Empowering women to achieve equality in living conditions between both sexes is a right, an obligation, and a necessity for achieving a more just and sustainable society.
Despite this truth and the justice behind the argument, gender equality remains a real challenge for society today, even in the most advanced countries in terms of social rights. Women continue to suffer discrimination in all areas, being displaced to traditional family care roles in a clear patriarchal model, or discriminated against in the labor field to give two examples.
It is obvious, and even obscene at this point to say that change, social revolution is already being driven by women. The social order is being transformed, and we must promote this empowerment as another instrument to strengthen a more just society and move towards a model that is out of step with classic family roles, empowering women on the basis of gender equality.
“The cause of woman is that of man: the two rise or fall together“.
Alfred Tennyson, English poet
However, social prejudices, supported in many cases by customs that have been ingrained for decades, traditions or simply intellectual biases, and the lack of clear legislation that does not discriminate by gender, leave us with a situation that in many places makes it difficult for women to access education, own property, open bank accounts, find employment or find it on an equal footing with men.
All these circumstances are aggravated when governance is not, or is excessively lax in the application of regulations that end up with gender differentiation. This circumstance also produces that in many occasions this discrimination is carried out in spite of the existence of laws since there is a clear difference between the law and its compliance.
Africa, Latin America, the Arab countries, India, and the Southeast Asian region represent many of the places where women’s roles, their freedom to grow and develop freely and on equal terms with men, are still far from desirable gender equality goals. In addition, in all these places, violence against women and the impunity with which men believe they can act against them is absolutely intolerable. Moreover, areas of armed conflict are particularly noteworthy in terms of violence against women, who are abused, enslaved, and exploited in these circumstances
Countries, supposedly from the first world, where inequality is due to different but equally hurtful circumstances in terms of equality, are not, nor are we, free. The inequality in the labor conditions or the unequal distribution of family burdens in addition to the scourge of gender violence, very rooted socially in spite of vain political attempts that obey more to the typical political makeup than to a real attempt to end the problem. It is true that the component of social responsibility and commitment that each one of us, especially men, must have in the face of this issue is capital in order to advance in equality. But the political class must show itself in a firm and decisive way and especially without discrepancies that put at risk a real advance for gender equality.
“Until we have equality in education, we will not have an equal society.“
Sonia Sotomayor, American judge.
From here, with this educational premise as a starting point, society as a whole must have the responsibility and the commitment to fight for equality on all fronts. Ending violence against women, guaranteeing adequate medical care in terms of sexual health and during pregnancy. The sharing of family burdens between both sexes and of course breaking the gender gap on a key issue such as employment discrimination. These are some of the fundamental pillars that lay the foundations for the construction of a fair, egalitarian and sustainable society.
It is not possible to build a society and a planet under the premises of sustainability, justice and equality without addressing the issue of gender as one of the central axes of social transformation that requires a sustainable social model.
“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance“
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary.