The creator of this cosmos has created all human beings equally; why does discrimination exist based on color, caste, creed, and gender? In the era of artificial intelligence, the general public is more concerned about the rights of robots and machines instead of prioritizing the rights of women, trans-genders, and children, who still bear the brunt of getting a terror-free environment.
The term “gender equality” means providing equal political, social, economic, and legal rights to individuals without discriminating against them based on gender.
Judith Butler defines the term gender as a social construction. There are diverse objective and subjective factors in authority responsible for constructing gender identities and roles. Butler’s “Theory of Performativity” propagates that certain practices, rituals, and stereotypes shape a particular gender role. In common practices, associating all the household chores with women and all the outdoor tasks with men has burdened both. Some cultural trends are liable for the marginalization of women, whereas such trends and practices have no rationale at all, rather, they have remained a custom for so long that people eventually started to follow them blindly. This irrationality raises the question as to why these cultural trends still hold back women from being themselves; for instance, the concepts of ‘Sati,’ etc., deprive girls and women of fundamental human rights of gender equality just because of these old traditions.
“Theory of Speech Act,” given by Austin, highlights the prominence of language through which repetition of words and ascribing traits with a specific gender shapes certain discourses by influencing personalities and psychology. Language shapes reality by influencing minds and attributing words to a specific gender. Emotional, fragile, and illogical are the words affiliated with women that result in the creation of gender binaries, raising questions as to why society still sticks to believing in the weightage of societal generalizations when status that is valued is achieved, not one ascribed.
Michel Foucault’s conception of the “Power-Knowledge nexus” argues that those with supremacy shape the literature. These kinds of literature sometimes become a source of manipulating the young minds in which females’ role is represented as being one of a gossiper who sits at home, desperately waiting for a prince to rescue them, similar to the story of Cinderella.
The objectification of women through media, associating them with make-up and other fair beauty products, has promoted harmful and adverse standards explicitly targeting the gender.
Women have faced many difficulties, like domestic violence, harassment, cyberbullying, etc. Despite these hurdles and problems, women today have proven themselves and achieved statuses by showing their skills, determination, and courage to go hand in hand with their counterparts. Our women are still trying to progress and evolve. Speaking of breaking the glass ceilings, it would be an injustice if certain examples were left unmarked when discussing women’s role in diverse domains regardless of their cultural, social, and psychological barriers.
In Politics, Jacinda Ardern, former prime minister of New Zealand, brought significant developments to improve the country’s living standards and exceptionally rescued the nation from the COVID crisis. “When more in rage- you need to engage more,” says Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Ex-foreign minister of Pakistan and presently serving as minister of state, doing a tremendous job in her field by shaping foreign policy decisions with negotiations and peaceful settlement. Sherry Rehman, climate minister, aims to make Pakistan climate resilient and rigorously struggling to seek climate justice for Pakistan.
Women are now also part of the armed forces, whether the police, army, air force, or navy, i.e., Maj Gen Nighar Johar. Sania Mirza, Serena Williams contributing in the field of sports, and several other women are contributing in different domains to the positive projection of women’s role in society, and the list goes on.
There are so many other inspiring examples showing how females are trying to evolve in every domain, whether its politics, economics, sports, or legal domain.
To have gender equality, there is a need to groom kids at the family level. In educational institutes, it is essential to give gender education to foster a society based on inclusivity and equality, irrespective of gender identity. The provision of human rights should be based on equity. Creating equal opportunities for women in every domain must be prioritized. Phenomenological analysis, deconstruction, and complexities of existing norms should be revised with a comprehensive approach to creating an inclusive environment for women. Availability and easy accessibility to justice, strict implementation of the laws, and legal protection related to harassment and bullying must be implemented immediately.
The writer is a researcher at IPRI and an MPhil Scholar of International Relations. Major areas of interest are terrorism, artificial intelligence, gender studies, foreign policy, and climate change.