Educational and workplace gender equality should be a priority


Photo: Avery C.

Pay gaps, biased treatment, demoralizing stereotypes, unwarranted harassment, and the lack of representation. These are only a few blatant instances of the gender disparity we see all around us. Although some may see gender equality as a more trivial issue, it is crucial that working toward equality is prioritized.


To specify, sexism and gender-based discrimination in the workforce and educational establishments are serious and urgent issues. According to UN Women, it is estimated that 60% of chronically hungry people are girls, over two-thirds of the illiterate global population are women, and only 39% of rural girls attend secondary school. Despite some beliefs that gender equality is not a pressing concern, real-life examples have shown the devastating effects that gender inequality has had.


Additionally, sexism has deeply affected the education, and thereby success and livelihoods, of women and other gender minorities worldwide. Although gaps in education among the genders have reduced, they are still a present concern. According to World Bank Data, the male population has consistently stayed above the female population in almost every category relating to the enrollment in school and participation in the workforce. The intelligence and talent possessed by women remain as untapped potential when their abilities are disregarded rather than nurtured, simply because of their gender. 


Despite recent bounds made for women in the workforce, a clear gap between genders is still made. The female pay gap is among the most unmistakable instances of this inequality. Citing the Center for American Progress, working women aged 16-24, 25-54, 55-64, and 65+ each earn 8%, 16%, 22%, and 27% less than their male counterparts on average. Women in the workforce also often experience occupational segregation and their employment is more likely to be affected by caregiver responsibilities like having children at home.


In spite of the overwhelming evidence of the harmful impact sexism has had on women, some may believe that discrimination is not the reason behind the struggles women endure. However, there are no other reasons to explain such a worldwide phenomenon of struggles. Simply saying that women don’t work as hard or other objective factors are the cause just doesn’t explain the worldwide experiences women go through, as well as only working to further enforce degrading stereotypes.


Ultimately, sexism deeply affects their livelihoods in educational and workplace environments, disregards their talent and intelligence, and holds women back from achieving their greatest potential. The horrible effects of gender inequality are undeniable and it needs to become an urgent issue to address. The world should, at the least, settle for no less than a society where everyone, regardless of gender, should be treated fairly.