Global figures and researches indicate that women have fewer opportunities than men both in economic and political participation. Their access to higher education, more excellent health and safety risks are also limited. This means women representation in significant sectors of life is still wanting.
The best way to give them such opportunities is to guarantee their rights. Women have the greatest potential to reach their full potential when and if given a chance. In the modern world, where gender equality is a large topic, everyone should come out to support them whenever possible. This will also help in achieving international development goals.
Traditionally, women have been playing a vital role in economic development in societies. Consider the traditional African society, for instance, where hunting and gathering were the main economic activities. Hunting, work for men, was highly valued because meet eating was an essential social activity. However, recent researches have shown that 60 to 80 percent of calories consumed in families can from fruits and roots gathered by women.
If women and girls are empowered, they can offer great support to the health and productivity of a family. Such help will extend to communities than to a country level, creating a society that is beneficial to everyone.
Gender is a word that describes distinctive roles played by men and women in society. Gender roles are activities and roles considered appropriate for either male or female members of a community. Different cultures, especially in Africa, where cultural diversity creates differences, have varying views on the roles of men and women. In many cases, women have been seen as subordinate to men. Even in the colonial period, men were socially and economically recognized than their female counterparts. Well, in a family setting, we can have the man take up their roles are the head of the family, not because the wife is any less, but because it is right.
For the development of society, gender equality is a necessary step. It means men and women are exposed to equal opportunities and power; this is why women's empowerment is a vital subject today. Through it, women can become more independent, get a sense of self-worth, make constructive decisions, access to resources, take control of her life, and so on. Note, however, that gender issues do not affect women alone. The relation between men and women in a society can be broken or strengthened by resolving such matters. Both boys and girls have an essential part in achieving gender equality. The main areas of focus should be the following.
Education is viewed as key to a good life. It is the foundation for creating and keeping a good society. There have been many efforts across the globe to eradicate illiteracy, hence poverty. Gender parity education has been among the main point of focus. Unfortunately, despite such efforts, the highest number of out-of-school children is girls than boys. In the developing world, it is estimated that about one-quarter of girls do not go to schools. The main reason is most families in such regions have limited resources. They will, therefore, spend the little they have educated their sons, instead of “wasting” it on the daughter who end up in marriages far. Many times, girls are called upon to perform house chores like carrying water, caring for children, hence missing out on school hours.
If the developing world prioritizes girl child education, there is a high probability of the highest return on investment. If a girl is educated, she will not rush into marriage. And when she does, she will raise smaller families and get an opportunity to participate in national development. There are fewer chances that she will be infected with HIV.
Women’s health has been for long, of great concern in the world. This goes hand in hand with their safety, both physically and emotionally. HIV/AIDS, for instance, has always been a life-changing issue for women. This could be because women don’t have much access to health education. Maternal health is an isolated issue of great concern for women. Many have lost lives or good health from giving birth. It is vital to have quality maternal health care.
All women must be protected. There is a need to fight tooth and nail against gender-based violence. In some developing countries, women are seen as a man’s property, which encourages wife buttering. There should be laws and harsh penalties against perpetrators.
Recent statistics show that women comprise more than half of the world’s population. However, the only own about 1% of global wealth. Women and girls all over the world work for long hours without being paid well. In some areas, women are not allowed to inherit properties from their parents.
There are very few women in political positions. It is good that many states across the globe have been making efforts to involve more women because of their potential to lead. Recent studies show women in parliament as follows:
- Buy February 2019, average percentages for women parliamentarians in different regions are 42% in Nordic countries, 30% in America, 28.6% in Europe, including Nordic countries; 27.2% in Europe alone; 23.9% in sub-Saharan Africa; 19.8% in Asia; 19% in Arab states; and 16.3% in the Pacific.
- Only 20.7 percent of women held positions in government ministries. There was a variation of less than 1% in 103 countries.
This research revealed the women’s representation could make a huge difference in local governments. For instance, one analysis on panchayats of India revealed that there were 62% higher numbers of drinking water projects in areas led by women than those of men.
Significantly, many countries are realizing the impact of women and including them more in leadership roles. By February 2019, there are their countries with 50% women representation in parliament. Rwanda was leading with 61.3%, followed by Cuba and Bolivia with 53.2% and 52.1%, respectively. In other states state, there were 30% more women representations in lower houses.
If such initiatives are implemented more and the areas mentioned above tackled, we should be able to see a better society. Women have great potential to lead, and if given opportunity, they can change any society for the best.