Gender equity serves as the strategic pathway towards the attainment of gender equality, an issue that stands out as one of the most prominent and pressing challenges of the 21st century. It's worth pondering why gender has become such a focal point in contemporary discourse and when this transformation began. Our current era is marked by a societal shift, transitioning away from the patriarchal foundations that once dominated to an emerging egalitarian society where every individual plays a vital role. This shift is inherent to the broader transformation from an agrarian society to a technologically advanced one, a process that unfolds gradually over time.
The evolution of this gender-related issue parallels the broader societal transformation. It reflects the understanding that a society where half of its population is denied opportunities cannot truly thrive. As education becomes more widespread, people come to recognise the paramount importance of gender equality.
However, the pursuit of gender equality is an extensive and intricate endeavour. It necessitates the implementation of a strategy known as gender equity. This approach acknowledges and confronts existing disparities, biases, and disadvantages faced by individuals of different genders, all with the ultimate objective of leveling the playing field and ensuring equal rights and opportunities for everyone, regardless of their gender.
Gender equity tackles flaws in our societal framework by recognising existing inequalities and providing tailored support to facilitate the necessary changes. It champions fairness in the treatment of individuals, irrespective of their gender, and actively dismantles barriers that hinder individuals from realising their full potential due to gender-based discrimination. This often involves revising policies, altering practices, and challenging attitudes that perpetuate gender disparities.
Moreover, gender equity strives to create an inclusive environment where every individual feels valued and empowered. It takes into account the concept of intersectionality, recognising that individuals may experience various forms of discrimination or privilege based on factors such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status. This approach ensures that equity efforts are comprehensive and inclusive, addressing multiple layers of societal bias.
In conclusion, gender equity operates as a strategic component within the broader framework of gender equality. By implementing gender equity measures, societies make significant strides towards achieving gender equality, thereby ensuring that everyone enjoys equal opportunities and rights, irrespective of their gender.
Dr. Sumitra Mohanty,
Coordinator, Research, Documentation & Communication Dept., PECUC