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Closing the Gender Gap Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by alfred ibulu jr, Nigeria Dec 7, 2006
Human Rights , Gender Equality   Opinions


The full participation and involvement of women in every level of society is important for countries striving to become more open, stable and self-sufficient.

It has become increasingly clear around the world that investment in women pays off many-fold. When women are given opportunities for education, access to resources, and a place at the political table, not only is their quality of life improved, but studies have shown that economies are strengthened, health care is enhanced and policies that benefits children, families, and marginalized groups are given more attention.


The afflicted world in which we live is characterized by deeply unequal sharing of the burden of adversities between women and men. Gender inequality exists in most parts of the world.


In some part of the world, more specially in Africa where traditional beliefs are the order of the day, girl child education is considered to be a waste of resources. This is because after her school education is completed a stranger will marry her and the parents won't profit for their investment as she is now entitled to her husband and his family. There are other downsides to the deficiencies in education available to women, varying from a lack of encouragement to cultivate one's natural talents to the denial of fair participation in rewarding social functions of the community.


In most regions of the world preference is given for boys over girls. Gender inequality, then, can manifest itself in the form of parents wanting a child to be a boy rather than a girl. There was a time when this could be no more than a wish (a daydream or nightmare, depending on one's perspective). But with the availability of modern techniques to determine the gender of the foetus, sex-selective abortion has become commonplace in many countries.


In terms of employment as well as promotion in work and occupation, women often face greater handicaps than men.


In many societies the ownership of properties can also be a very unequal. Even basic assets such as homes and land may be very asymmetrically shared. The absence of the claims to property cannot only reduce the voice of the women, but also make it harder for women to enter and flourish in commercial, economic and even some social activities.
There are often enough, basic inequalities in gender relations within the family or the household, which can take many different forms. Family arrangements can be quite unequal in terms of sharing the burden of housework and child care. This is sometimes called a “division of labour” though women could be forgiven for seeing it as an “accumulation of labour”.


Even when there is relatively little difference in basic facilities including schooling, opportunities of higher education, employment and promotion may be far fewer for young women than for young men. Indeed, gender biases in higher education and professional training can be observed even in some of the richest countries in the world.


Reproductive health, education, increased political participation, and economic opportunities for women are necessary in eliminating violence against women.


Cultural barriers to girls’ education may include parental fears that education will ruin daughter’s marriage prospects, a belief that it is more important to educate boys who are responsible for family income, or a desire to keep girls at home to help with household chores. Education for all is central to any society. Investing in the education of a young girl is seen as one of the effective ways to reduce poverty, yet too many children living in poverty, especially girls, are still missing out. This takes place despite evidence that clearly shows that the education of girls, and in particular secondary education, is critical to poverty reductions and development.


An estimated 250 million years of reproductive life are lost every year as a result of reproductive health problems. The poor disproportionately suffer the consequences, especially women and young girls, and have the most to gain from the expanded access to reproductive health services.



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Writer Profile
alfred ibulu jr

alfred ibulu jr, Male, 21, Nigeria- Rivers State.
A native of kaliabiama-bonny.
Director of RYLO Equality Partnership
i believe that this life is meant for a purpose, once you discovered it, pursue it with all course...., i dream to be an innovative speaker and serve the world as much as i can.
ready to learn and adapt to all problems

sharilee | Jan 20th, 2007
i agree with the author.. gender inequality indeed is one sad part of history. many has risen to address this note of controversy and many has answered to support this issue for several and obvious reasons.. for a generation of intellectuals and educated people my only hope is that we see beyond this issue of prejudice. really, supposing you were involved in a car accident on your way home, are you going to think twice if the first doctor on the scene was female?

Muqing Zhou | Jan 7th, 2008
Like this piece says, there are so many categories of gender inequality. There is also, in some countries, inequality before birth, where girls are more likely to be aborted before they are even born. It's quite saddening to notice that the gender gap still exists today worldwide.

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