Equality Analysis

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Created by Lauren Johnson

Gender equality has been improving in recent years, as the Equal Rights Amendment is still waiting to be ratified.

Lauren Johnson, Photo Editor

Advocates of equality strive to assure that equality is shown worldwide, but there are challenges that still exist. There are limited responsibilities for women’s rights that still remain, but there are others who might argue that all genders are currently equal.

Sexism is a form of stereotyping or discrimination that is against a certain gender, typically against women. Although sexism was most prominent in past years, sexism can still be seen today.

Until the 19th Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920, women were not allowed to vote. The amendment already allowed millions of white women to vote, but millions more soon gained the right as well. Today’s society still includes gender roles, but not as harshly as seen in previous times.

At the workplace, women are assaulted and we are always asked what we are wearing and how we are ‘inviting’ it, ”

— Isabella Willyard (‘22) said.

During COVID-19, more challenges have been introduced, as 60 percent of women who are working in some informal economy work, can be at a higher risk to fall into poverty.

There has been progress toward gender equality significantly getting better with cases such as fewer females are getting forced into early marriage, more females are going to school, and more laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.

There have been debates on whether sexism still exists, based upon factual work and experiences.

“Just like racial inequality, I don’t see it ever ending,” Shannon Chenault (‘23) said. “It is
a sensitive topic and most people do not speak out on it. You cannot change everyone’s opinion, but you can start by making things equal.”

Sexism includes many forms that have the ability to be used against someone. The forms can range as problems women face to “jokes” made that can be upsetting toward some.  It is hard for women to confront sexist humor because of many people who do not see it as an issue.

“Unless it affects anyone personally, I don’t see it as a problem,” Chenault said. “There are some jokes that can be taken too far, but for the most part it’s harmless.”

When these jokes are taken in a humorous sense, different views can develop issues based on the jokes.

“It’s a shame that after 100 years of women demanding equality, we still face challenges that prevent women from having the same protection as men,” Chenault said.

Reports of physical and sexual violence experienced by an intimate partner with a 12-month period between ages of 15 and 49, in one in five women.  There have also been reports of 49 countries that are lacking laws that protect women from domestic violence.

Based on rights that have been passed, inequality has been shown that men are still in control even with the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972. Virginia had the ability to ratify the amendment in 2020 due to the minimum of 38 states finally agreeing, but due to the amendment originally to be ratified in 1979 it is not able to complete this process.

“I do not mean to disrespect the traditions and laws of another country, but that is completely unnecessary,”  Lillian Barley (‘23) said. “Both men and women are their own individual people that have the “Right To Work” and make their own income.”

There are 18 countries that allow husbands to have the power to legally prevent their wives from working.

The Equal Rights Amendment has not officially been ratified, as it would be too late to add due to it having been completed 40 years ago. The whole process would have to complete again with new Congress approval.

“This doesn’t feel fair,” Ian Nobel (‘22) said. “I think everyone, no matter what gender or race, should all have equal rights.”

Even though rights are important, there are still 39 countries where daughters and sons do not have equal inheritance rights.

Gender equality has sparked multiple views that are based around sexism and equality. Equality has been marked as a fundamental human right, which can bring us closer to displaying a peaceful, thriving, and lasting world.

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