Gender Discrimination as Egregious as ever?

By Asiya Raheem

"You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women." -Jawaharlal Nehru

There is no denying the fact that our society continues to be a patriarchal society even though we have come a long way from the time when our daughters where even denied their basic rights. Our women may enjoy many opportunities like education, being able to have a career etc., they were previously denied but they continue to face many hurdles. When it comes to gender equality, our society still continues to look the other way. Even though many of us boast of treating our women respectfully and providing them with equal opportunities, the cases of domestic abuse still continue to increase every day. Though our women may enjoy the privilege of being able to provide for their families, they continue to face harassment and eve-teasing on a daily basis. As much as we may like to disagree, our society continues to deny many women their rights. Our girls still need to prove themselves at every point of their lives. They continue fighting as many social taboos and stigmas as women before them. How true is it and how many people agree that gender equality is still a mythical unicorn for our society? What steps need to be taken to eradicate it completely from our society? Team KO asks. Read on to find out what a few citizens have to say.

Wafa Bari
There is still inequality when it comes to wages in the private sector. There is also the expectation that, even if both parents are working full-time, the mother will be the one taking care of the family. This leads to women taking more responsibilities which can take a toll on their physical as well as mental health.
—— Wafa Bari , KAS Aspirant
Harvinder Singh
The main reason behind gender discrimination is the way people think. Most people seem to believe that women are only meant to look after their homes and children. Maybe this is why despite progressing, the mental status of the people hasn’t changed much. We people simply refuse to let go of our orthodox ways and habits.
—— Harvinder Singh , Banker
Mubashir Reashi
Earlier women were unaware of their rights because they were illiterate. But now thanks to education and awareness, a woman knows how to properly exercise her rights. Education is the key to gender equality.
—— Mubashir Reashi , Employee, Himayat
Kaisar Wani
Equality means equal opportunities, equal pay for comparable work, and equal freedom. Women are as much human as men and they deserve equal opportunities. They are entitled to all the rights, responsibilities, and privileges that men enjoy.
—— Kaisar Wani , MCA Student
Nadeem Ahmed
We need to change ourselves, our mindset and the orthodox beliefs that we have been living with. Simply advocating for education and equal opportunities for women is not enough. We need to bring in new reforms. We need to be the ones who will eliminate gender inequality in our society.
—— Nadeem Ahmed , Government Employee
 Jahan Ara
From a home maker to an employee, women don’t share an equal workload. They have to work much more than men so that they can prove themselves. Women are the worst sufferers of various social taboos. When she is not working, she is taking care of millions of chores around the house and when she is working, she is constantly trying to overcome all the hurdles that the patriarchal society throws her way.
——  Jahan Ara , Government Employee
 Fayaz Ahmed
Gender discrimination needs to be eradicated from our society. It makes a woman feel inferior and lowers her self-esteem. I believe every human being deserves to be treated equally. After all we were all created by the same creator.
——  Fayaz Ahmed , Businessman
Naveed Raja
Gender inequality is a social problem. Despite having the same educational qualifications, the women in our society receive lesser opportunities than the males. This is unfair and sheer injustice. Women work as hard as men do and have proven themselves time and again. Women should be given equal opportunities.
—— Naveed Raja, Businessman
Zahoor Ahmed
We are hypocrites when it comes to advocating women rights. What we preach to the world, we hardly follow ourselves. Our actions and our thoughts are poles apart. A person who lectures the world on gender equality goes home and shouts at his wife or doesn’t let her work. As long as this doesn’t change, our women will never truly achieve freedom.
—— Zahoor Ahmed , PhD Scholar
Wasaf Geelani
Gender discrimination is a serious issue even if though it may not be as prevalent as it used to be in the earlier days. There may be many reasons behind why it exists even today. Usually it takes a long time to change a societal setup. But, education can definitely help us get there. We should encourage our youth to seek education because only then can they learn to think freely.
—— Wasaf Geelani , PG Student
Even though we have come a long way, gender discrimination still continues to be in practice. Our women still face barriers at work, home and even in streets. It will still take us years to change the mind sets of the people and eliminate this practice completely.
—— Uzma Zargar , M.Tech Student
Gender equality is a political construct. What everyone needs are individual rights.  The right to be treated as everyone else, the right to all the opportunities that others enjoy and most importantly the right to be who you are. Whether you are a male or a female, a black or a white, an American or a Kashmiri, we all deserve to be treated equally.
—— Tabasum Ali , Homemaker
When women are given the opportunity to read and write, it means a significant change has taken place in the society. As women begin to earn alongside men, they gain status in their communities. This status then translates into the power to influence their families and even their societies. Women today hold more power than they ever did.
—— Saba Khan , Private Employee
Gender inequality only exists because the belief that women are not at par with men, is embedded in our minds right from birth. From childhood we are raised up with certain taboos and prejudices. To end these taboos, we need to critically analyse our behavior so that we can understand how we, ourselves may be contributing towards gender inequality.
—— Tabasum Nazmi, PhD Scholar

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