Why gender equality is still not achieved, and how can you help it.

While many people are celebrating Women Equality Day today, I heard many others decrying it. A lot of people believe women are already equal and that their fight now is just to push men out.

You may say: “it’s 2018, why are we still talking about feminism and equality?”

Breaking news: because it’s still an issue.

What equality is that which implies tolerating that occasionally a man will land at an awesome position or a higher wage just because he is a man?

Accepting that ladies will have less superannuation at the end of her working life since she took two or three years off to raise her children?

Of course, opportunities are there for everyone to try out, but be honest to yourself (really, really honest): if there is equality, why women are a whopping 15% less likely than men to get promoted?  

Did you ever stop to think about why women are not getting all the opportunities they want? Maybe something about the culture getting on their way?

Today, there’s more emphasis on equality and diversity everywhere than ever before. But, are we really encouraging it through our actions?

Obviously, we aren’t…

gender euqality SDG 5

All it takes is a look around to see several stories that prove how inequality is still out there!

In Saudi Arabia, for instance, ladies have just barely been given the privilege to drive.:

Madawi al-Rasheed is a Saudi Arabian professor of social anthropology at the London School of Economics. She talks a little about it.

“We talk about driving as if it is the most important thing. It is important for the women’s movement… But there are certain legal restrictions that are still in place, that are also a pressing issue. It’s a long struggle and a long road to serious equality.”

Yet, despite everything, they can’t marry, divorce, travel, get a job or have an elective medical procedure without authorization from their male guardians.

In India, an engineering student was bold enough to talk about patriarchy.

“There’s a guy who doesn’t want his girlfriend to even talk to another guy. Another guy would rather spy on her than ask her questions directly. There’s a guy who makes the girl so scared that she lives life afraid that any action of hers might annoy him. The list is endless”

Men often want to know the whereabouts of girlfriends/wives at each and every moment. Claiming their insecurity as their concern for her safety. This sometimes ends up with physical violence as well.

Aren’t men allowed to go free anytime and anywhere?

We talk about equality, but according to Beatrice Alba, a researcher from LA Trobe University, it remains mostly only on papers. When it comes to actual live decisions, people do discriminate on the basis of gender, even if subconsciously.

An experiment was conducted in which participants watched an entrepreneurial pitch video of images relating to a new venture, narrated by the voice of the entrepreneur.

Participants were randomly assigned to a group in which either a male or female voice narrated the pitch, which was otherwise identical. When a male voice pitched the venture, 68% of participants thought it was worthy of funding, compared to only 32% when pitched by a female voice.“

So you can deny as much as you want, it’s a fact: gender inequality continues in current social orders.

But ok, enough of just saying that the issue is out there. Let’s be practical: what can we do to actually about it?

Here are 5 things you can do to foster gender equality

1. Stop teaching boys that they are ‘protector of women’.

“Teach them about the full autonomy of women—that it is not their job to expect to be cared for by women, that they do not own women’s bodies, and that it is also not their job to protect women because they are women.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author of We Should All Be Feminists

Protecting people is a good thing but we should teach boys to protect anyone who requires protection, regardless of gender.

That way they are less likely to grow up to think of their job as “protector of women”. This inevitably comes with the assumption that they can also think for, and decide for, women, which results in patriarchy.

“I just want to protect her” can then become an excuse for everything.

2. Educate yourself and others about the difference in opportunities.

First and the foremost thing here is Education.

Did you know that girls in poor communities often miss their schools often due to lack of clean water in their village. They spend several hours fetching water for their families because, apparently, that’s “their responsibility”.

Also, a huge number of girls in rural areas are not allowed to move out of their house when they are on their periods. Period awareness should be spread with the fact that it’s not a taboo.

Things like that need to be talked about. It’s a big change, that needs to be taken on baby steps, which is exactly why we need to start now!

You can also volunteer at several rural areas and establish a mentorship with them.

3. Stop raising children in different ways, based on their gender.

If people grow up thinking this or that about gender roles, we have no one else to blame but ourselves, the elders.

We start pushing rules from before they are born. “Blue is for boys, pink is for girls”, “boys toys vs girls toys”, “boys don’t cry”. All these things start shaping the way our children think and behave, and they can spend the rest of their lives struggling with those “truths”.

Kids need to learn that all human beings come with the same rights, despite their gender or sexual orientation. It’s never too late to start trying and no step is too small.

4. Pay attention to your own actions: do you behave in different ways if it’s a man or a woman?

It’s not that it’s on purpose, but we constantly see boys advising or helping girls on things. It may seem ok, even friendly, and that’s why we don’t notice small small things.

For instance, if a girl is struggling with doing something that requires strength, usually boys come to the rescue and offer to help. But do you see them doing the same if it’s a male friend? Not really.

woman helping each other to achieve equality

On the other hand, girls are very willing to accept help, while as men have this pride that they should be able to do it themselves.

Guys, a quick reminder: it’s ok to get help, ok?

5. Engage directly

There’s a lot you can do if you want to take a step forward.

A small beginning is engaging with movements like ‘Cause we Care’ (@causewecare). It’s an online campaign committed to helping single mothers and children to improve their life.

They take support from the donors and Volunteers to break the cycle of poverty for single mothers. They help in upliftment for the better world.

gender equality is responsibility of all

You can also volunteer at a local rape crisis centre. Rape falls under Sexual Assault, which is a non-consensual touching and a forceful Sexual Act.  There are various Organisations and NGOs that help the victims.

You can always be a part of these NGOs and campaigns.  Every action counts ?

Gender equality is about both men and women being able to be themselves and do what they want, respecting each other mutually!

Let us know in the comments if you ever did something on gender equality! We’d love to know it 🙂

We at AIESEC have many projects around the world for SDG number 5 (gender equality), SDG number 4 (Quality Education), SDG number 10 (reduced inequalities).

If you’re interested and feel that you can contribute, check more about the program here.

If you like this post you may also like: We Need To Talk About Consent

Written by

Anisha Bhawanani is graduated in Marketing and Finance and loves writing. She is a happy go lucky girl with a head full of dreams, very passionate about traveling and exploring different cultures. One day she wants to win a man booker prize.

We need to talk about CONSENT!

“You are not a victim. No matter what you have been through, you’re still here. You may have been challenged, hurt, betrayed, beaten, and discouraged, but nothing has defeated you. You are still here! You have been delayed but not denied. You are not a victim, you are a victor. You have a history of victory.”

~ Steve Maraboli

Sexual abuse, rape, harassment – words we hear almost every day.

But, what about consent? Why is it that people are so reluctant on talking about the one thing that should actually matter?

The rise of the #MeToo and #time’sup movements have put an unprecedented focus on the issue of what is acceptable sexual behaviour.

So let’s stop avoiding the subject, is time to address it!


For too long as a society, people have blamed victims – usually women – for letting themselves be raped.

“She shouldn’t have been so drunk”, “she should have worn those clothes”, “she should be out so late”. But the concern is much less if a guy is doing any of those things.

On the other hand, we constantly see rapists and assassins – usually men – being forgiven. Apparently, they’re acting on some kind of uncontrollable instinct, from which they must be protected.

The issue remains even less understood when the situation is between two people who know each other. And that is something that we as human beings need to change.

It may seem simple to understand what “consent” means, but still, lots of metaphors are needed to actually clarify it.

This is a good one. You wouldn’t force or pressure someone into having a cup of tea, and you can tell when someone wants a cup of tea or not.

If someone says they want a cup of tea one minute, they can change their mind the next and should not be pressured to drink the tea. If this sounds simple, then so is the issue to consent to sex.

Consent is beautiful, it is enthusiasm, it is a free choice, it is mutual.

It is NOT assumed, NOT a right of marriage, NOT said in the clothes you wear.

This is what consent looks like:

  • Communication is key!

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, but it’s just as easy to make sure that both partners are consenting before or as they move forward.

You can ask your partner, “Is this okay?” or “Do you want to slow down?”, among other things, to make sure they are really comfortable with going with it. It’s important to communicate every step of the way.

Don’t assume that it is okay to move forward without permission.

  • Being explicit

There’s only one way to know for sure if someone has given their consent: if they tell you. It is important to be explicit about consent, by verbally saying “yes,” or using other affirmative statements.

  • Being respectful

It is extremely important that, if your partner communicates that they do not want to continue, you respect that! For sure you would like to be respected if it was the other way around, right?

  • Consent Isn’t Only Given by a Woman

Allow me to burst a few bubbles: consent isn’t something that’s gender-specific.

If you think women are exempt from being sexual predators, think again. And if you think men are excluded from being victims of sexual abuse, you’re delusional.

This is what consent does not look like:

  • Saying yes while you really want to say no

Saying “no” t can be awkward, uncomfortable, anxiety-provoking. But you are your own first line of defence. If you are unsure about it, say no. Nobody can force you to do something when you are not on board with it.

  • Assuming that a specific gesture means that it’s a “yes”

Dressing sexy or flirting is exactly that, and nothing more. Sometimes people just want to feel pretty, is their right.

Just because someone flirts with you, it does not mean that they are consenting to anything.

The attire of someone does not indicate whether or not they are giving you their consent. Consent only comes in the form of one word and that word is “yes.”

  • Consent is not implied

Regardless of whether or not you are in a relationship, or whether or not both of you have consented to the activity before, consent is not implied. The bottom line is, if the answer isn’t “yes,” it’s “no.”

It is also important to know that consent is necessary every time, not just one time.

  • If Consent Is Given For One Sexual Act, It Doesn’t Mean It Covers All Sexual Acts

Just because someone consents to one thing, it doesn’t mean they’re consenting to anything and everything else.

If you’re with your partner and have consented to everything you were doing up until a certain point, but he/she decides to try something else, he/she needs to have your consent first. You can only be sure if the other person consented to a thing by asking them about it.

You as an individual have the right to your words, mind and body.

If you are uncomfortable in a sexual situation or any situation, as a matter of fact, it is important to be explicit about this. Just as it is important to read someone’s body language and listen to what they are saying.

It’s high time that we as human beings know what is it that we can do to make this world a safer place. Not just for women but for men as well.

People should be able to understand when they might be a victim of a crime or a suspect of a crime. And they should feel comfortable and safe to do something about it. We should all know where we stand.

Slowly we are taking steps to reduce the inequalities that persist in the society. Let’s just be aware of the importance of having consent, every step of the way.

Again: if you don’t have consent, you can’t do it.

We would love to know more about your side of the story. Tweet us using the #WhatsYourIssue.

We at AIESEC have many projects for SDG number 5 (gender equality) around the world, for our Global Volunteer program. If you’re interested and feel that you can contribute, check more about the program here.


If you liked this blog you may also like: Let’s talk about it. Period.

Written by

Studying bachelor’s in biotechnology, Aayushi is a really passionate person, who loves to read and travel. She believes people, places, and stories have the power to change anyone and help them understand the purpose of life.