Equality, often known as non-discrimination, is a situation in which all people have the same opportunities and rights. Everyone in society wishes for equality of position, opportunity, and rights.
However, it is a common observation that there is a great deal of discrimination among humans. Discrimination exists due to cultural, regional, and gender inequalities. Gender inequality is a worldwide issue. Even in the twenty-first century, men and women do not have equal rights everywhere. Gender equality refers to giving men and women equal opportunity in terms of politics, economics, education, and health.
Gender inequality is pervasive in all aspects of a woman’s life. PINK TAX is a word used to describe a type of tax. The pink tax increased the price of everything oriented towards women with razors and shampoos being the most egregiously overcharged products, additionally toys and accessories were found to be 7% more expensive. Clothing and safety gear, such as helmets, are also more expensive for women. They even spend more for senior home healthcare products, implying that they pay more for everyday commodities from birth to death.
This isn’t the only hidden thing that ordinary people are unaware of, many items are built specifically with males in mind, which is also a form of unspoken discrimination. Because the safety measures were developed for men, women were 47 percent more likely to be harmed in automobile accidents.
When you are discriminated against, you go to the government for help, but what do you do when the government is also involved?
Governments are meant to establish laws for their citizens, yet in India, a few laws stand out as blatantly violating equality principles.
Like Child Marriage Prohibition Act: The legislation merely forbids child weddings; it does not make them illegal once they have taken place. A woman has until the age of 20 to call off a marriage, whereas a male has until the age of 23.
Consent age: Rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a female under the age of eighteen. However, because child weddings are not prohibited, a man can have sex with his wife even if she is a minor.
It’s not unusual for someone in the room to interject, “What about the men?” during conversations about gender equality. Gender equality has been difficult to achieve due to the underlying idea that giving women greater rights and freedom deprives males of their rights.
However, gender equality is beneficial for everyone. Liz Plank’s piece, adapted from her book ‘For the Love of Men: A Vision for Mindful Masculinity’, examines how men live longer in Iceland, the world’s most gender-equal country. Plank puts forth the evidence for why this is the case, demonstrating that men who hold “conventional” notions about masculinity are more likely to commit suicide and have poor health.
Anxiety over being the sole financial provider plays a significant role in this, so males don’t have to carry the burden alone in nations where women have access to education and equal earning capacity.
A good way to look at things is that the government has started trying to bring change to the society by introducing campaigns like “BETI PADHAO BETI BACHAO.” However, this change is unlikely to have an impact until we as citizens start changing our thoughts and attitudes towards the freedom of our mothers, sisters, and loved ones. Also, people try to make a change by shutting men’s mouths and attempting to prove their point with power, but this will not help either. Instead, people of the society should approach those who are against equality by explaining its benefits, including how it will not only help women live up to their full potential but also how it will help them to sustain a better quality of life.
University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun (Semester 2)