Gender Equality, are we there yet?

Viviane Lepine, Copy Editor

For a long time, men and women have been on a constant battle for equality, either they were for or against it. Since the beginning of the 19th century, lady’s around the world were discovering hunger for more rights and recognition. Feminists wanted to do more than cooking and raising children. Between 1916 and 1940, the fighting of Canadian women finally paid off and they gradually earned the right to vote. There has been great improvement for the perception of women trough the years, but is the war of gender equality over? Unfortunately, it isn’t. Still these days, there are injustices for women, such as lower salaries and assumed stereotypes.

Many women are victims of an unfair gender pay gap around the world. In 2016, in Canada, the pay gap between men and women is $8,000, twice the average gap that is $4,000. Most people blame this difference on women who take maternity leaves or take jobs that are typically feminine, but actually, the gap is seen on jobs done by both genders, for the same amount of time and the same position. In Europe, the country with the largest gap is Estonia, with a difference of 30% in their salary.

Women are still victims of prejudice. Even though there has been progress on the legal side, women are still viewed as inferior to men. Females are often looked down upon and viewed as objects by men. It is not so rare to hear about a woman who has been assaulted by a man, and not the other way around. Why mostly women? Because apparently they are weak, fragile and cannot defend themselves. We sure cannot put aside the fact that because of testosterone, guys develop more muscles than girls do and they tend to be stronger, but to say that women are weak, it is too far. Also, women are viewed as overly emotional. It is no surprise though, since female’s hormones are on a never ending roller coaster ride, making it harder to contain emotions.

Other people say that, yes, the war of equality is over, because women are everywhere in schools and governments, and they outnumber men in multiple , but equality is not a matter of number. Gender equality would mean people, men and women, would be judged on their abilities and personality, regardless of their sex. Therefore, for genders to be considered equal, we need to stop separating them. If someone earned a influential job, it is not because they are a guy, not because they are a girl, but because they are a great fit for the job as a person.

To conclude, women and men and not quite yet considered equal. Partly because of their respective revenue, which are not proportionate, and partly because of the pejorative prejudice laid on most ladies. There is still work that has to be done on accepting differences without making them a burden, even if there has been significant changes over the years. Remember this; feminism and gender equality doesn’t mean throwing men overboard so that women become more powerful. It means putting the two genders on the same step of the podium. Phumzile Mlanbo-Ngcuka, executive director of the UN women, once said: “I hope that by 2030 we can talk about gender inequality in historical terms”, and she is not the only one hoping.