TRAILS OF WOMAN ATTEMPTING TO GAIN POWER IN A MAN’S WORLD By Ghea Sandrine Mawen, Open Dreams
Most men view themselves as being the superior life-form in society. They justify this belief by saying they are stronger and more capable and likely to play dominant roles in the society. They place themselves on pedestals and make women to feel inferior about themselves. But I believe that women can advance and excel educationally, politically, economically and domestically.
In a population where the majority is girls but yet only few of them become graduates, men leave the village for the city in search of better opportunities while women stay back and remain glued to their holes in the farm. Rich men return to the villages and young innocent girls fall into the trap of messing around with them, leading to unwanted pregnancies, abortions, transmission of diseases etc all because they can’t find (well-paid) jobs due to the lack of quality education. Gender equality implies a society where men and women enjoy the same opportunities and rights. Women are victims of crimes especially rape, kidnappings and abduction, dowry-related crimes, sexual harassment and so on. Around 51 percent of married women in Cameroon are victims of domestics violence; the unsafe place for them is their own personal homes. Girls’ average educational attainment remains lower than boys and adult women are less literate than men. Apart from these gender gaps in educational attainment, discrimination and social norms shape the terms of female labour force participation. Women are less likely than men to join the labour force and to work for pay. When they do, they are more likely to work part-time, in the informal sector, or in occupations that have lower pay. These disadvantages translate into substantial gender gaps in earnings, which in turn decrease women’s bargaining power and voice. In addition, many girls are married or have children before the age of 18, before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. Women and girls also face higher risks of gender-based violence in their homes, at work, and in public spaces. Their voice and agency is often lower than that of males, whether this is within the household, at work, or in national institutions. This also affects their children. For example, children of young and poorly educated mothers often face higher risks of dying by age five, being malnourished, and doing poorly in school. Fundamentally, gender inequality disempowers women and girls in ways that deprive them of their basic human rights.
The lack of opportunities for girls and women entails large economic costs not only for them, but also for their households and countries. Proofs have shown that Africa losses about 95 billion each year due gender inequality, women earn less money than men. Achieving gender equality would have dramatic benefits for women and girls’ welfare and agency. This, in turn, would greatly benefit their households and communities, and help countries reach their full development potential. It would reduce fertility in countries with high population growth, as well as reduce under-five mortality and stunting, thereby contributing to ushering the demographic transition and the associated benefits from the demographic dividend.
Some key findings:
· Globally, women account for only 38 percent of human capital wealth versus 62 percent for men. In low- and lower-middle income countries, women account for a third or less of human capital wealth.
· On a per capita basis, gender inequality in earnings could lead to losses in wealth of $23,620 per person globally. These losses differ between regions and countries because levels of human capital wealth, and thereby losses in wealth due to gender inequality, tend to increase in absolute values with economic development. For these reasons, in absolute terms the losses are largest in OECD countries.
· Globally, for the 141 countries included in the analysis, the loss in human capital wealth due to gender inequality is estimated at $160.2 trillion if we simply assume that women would earn as much as men. This is about twice the value of GDP globally. Said differently, human capital wealth could increase by 21.7 percent globally, and total wealth by 14.0 percent with gender equality in earnings largest in OECD countries.
One of the fundamental rights everyone should have is access to education, Schooling is supposed to be for everyone yet not everyone has it, ‘Education is not simply a private resource, however; it is also a public good’, This highlights that education is entitled to everyone as it is free with no costs so that every child wealthy or not has an opportunity to basic education, I believe education will dynamically motivated women to aspire for freedom, social freedom, educational freedom, political freedom and freedom for career and earning. Education is a major instrument to direct the process of change and development towards desired goals. This empowerment will develop self-esteem, confidence, ability to make decision, participation in social change and encouraging. Women empowerment the world Empowerment. Empowerment is not something we can force someone into believing, or teach in schools. It is a decision you make every single day once your feet hit the floor in the morning. You decide whether you will empower someone else when they are down, or just walk away and think “why should I care, what does it have to do with me and foremost necessity is to introduce gender neutral education system in our society. It is required to contest the long-time embedded social stigmas, prejudices and discriminatory social norms and customs that divides men and women in two bipolar categories and always puts men at the centre and women at the periphery. Higher education should be designed in such a way that it inculcates self-confidence, self-reliance and mobility and access to information, resources and power to women.
Women must be given equal opportunities in every field, irrespective of gender. Moreover, they must also be given equal pay. We can empower women by abolishing child marriage. Various programs must be held where they can be taught skills to fend for themselves in case they face. Most importantly, the shame of divorce and abuse must be thrown out of the window. Many women stay in abusive relationships because of the fear of society. Parents must teach their daughters it is okay to come home divorced rather than in a coffin.
Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home.
In my opinion, I think we can do the following to solve this problem of gender discrimination.
EMPOWER WOMEN POLITICALLY: As from December 2018, the rate of women in parliament globally stands at a rate of 24.1%. I believe if women are empowered to take up political roles they will in turn look for solution improve on women well-being.
Justice delayed is justice denied: efforts should be made to restructure the legal process to deliver fair and in time justice to victims of heinous crimes like rapes, acid attacks, sexual harassment. The idea of fast-track courts, devised to impact speedy justice to victims of rape and other related crimes against women should be implemented.
Bridging implementation gaps: government should come out with programs and comparatives that will help follow up the program discrimination and favouring the boy child over the girl child. Young girls can be empowered at very young age by allowing them to have say in decision making especially in decisions that concerns them. To be given a chance to say what they think is right or wrong by this way as the grow up the will learn on how to take up space in society.
In conclusion, Empowerment is not something we can force someone into believing, or teach in schools. It is a decision you make every single day once your feet hit the floor in the morning. You decide whether you will empower someone else when they are down, or just walk away and think “why should I care, what does it have to do with me. Empowering women politically economically and socially it’s going to be a difficult task but it’s necessary for growth.