and leadership roles.  However, men and women are equally responsible for gender equality, it is not just a woman’s issue.  I wonder when there will be an International Gender Equality day?
"Gender equality means that women and men have equal conditions for realizing
their full human rights and potential to contribute to national political, economic, social and cultural development and benefit equally from the results. Equality is essential for human development and peace."

"Attaining gender equality demands a recognition that current social,economic, cultural, and political systems are gendered; that women’s unequal status is systemic; that this pattern is further affected by race, ethnicity and disability; and that it is necessary to incorporate women’s specificity, priorities and values into all major social institutions."

"Both men and women have a stake in building a more just society where all people are equally valued for their contributions. Yet, gender equality has often been seen as a ‘women’s issue’ separate from men and ‘gender’ often been confused to mean women only. This is part of a tendency to consider men’s characteristics as the norm and women’s characteristics as different from the norm. Yet, both women and men are influenced by their gender and thus, ideas about the status of women are interrelated with ideas about the
status of men. In short, change for women means change for men and vice versa. "

"Empowerment allows both men and women to take control over their lives by gaining skills, setting their own agendas and building self-confidence and self-reliance. It also means that women have increased control over their lives by acquiring a voice to challenge and overcome the inequality they experience."

"Empowerment is both a process and a result that cannot be achieved by an individual or organization for someone else. A woman can only empower herself, although organizations and agencies around the world can play a role in supporting this journey. "

"Canada is recognized as a leader in the advancement of gender equality, including within the context of international development. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of the Constitution Act of 1982, guarantees fundamental equality rights to all Canadians, male and female. It guarantees equal protection before and under the law, and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin,
colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or physical disability. Since its application, other ‘analogous categories’, such as sexual orientation and place of birth, have been included under the protection of the Charter."

"Gender equality means …sharing work and family responsibilities equitably between women and men"

"The Federal Plan {Canada} defines the elusive concept of gender equality, emphasizing
that it refers not to women and men but to the relationship between them and to the ways in which their roles are socially constructed. Attaining gender equality is predicated on the achievement of equal outcomes for both women and men.
The Federal Plan for Gender Equality starts with the premise that both men and women must be involved in the quest for an equitable society and that benefits will accrue to both."

"Objective 2: Improve Women’s Economic Autonomy and Well-being, promotes the valuation of paid and unpaid work performed by women, women’s equitable participation in the paid and unpaid labour force and the equitable sharing of work and family responsibilities between women and men;"

Gender equality means throwing away the archaic traditional  family roles taught to us by our parents.  It means a new start where all responsibilities in life are divided equally, without any preconceptions of gender roles and responsibilities. 
Women cannot continue to look of a man to ‘take care of them’ while they are responsible only for the home and children.  Men cannot continue to look for a woman to ‘take care of them’ while they are responsible for only the financial income.  This is not equality for either gender.   Equality is not a natural right that either gender can be guaranteed or provided by others (goverment/law/spouse).  Self-empowerment and real actions are the only route to true equality.
A message to all women:  Don’t rely on your appearance/gender assets to attract a sugar Daddy to ensure a successful future for yourself.  Take responsiblity for your own future.  Also, mow the lawn and take out the garbage.
A message to all men:  Women are not servants to clean up after your mess.  Learn the basic household skills of cleaning and cooking.  Take responsibility for the care of your children and bake some cookies with them.
Source of quotes:
Setting the Stage for the Next Century: The Federal Plan for Gender Equality, Canada 1995
DAC Sourcebook on Concepts and Approaches Linked to Gender Equality, OECD 1998
EU Promoting Gender Equality A common Issue for Women and Men, EU 2002
2 Comments leave one →
  1. •°¤*(¯`°J u l i e°´¯)*¤°• permalink
    March 11, 2006 12:39 am

    kudos to you for realizing that women are so much more than servants 😀 good job

  2. Denis permalink
    March 11, 2006 4:58 am

    I suppose reality is that many men consider women to be their servants.  However, I find that many women are just as ignorant to gender equality as men are.  Many women want to believe they are equal, yet still have a man to pay the bills and do the labour intensive dirty work.  I don’t believe this is just an issue of male ignorance.  That is the point I was trying to make.

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