The word Opportunity literally means “time or a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” So if we want to scrutinize the idea as to whether the women of today are getting equal opportunities, we need to look at whether the time or set of circumstances are favorable for them in comparison to men.
The time is definitely right to be a female. Historically female gender has always stood marginalized from society, but things are changing. More women empowerment groups and opinions now thrive within the community in most developed countries than ever. Firms are now formulating increasingly mature policies to address the issues of gender inequality, equal pay, and harassment. These policies would help more females to enter the workforce and perform on the same scale as the opposite gender.
If you look at the “Set of Circumstances,” i.e., whether or not women have equal opportunities, the scenario becomes complicated and this is where the problem lies.
Are Women Really Getting Equal Opportunities in Today’s World?
The Main Problem: Normalization
Inequality ends where Normalization begins. Women today are definitely starting to get equal opportunities thanks in part to change in mindsets and opinions, but we are certainly not considered equal to men.
Women might be more prominent in workplaces today as compared to previous times, and some might even be getting equal or even better pay than men, but we can’t conclude that every woman has equal opportunities in today’s world.
Equal opportunity for all women is something that would only happen the day we stop considering women “Something Else” as compared to men. Normalization of the scenario where males and females are treated on an equal basis is the only way all women can be guaranteed opportunities on equal footing.
But currently, the scenario is far from perfect.
Significant progress has been made, but discrimination remains as exposed in the recent high-profile cases related to Uber & Google.
People still believe that women are not equal to men in a variety of ways. When we are given a particular right like equal pay, it’s seen as a hassle people have to go out of their way for. Somehow…it’s not considered something that should have been there in the first place?
A scenario where a woman has equal opportunity in the workplace or society should be a mainstream concept and not a utopian aspiration we hope to meet someday.
Notable women like Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, Janet Yellen and other countless more, have risen to powerful and respectable positions within their lives and careers. This shows that not only should women get equal opportunities in our society because it’s just the right thing to do, but also because we can and do serve in equal pomp as men (obviously).
How to Get More Women on Board:
The history is now behind us, but the future is still ahead of us. We can’t change the past but we can still shape is how the lives of women pan out in the future.
For more women to join this cause, we need to instill in them the qualities and character traits to guarantee more success. These qualities and characteristics encompass a wide variety of behaviors but are not limited to making smart financial decisions, pursuing entrepreneurial actions, being able to manage personal and professional lives, being on top of your fashion game & having a more appealing, empowered halo around your personality.
While having said that:
Are We on The Right Track Right Now?
The United States, in particular, has slipped down in the gender equality rankings, from being ranked 23rd in 2006 to a disappointing 45th position in 2016, according to a report published by The World Economic Forum.
While we have made tremendous progress in the area of providing women with equal opportunity in education galloping from being 66th in that area in 2006 to the number one spot in 2016, we have plummeted from the 3rd spot to the 26th spot when it comes to equality in economic participation & opportunity. This is a trend which shows that while we have made our universities more welcoming, we are on the wrong side of the road when it comes down to considering women as equals in the workplace.
The time might probably be right, but circumstances certainly aren’t, and that’s where the answer to achieving gender equality will lie in the upcoming future.
We need to empower women and encourage them to dream big and have even greater aspirations because it’s only women themselves who can prove that they are worthy of equality. The time is perfect to achieve that and make the circumstances right for future generations to come and live in a world free of discrimination.
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