Every March, many choose to dedicate time and resources to promote a better societal understanding of the strides we have made in gender equality. This effort typically involves recognizing the achievements of people who live with identities that were or are currently marginalized (similar to how we recognize women during National Women's Health Month), while acknowledging ways we can continue to work toward and promote this equality across the globe.
So, what exactly does this mean? How else can this effort appear in our day-to-day lived experiences? What are some ways individuals can celebrate while continuing to work toward gender justice in the world year long?
We’ll be answering these questions (and more) below.
What Is Gender Equality?
Gender equality can be defined as "the state of having the same rights, status and opportunities as others, regardless of one's gender." Although many might agree that we have made many strides toward gender equality in the world—which is generally part of what Gender Equality Month aims to celebrate—many would agree that we also have a long way to go.
Gender equality not only refers to concerns such as equal pay and equal opportunities—it can also refer to the way an individual might be treated in social, institutional and other settings.
Gender is considered by many to be a spectrum. Some people might identify as a woman or man, whereas others may fall outside of the socially constructed gender binary. When someone feels aligned with their assigned gender at birth, this might mean that they are "cisgender." When someone does not identify with their assigned gender at birth, they may refer to themselves as "transgender, nonbinary or genderfluid.”
It can be important to note that we generally cannot assume someone's gender based on how they look or behave.
What Impact Does Gender Inequality Have On Our Health?
Gender inequality can impact all areas of a person's life and wellbeing, including their mental health, physical health, safety and financial health.
You may be wondering: What are some of the tangible impacts that we are still seeing in the world when it comes to gender inequality?
Here are just a few for your consideration:
- Minority stress can have a direct impact on emotional, psychological and social health outcomes. This can be why certain mental health conditions and concerns might be experienced at a higher rate in marginalized people, including those who might be marginalized based on gender.
- Stereotypes and expectations surrounding masculinity, for example, may prevent men and those assigned male at birth (AMAB) from getting mental health care or support when needed. As a result, many men and AMAB individuals can face significantly higher rates of substance use and suicide attempts. *
- Period poverty that can occur in people who menstruate can be affiliated with poor mental health outcomes.
- Transgender individuals are generally statistically more likely to face a number of mental health concerns, including a higher suicide risk. * However, respecting a person's pronouns, the ability to change one's gender marker and receiving gender-affirming healthcare (if desired) can all possibly positively impact mental health outcomes.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline immediately by visiting their website or texting/calling 988. Free support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.
Possible Gender Inequality Impacts On Physical Health And Safety
Sexual violence, which can impact people of all genders, is one area where we might see gender inequality when it comes to physical health and safety. Statistics indicate that one in six cisgender women (or those who are AFAB) survive sexual assault in their lifetime.
In comparison, about one in 33 cisgender men (or those AMAB) overcome sexual assault in their lifetime. (We do want to note: This comparison is made to highlight existing gender inequality when it comes to sexual assault. 1 in 33 men is still one too many).
Statistics also show that 21% of transgender and gender-nonconforming college students might experience sexual assault. *Please contact RAINN at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) if you or someone you know is or may be experiencing sexual violence of any kind.
Both historically and in the present day, healthcare is another possible area where gender-based discrimination can run rampant. For example, women are statistically suggested to be seven times more likely to experience a misdiagnosis when compared to men and may be more likely to be discharged from care while having a heart attack.
Possible Gender Inequality Impacts On Financial Health
Challenges related to finances can be one of the biggest stressors and predictors of divorce that people face in the United States. This can be understandable, as money can give us the approach to our basic needs.
Low-income individuals may be more likely to face a number of mental and physical health concerns. Addtionally:
- Transgender people might be more likely to be unemployed and may make less than their cisgender counterparts. Additionally, transgender people can be statistically more likely to experience homelessness and housing discrimination.
- According to Pew Research Center, women statistically earned 84% of what men did in the year 2020. This means that gender inequality can still exist in people’s payroll experiences.
- Across the globe, women statistically hold only 24% of senior leadership positions. This means that there may be higher rates of discrmination in business and the boardroom.
How To Celebrate Gender Equality Month
Now that we’ve covered the current statistics around gender and equality, you may be wondering: What are some things you can do to celebrate Gender Equality Month and help conquer gender-based inequality?
Here are some practices you can implement year-round:
1. If You See Inequality Or Discrimination, Consider Speaking Up
One of the best ways to celebrate Gender Equality Month can be to continue striving toward gender equality in the ways you can in your own life. For example: If you are in a leadership position that provides you the privilege to do so, you can consider making an active choice to fight against gender-based inequality, harassment or discrimination.
Of course, this task isn’t just for people in leadership. Examples of things you can do in this category at any level can include taking note of any ways that implicit bias related to gender might show up in your own life, stepping in if you see gender-based harassment, allowing all children and adults to express themselves freely and fully, supporting the rights of minority and gay children and adults and engaging with other important global causes (such as those related to reproductive health).
2. Honor Those Who Have Made Strides Toward Gender Equality
There are many different ways to honor people in history who have made strides toward gender equality. You may find webinars and conferences dedicated to this, and there are also many free online resources, books and more. It can also be important to learn about and uplift the voices of people who are actively working toward a better world in the present.
3. Join Or Support Initiatives And Organizations Striving For Gender Justice
There are many different ways to get involved in the fight for gender equality. For example: You can show financial support for gender justice through donations, or you can spread information on current initiatives in the world to support gender equality. You can also support people in your community who may experience marginalization based on gender.
This might look like visiting a locally owned business that is run by those of marginalized genders, or it may look like participating in a local campaign. In either case, you can choose to support companies and organizations that are inclusive over those that are not.
4. Learn From And Amplify The Voices Of Others
It can be important to amplify the voices of other people who may be overlooked or dismissed by others, especially if you are someone in a position of privilege. Examples of this can include signing up for diversity education events held by marginalized people or implementing them into your workplace; discussing content from people who experience gender injustice, boosting information that pertains to the fight for equal rights and so on.
5. Make Your Values Known
Making your values that relate to gender equality known can have more of an impact than you think. For example: You might decide to make it clear that you do not tolerate discrimination or harassment and work to create a safe space for other people. You can also show your support for those who are marginalized, making an active effort to listen.
When you see anyone being made fun of on the basis of gender, you can consider speaking up. Additionally, when you discuss your values in gender justice and equality, you may start an important conversation or empower others to speak up or reach out if they experience the effects of inequality and discrimination.
6. Find Support—Here’s How An Online Therapist Can Help Promote Gender Equality
When you work with a licensed online therapist, you can discuss concerns related to gender inequality or anything else that's on your mind. Online therapy options can make it easier to find support than it once was, and are often more affordable for many. Plus, you can join sessions from the comfort of your own home, which may make the process of speaking to someone new feel less intimidating.
Many have found that the efficacy of online therapy is backed up by clinical research across a variety of sources. One such review of studies about online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) found data that suggests that the modality could successfully address symptoms of depression just as well as in-person therapy, all while being more cost-effective for many clients. Similar findings have been found for those living with anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and more.
Is March the month of gender equality?
Yes, gender equality month is celebrated during the month of March.
How do we celebrate gender equality month?
We can celebrate gender equality month by learning about women’s contributions and academic achievements that have shaped our world.
What is the meaning of gender equality month?
Gender Equality Month is celebrated in order to recognize the achievements of women and raise awareness about gender bias against women that still exists in today’s society.
What is the theme for gender equality month?
The theme for Gender Equality Month is to celebrate and empower all people who experience challenges related to their gender identity.
What is the purpose of gender equality awareness?
The goal of gender equality awareness is to promote gender equity and educate people about the indispensable role that women play in our society.
How can we promote gender equality and awareness?
We can promote gender equality and awareness by teaching people about the barriers that women still face in the workplace and in society as a whole. We can promote universal approach to all necessary healthcare services.
Why is it important to celebrate Women's Equality Day?
Women’s rights were once a despondent situation, which was changed by a group of women committed to change. When Elizabeth Cady Stanton joined with other women for tea one day, the talk turned to the lack of freedom and rights they had. In 1848, the Women’s Rights Movement began when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton invited other women to the first women’s rights convention. As she prepared for the event, Stanton wrote a Declaration of Sentiments that outlined 18 ways women and girls were treated unfairly. It took another 72 years for women to gain the right to vote.
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day is an important way to recognize all of the obstacles that women have overcome and how far they still have to go.
What month is women's empowerment?
Women’s empowerment is often recognized as part of women’s history month, which occurs during the month of March.
Is women's month global?
Women’s history month is typically celebrated during the month of March in the United States, the UK, and Australia.
Is Women's Equality Day the same every year?
In the United States, Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26 every year. The United Nations recognizes March 8 as International Women’s Day.
- Previous Article
- Next Article