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IBS807 Debates | Winter 2020 First Debate Gender Equality: Is it Possible?

UN definition of gender equality

IBS807 Debates | Winter 2020 First Debate Gender Equality; is it possible? According to the UN, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, “Equality between women and men (gender equality): refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration, recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a women’s issue but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centered development. Gender: refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/ time-specific and changeable. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a woman or a man, in any given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and men in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis include class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age.” In a recent Canadian online poll conducted by Ipsos-Reid, the question, “Is gender equality possible?” was asked. Below are just a few of the many different responses to that question. “Men are just naturally/biologically superior than women” “While both men and women have equal intelligence, men are superior to women physically on average. Even the strongest women are inferior to the strongest men. So much of life revolves around physical ability and not just mental. Men have both which is a win-win compared to what a female can offer on average. I believe that we're not here to be equals.” “No TRUE Equality” “Women say they want gender equality, yet most of them don't realize what that would entail. For true equality, yes they would get to be treated equally in the workplace, same pay, etc. But they would have to sacrifice their "women's rights," in the name of such equality. That means no more chivalry, no more being treated "like a lady," because you can't be treated like you are different AND like you are an equal. Though they are not publicized the way the negatives are, women have many benefits that men can never attain, and they do not want to sacrifice that.” “Equality of opportunity not outcome.” “Men & women have different needs & motives. Thus, it is moral to argue for equality of opportunity, but their problems are not those of the state which should not engage in social engineering on their behalf. With a few exceptions women avoid work which is dangerous, dirty or requires single minded focus. If women are really paid less, all the workplaces must be teeming with them as this would increase profits. This doesn't happen. The reason is simple - biologically women are the child bearers, so at the workplace they are a liability. Thus, there will always be gaps between what women really want, their political aims and reality; the same things will have different values for men & women. That is our biological & psychological nature. “Yes, it is certainly possible to treat both the genders equally.” “Not only must gender equality be ensured in the society but also the equity should be maintained. It can be possible by creating awareness among the people of the fact that all the human beings should be treated alike and there should be no discrimination based gender. Both genders must have equal rights and opportunities.” While the tally opinions polled eventually showed roughly 51% ‘yes’ and 49% ‘no’, there is the ever-present reality that the issue of gender equality is complex, and the treatment of women by not only at the hands of men, but by other women does not support gender equality. Image 1. A woman with acid-burns to her face because of being seen walking with a man from outside of her family.

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