Thoughts on gender discrimination
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By Hamid Fatimah Omotayo
Gender discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual or group of people, based on their gender. Gender discrimination can also be regarded as treating an individual differently, based on his/her gender in academic or extracurricular activities, discipline, physical education, grading, athletics, and so on.
Gender discrimination has become the habit of people in our contemporary society, where they deny a certain gender access to some benefits or rights.
It is not out of place to say women and young girls are victims of gender discrimination. They experience the highest level of violence and harassment around the world and have lesser opportunities to choose how to live their lives.
The men and young boys also undergo these hardships but cannot be compared to that of the opposite sex. Although, some of them are also denied access to live their life the way they want.
There are many discriminatory acts we find among our peers, at school, at home, and in our places of work. Denying people the freedom to choose their paths in life because of their gender deters them from fulfilling their dreams in life.
Sexual harassment is the peak of the discriminatory act that is common in our society whereby a female would be sexually harassed outside with little or no punishment for the offence. In addition, some women are not allowed to work despite having certificate to get a good job.
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Objectification is also part of a discriminatory act where a person is treated as a sex object with scant regard for their personality or dignity. It mostly happens on social media where naked or half-naked women are being photoshot. This act leads to much emphasis and value being put on a woman’s physical appearance above other capacities. This affects their self-esteem.
There are many causes of gender discrimination, first one is illiteracy. When people are not educated they tend to continue living in their old ways in which they follow the age long traditions and norms.
Education can bring a change of mindset because educated people are civilised and would not discriminate gender wise.
Furthermore, another cause of gender discrimination is poverty. Overdependence on the male mostly makes women vulnerable.
Gender discrimination has a huge impact on society at large. In some places, girls do not participate in sports because they are seen as weak compared to boys.
In some companies, the men get well paid than the women, despite rendering the same service. There is need for total change.
Finally, gender discrimination must be checked for everyone to have equal access to certain privileges. Everybody, no matter the gender, must have unfettered access to education health and other necessities of life.
- Omotayo is a student of Education and Biology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.