Studying nursing made me think of people around me, their pains, and their lives much more than I did before. A part of these thoughts always twirls around gender inequality solutions.
I can’t say that I was harassed or severely discriminated against based on my gender in the workplace. However, I now know some women who were. As a mother of an amazing, lovely son, I believe in education as a helpful way to beat all types of violence. This post must be mentally stimulating (I did a lot of research!), so here is my opinion on key problems and solutions to gender discrimination.
Educational and Social Gender Inequality Examples. Human Rights Expand to Both Genders
Do you know that any racism or other human rights violation affects the entire population? If you don’t, let me present you with some examples of gender discrimination harming both men and women:
- Problem #1. Women were underrepresented in higher education until the start of the 20th century.
- Problem #2. Women can get higher education now, but its accessibility for both genders heavily depends on racial differences. For instance, The Public Policy Institute of California reports that 56% of undergraduates at public universities are women. However, the same institute also reports that women of color are twice as likely to get an education as Latina and Black men.
- Problem #3. Education does not ensure wage equality. For instance, in 2022, Native American women were paid 55 cents for every dollar paid to white men (fact sheet by National Partnership for Women & Families).
- Problem #4. Women being underpaid affects much larger population groups. According to a Statista report, in 2022, there were around 15.04 million families with single mothers as the main and only breadwinners, with no present spouse. Underpayment for these mothers means increased risks for whole families:
- Higher need for unregulated underage employment
- Lower education quality
- Much higher juvenile delinquency risks
- Women’s burnout, mental disorder risks, and lower life quality
I know that the data I presented is a tough nut to crack, but I wanted to explain how gender gaps and gender equality are not solely women’s concerns. Examples of gender inequality harm many people around the targeted victim. We may need many more years to reach gender equality and resolve these problems.
Solutions to Gender Inequality. Do They Exist?
I think part of the problem is that society usually focuses on one example of gender discrimination without seeing the larger picture. But let’s take some practical examples of international gender discrimination.
Solutions to gender discrimination. STEM-field question
“The solution to gender inequality” sounds like some magical universal formula to cure all cancer types. But the problem is that there are many ways in which discrimination expands to political, social, health care, and educational spheres. Also, solutions to end gender inequality in society will vary in different countries, economies, and diverse educational opportunities.
For instance, the lists with gender discrimination solutions in education often propose to get a better representation of women in STEM sciences. But can a STEM course or two fix the general problem with access to education? Does the gender of student correlate with fewer people in a particular profession, or does it happen because of various social, cultural, and economic factors?
I think our society does a great job searching for ways to promote gender equality. However, the SOLUTIONS for gender inequality may require a more sustainable approach.
“Universities should accept equal number of male and female students in every subject.” A few more propositions on that matter
The idea that universities should accept equal numbers of boys and girls each year is both rational and controversial. On the one hand, it is a way to ensure that all human rights and diversity principles are followed.
On the other hand, what if most students of a particular enrollment group consider one profession as the most high-paying and rigorous? That means more competition for one vacancy. Should we place the effort to empower women higher than academic integrity?
Here are 5 ways to promote gender equality in that case without violating academic standards:
- Differential admission criteria
- Implementing targeted scholarships
- Blind application review
- Holistic admissions process
- Inclusive curriculum
If you don’t face verbal, physical, or monetary discrimination as a minority representative, it does not mean it has no effect on you.
Ways to Improve Gender Equality in Society and Education. My Suggestions for the Issue
When discussing such problems, we must clearly define the questions we want to ask. In that case, there are two major questions about gender inequality:
- HOW to stop gender inequality?
- WHO can take steps to bring gender equality?
Let’s briefly discuss both.
How to stop gender inequality ethically for all parties?
I think the best way to tackle gender inequality is to educate people about the interrelatedness of all social processes. For instance, sexual harassment is both a problem for women who are in danger and for men who engage in such destructive behavior. It’s a psychological problem for some societies that still use victim-blaming instead of bringing justice. It’s a problem of the juvenile system and health care system, which have limited resources and all these problems at hand.
Here are my 10 examples of gender equality that may help each person find their own ways of equality-based thinking about social problems:
|Women’s inequality problems||Men’s inequality problems|
|Women must not face discrimination for pursuing careers in STEM fields.||Men must not face disrespect for pursuing careers in female-dominated fields.|
|After graduation, women must be paid equally to men.||Men must not face the pressure of being the only breadwinner in the family by default.|
|Young girls must not be exposed to psychological bullying in schools and colleges.||Young boys must not be exposed to physical violence among peers in schools and colleges.|
|Women must be equally represented in academic leadership roles.||Men must not face pressure and biases for refusing or lacking the desire to take leadership roles.|
|Women must not suffer from body image pressure.||Men must not suffer from body image pressure either.|
|Women who study and have children must not take all of the caregiving responsibilities.||The male community must review the criteria of masculinity.|
|Women must not be victims of sexual harassment.||Men must not be judged for expressing emotions.|
|Women in colleges must not experience discrimination for pregnancy or maternity leave.||Men must not experience discrimination for seeking paternity academic leave.|
|Women must not be discriminated against based on their sexual activity.||Men must have more healthy ways of dealing with stress than engaging in addictive or excessive sexual activities.|
|Women must not comply with the social standards concerning their appearance and identity.||Men must not comply with the social standards concerning their appearance and identity either, trans genders included.|
Who can take steps to bring gender equality?
I think that anyone can engage in searching for gender equality solutions. It’s true that most crucial changes happen thanks to successful policies, community engagement, and a diversity approach. However, reducing gender-related pressure in society is a good start for everyone.
Gender Equality Problems and Solutions. Medical Student Perspective
The medical field as a whole is not associated with any gender: in 2022, women made up 53% of all medical students across the US. That is a fairly equal distribution. However, these changes only extend to traditionally male professions, such as surgery, anesthesiology, and radiology. Yet, in the last 10 years, the number of male nurses increased by only 3% (9.01% in 2011 to 11.91% in 2022).
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, women in medicine are more involved in family medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, and reproductive health.
I can say that the distribution in medicine is sometimes based on the “major treatment professions” and “secondary supportive professions.” For instance, nurses are supposed to help doctors rather than treat patients themselves. There is a part of subordination and “doctor role superiority,” so being a nurse is less prestigious. That’s why men usually do not want to stop after getting a nursing license and pursue further education.
The best solution here is promoting the examples of gender equality and their positive impact on the whole industry and the well-being of nurses.
10 Reasons Why Equality is Important. Grab Arguments to Stand Up for Your Beliefs
That’s it for the reflections and statistics that I’ve been collecting for a long time. However, I also have a bonus for those who stayed long enough to read it. If you always face people who do not understand the importance of equality, here is a list of arguments you can use:
- Gender equality will benefit economic growth, using the labor force more effectively.
- Diverse teams are more likely to produce more innovative products and solutions.
- Equal payment will benefit both family incomes and the consumer’s ability to buy products.
- Diverse, equal education means a more competitive nation on a global stage.
- Equality benefits women and everyone under their care (children, elderly people).
- Equality reduces toxic social expectations and unhealthy group behaviors.
- Gender equality and reduced social pressure will lower crime rates.
- People who do not face inequality will have more physical and psychological resources to deal with other problems.
- Equality boosts life expectancy, fulfillment, and psychological well-being.
- A society where any type of discrimination exists is not healthy.
Do we need a few more years to reach gender equality or a few more centuries? Nobody knows. But do we know how to reduce gender inequality in our closest environment? Yes, we actually do. We just need more resources and educational content on equality, health and human rights.
|More interesting reflections on the gender-related topic in the following articles:|