Do you think you get treated equally? If not, then do you think this happens because of your gender? First, I’m sorry if you are going through this attitude of people around you. Gender discrimination has been an issue in our society since a long time, and it continues to be one even in these modern times. I’m sure this inequality has bothered you a lot, and it’s also quite possible that you’ve faced issues in all areas of your life- relationships, work, and personal life. Through this article, let me help you understand what exactly gender discrimination is all about, how it can impact you, and what you can do to deal with this behavior.
“That’s what twenty-first-century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.” – Barack Obama 
What is Gender Discrimination?
I have grown up hearing that girls wear pink and boys wear blue, that girls take care of the home, and that boys earn money, so they are the heads of the family. In fact, all our children’s storybooks have been drilled into our heads. From Cinderella taking care of the house to The Little Mermaid needing permission from her father before loving someone. And then, when other genders were introduced, either I heard that I must stay away from them or that they are just crazy people who are just spoiling the society we live in.
Very soon, I understood that these thoughts are what “Gender Discrimination” is all about. It is the treatment we give to people based on their gender. You can see this behavior in all segments of the society – education, employment, healthcare, and even in general when we meet people .
Gender is a construct, and different people can identify as different genders. SO gender is not what you are given at birth. It is what you feel you are – male, feel, non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, etc. 
Malala Yousafsai, Emma Watson, and many others are fighting for the equal rights of all humans at a global level.
What are the Prevalence and Types of Gender Discrimination?
Did you know roughly about 32% of people globally report that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their gender? It’s a sad situation that we have at hand, given that we live in a so-called modern world. Here are a few types of gender discrimination :
- Income Inequality– where you don’t get income on the basis of your efforts.
- Glass Ceiling– where because of your gender, you don’t get the right educational opportunities and leadership roles.
- Occupational Inequality– where certain sectors get dominated by one gender. For example, there are lesser females/female-identified people in the science field, and there lesser males/male-identified people in the nursing field.
- Legal Discrimination– where one gender is favored legally over the other, specifically in certain countries. For example, in the Middle-Eastern countries, legally, women are not allowed to study or work, and the concept of any other genders does not exist.
- Violence and Harassment– where you might have to face unwelcomed and offensive behavior because of your gender. For example, you might get more sexualized than any other gender by cis males if you’re a cis female.
How to Identify Gender Discrimination?
Although if you are feeling that you are a victim of gender discrimination, then you’re probably right. But here are a few ways to identify inequality in terms of gender :
- Differential Treatment: You might feel that you are not getting better opportunities because of your gender. You might not get the same pay for the same work, you might not get chosen for leadership positions or promotions, etc. This is a classic example of gender discrimination.
- Stereotyping and Bias: Some people might make you feel that you are not capable of doing certain types of jobs or roles because of your gender. For example, it is a belief of a lot of people that women and those who identify as women are not good drivers or that they will not be able to handle factory labor. This type of inequality happens because of the stereotypes and biased thought processes of the society.
- Access to Resources and Opportunities: You might not get the right opportunities or resources for getting an education, healthcare, entry into politics, financial services, etc., because you identify as a particular gender.
- Harassment and Violence: You might get physically attacked or even face unwelcomed or offensive behavior toward yourself because of your gender. Sexual harassment, domestic violence, etc., are such examples.
- Legal and Policy Frameworks: As I mentioned above, certain countries have laws that favor one gender over others. Certain countries have laws that restrict women, some have unequal property and family laws, etc.
What is the Impact of Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination can impact you in a lot of ways   :
- Economic Disadvantage: Because of income inequality and lesser career opportunities, you might face financial issues in your life. There are some countries where a lot of people who have been discriminated against because of their gender face homelessness. Most are not able to ever overcome this barrier because of a lack of opportunities.
- Educational Barriers: Because of your gender, you might not get the right to get a proper education. For example, a lot of countries don’t allow women to get even a basic education. They are forced to just learn the housework and how to take care of the kids. Some countries don’t allow the transgender community to either get basic education or higher education.
- Health and Well-being: When you face gender discrimination, then you can notice its impact even on your health. You might get impacted emotionally, mentally, and physically. You might notice an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression, higher chances of getting an infection, more aches and pains in the body, lower confidence levels and sense of self-worth, etc. In fact, you might even end up facing PTSD because of how traumatic these events can be.
- Societal Inequality: You might see gender inequality in areas where you can speak, what decisions you can make, or how the society treats you. That way, not just you but even the society will not be able to grow beyond a certain level because people may not be able to come together as a society or country to show unity.
- Human Rights Violations: When the society discriminates against you, know that it’s going against the rules of the United Nations, which says that every human, irrespective of the gender, must get basic human rights. You might not get justice in such a case.
How to Combat Gender Discrimination?
If you are facing gender discrimination, then first of all, I’m really sorry. Just know you can fight it all. Here’s what you can do  :
- Policy and Legal Reforms: You can become an activist to make sure that the laws in your country are made for everyone and not just for one particular gender. These laws can help you and many others get equal pay for the same work, education for all, equal opportunities for everyone, etc. If you are able to do this, this can be life-changing work for you and for your country.
- Education and Awareness: You can run education and awareness campaigns. The more people are aware about the injustice happening to a particular segment of the society, the more change all of you, together, can bring to the world. You can have sex education, training programs, etc., to bring in more equality, respect, and inclusivity.
- Empowerment and Leadership Programs: You can make sure that everyone at work gets the right skills. That way, just one gender may not hold all the positions of power. For example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made sure to have 50% women in his off so that they get the right skills and opportunities. You, too, can do something like that for not just women but other genders, also. This can help build confidence in everyone.
- Workplace Equality: At your workplace, you can encourage the HR to hire people of all genders, specifically if they have the right qualifications and skills. Plus, you can urge to keep equal pay for the same work at every level. For example, Charlize Theron fought for equal pay and got the same amount as her co-star, Chris Hemsworth.
- Engaging Men and Boys: In most countries, males are given more preference for education, opportunities, and higher pay. So, if you engage them and help them become allies, they can really influence the society to change. For example, Chadwick Boseman took a pay cut so that his other lead could get the same pay as him. This can really make the world very wholesome and welcoming.
The world needs more inclusivity, and I cannot emphasize this enough. There is already too much suffering happening globally. Gender discrimination should not be the one adding to the troubles. You might come from that section of the society that gets discriminated against on the basis of your gender, and I’m truly sorry for that. Needless to say, if I say that in most countries, males are favored more that I mean that they, too, don’t get discriminated against. But, I think the kind of modern world we are living in, let’s spread love and not violence or hatred. If you’re a victim of gender discrimination, then you need to be strong and fight for your rights. Just don’t give up!
If you or someone you know is facing gender discrimination, don’t hesitate to contact United We Care. Our team of expert counselors and wellness professionals is here to provide guidance and support. We will assist you with practical methods and strategies to ensure your well-being and empowerment.
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