GENDER equality is all about treating each other equally and having equal opportunities based on personal abilities and what a person, whether male or female, can do.
However, gender inequality is one of the biggest issues facing society in many countries nowadays.
Unfortunately, societies in some countries, even today, tend to focus on giving one gender control and power and this creates a big problem because this stereotype becomes ‘normal’ and is engraved in people’s brains.
Stereotypes like this can lead to serious mental health issues which include suicide in worse scenarios.
Stigmatising people with phrases like “man up” or “get married and have children” can take a toll on a person’s mental health.
The fact that men are often taught from birth to “man up” and not show any emotions or discuss mental health, and that women are generally taught that their only job is to get married and have children, shows how gender equality needs to be achieved.
It is undeniable that most societies are, in general, patriarchal as men remain dominant in almost every sector.
This is why we are pleased to hear stakeholders pledging their support towards the promotion of gender equality.
Specifically, we welcome Swedish Ambassador to Zambia, Anna Maj Hultgård’s reassurance of her country’s commitment to supporting gender equality in Zambia.
According to Ms Hultgård, her country’s support to gender equality in Zambia and globally is unequivocal or undeniable.
This is important as gender equality must be achieved for our society to start evolving.
For example, women must be allowed the opportunity to earn the same pay as men across all sectors to boost the economies.
In addition, educating girls has a positive economic impact, and giving women and girls in poverty access to education, one of the most basic human rights, is hugely important.
An inclusive democracy means that all citizens should feel represented and be heard.
Gender quality saves lives by allowing women and girls to play a bigger role in their own protection.
It also results in better healthcare. Research shows that in general, women receive worse medical care than men.
There are many reasons for these research findings, including lack of education and lower incomes.
Gender quality also helps businesses. When women receive the same education and job opportunities as men, they can improve any organisation they join.
Studies show that diversity of all types (gender, race, sexual identity, etc) increases an organisation’s productivity and innovation.
One 2016 study from the University of California looked at big companies in the state with some women in the top leadership positions. These companies performed better than the companies with mostly men at the top.
There are many other benefits of having gender quality in any country.
The benefits include improved economy, bringing peace, having healthier children, leading to better racial equality as well as ensuring that there is reduced poverty and human trafficking.
It is only hoped that more cooperating partners and other stakeholders in Zambia will come on board to support gender equality.