To work toward gender equality, it is important to first define what gender means and identify the areas in which we must improve or change.
As mentioned above, some people fall outside the socially-constructed gender binary. This means they do not identify as a man or woman, but may instead identify as non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender-fluid, etc.
It is important to note that we cannot assume someone's gender based on how they look or behave.
The first woman elected to Congress was Jeanette Rankin in 1916. Today, U.S. congress is disproportionately comprised of cisgender men.
Women gained the right to vote in 1920. However, women of color were excluded in practice until later. This shows why intersectionality is such a vital part of conversations related to gender and other potential areas of marginalization.
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974, prohibiting credit discrimination based on gender and other factors.
In 2015, the Supreme court declared marriage equality in all 50 U.S. states.
In June 2020, title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was expanded to protect individuals from employment discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Today, we still see employment disparities in these areas.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also reach the Trevor Lifeline by calling 1-866-488-7386 or by texting "START" to 678-678.
Gender Inequality Impacts On Physical Health And Safety
Sexual violence, which can impact people of all genders, is one area where we see gender inequality when it comes to physical health and safety. Statistics indicate that 1 in 6 women overcome sexual assault in their lifetime. In comparison, about 1 in 33 men overcome sexual assault in their lifetime. (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 experience sexual assault.
Both historically and in the present day, healthcare is another area with rampant gender-based discrimination. For example, women are seven times more likely to experience a misdiagnosis when compared to men and are more likely to be discharged from care while having a heart attack.
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.
Gender Inequality Impacts On Financial Health
Challenges related to finances are one of the biggest stressors and predictors of divorce that people face in the United States, and of course, money gives us access to our basic needs. Low-income individuals are more likely to face a number of mental and physical health detriments. With that in mind, here are some facts about gender and finances:
Transgender people are more likely to be unemployed and often make less than their cisgender counterparts. Additionally, transgender people are more likely to experience houselessness and housing discrimination.
According to Pew Research Center, women earned 84% of what men did in the year 2020. This means that gender inequality exists regarding wages.
Across the globe, women hold only 24% of senior leadership positions.
How To Celebrate Gender Equality Month
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 not just in March, but all year long.
1. If you see inequality or discrimination, speak up.
One of the best ways to celebrate Gender Equality Month is 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, make an active choice to fight against gender-based inequality, harassment, or discrimination. Of course, this is not just for people in leadership. Examples of what you can do include taking note of any ways that implicit bias related to gender shows 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 transgender children and adults, and engaging with other important causes (such as those related to reproductive health).
2. Honor individuals in history 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 is also important to learn about and uplift the voices of people who are actively working toward a better world in the current day.
3. Join or support initiatives and organizations striving for gender justice.
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. Choose to support companies and organizations that are inclusive over those that are not.
4. Learn from and amplify the voices of others.
Especially if you are someone who has privilege related to gender, such as the privilege of a cisgender person, the privilege of men in leadership positions, or the privilege of women accessing mental healthcare, it is important to amplify the voices of other people who have less privilege in this area. What are some ways you can do this? You can sign up for diversity education events held by marginalized people or implement them into your workplace, share content from people who experience gender injustice, boost 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. Make it clear that you do not tolerate discrimination or harassment and work to create a safe space for other people, such as those in the LGBTQIA+ community, whether you are or are not marginalized yourself. Show your support for those who are marginalized, and again, make an effort to listen. When you see anyone being made fun of on the basis of gender (even something as simple as boys being told, "You run like a girl,") speak up. When you share your values in gender justice and equality, you may start an important conversation or make others feel more able to speak up or reach out if they experience the effects of inequality and discrimination, which can be challenging.
6. Find support.
With a licensed therapist, you can discuss concerns related to gender inequality or anything else that's on your mind. Online therapy options like BetterHelp make it easier to find support and are often more affordable, too. Even better, the efficacy of online therapy is supported by research.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Learn about the history of gender equality and those who fought and/or continue to fight for gender equality in the present day. This may include but is not limited to learning about women, men, transgender, nonbinary, intersex people, and gender-nonconforming people of the past and present who have made the world a better and safer place, have strived to do so, and/or those who have acted as trailblazers by breaking the mold in terms of gender-based stereotypes.
Fight for rights in healthcare. This includes the right for people to make choices for their own bodies in terms of sexual or reproductive health, gender-affirming care, and working toward a world where people are listened to and believed in healthcare settings.
Fight for the rights of workers of all genders. Equal pay, treatment, hiring, and leadership are four areas where gender-based discrimination may show up in the workplace. These are some examples of areas to pay attention to.
Amplify, listen to, and support those who may be more marginalized based on gender.
Support small businesses led by people traditionally marginalized based on gender.
Which month is dedicated to a focus on gender equality?
How do we celebrate gender equality in the workplace?
If your company or organization is able to do so, you may donate to or fundraise for efforts in gender equality as a way to celebrate gender equality. You can also hire transgender, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming speakers or educators to host events in your workplace. Finding a way to show that you and your organization believe in gender equality is another way to celebrate. Continue checking in on your practices year-round and look for areas where you can improve.
Other Frequently Asked Questions:
What month is gender equality month?
What is the slogan of women's day 2022?
What is gender equality today?
What is the theme of women's Month 2022?
What day is National women's equality Day?
Is March a woman's month?
What national month is March?
What awareness is the month of March?