Eight practices to combat gender inequality

By Daniil Filipenco

Eight practices to combat gender inequality

Women and girls across the planet have a difficult time facing disproportionate employment and much worse livelihood problems than men. These problems have been on the agenda of nearly every country for many years now, but improvements appear to be moving as slowly as molasses with at least 132 years still needed to close the current worldwide gender gap.

But is gender inequality a phenomenon of such a high complexity, that it can only be tackled by governments and high international bodies? According to researchers from a number of internationally recognized universities and institutions such as the World Bank, combating inequality is a much more day-to-day and routine process.

In this article, we describe eight practices to combat gender inequality that anyone can do in their daily lives.

Why is gender inequality a problem?

According to the global research carried out by the United Nations regarding gender equality and women’s rights the female population has been disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic both socially and economically. The 2021 report showed that women and girls had tough times with highly disproportionate rates of employment and livelihood loss and an increase in the demands of unpaid caregiving.

See also: Global income and gender inequality: facts and statistics

According to a 2022 World Economic Forum (WEF) research, gender balance is not improving. The worldwide gender gap won’t be closed for another 132 years. Women’s workplace outcomes are worsening as crises deepen, and the possibility of a global gender parity backslide is growing. These discrepancies, as well as the rate at which they are being reduced, vary from nation to nation.

Although this sounds intimidating, there is good news as well – there is a growing global awareness of the need to combat gender inequality, which is frequently linked to other forms of discrimination including racism and xenophobia.

How to promote gender equality in the society

🔹 Sharing responsibility in terms of household chores and childcare

In a household, each adult has to take care of both – the home and the kids. Consider whether the division of labor in your household is equitable. In many parts of the world, women’s primary responsibility is child care. According to UN research published in 2015, women in impoverished nations perform nearly 3 hours more daily unpaid work than males, while this figure is two hours in wealthy nations.

Studies show that having too many domestic responsibilities might increase women’s risk for mental diseases in addition to decreasing their productivity at work, which has an impact on their income.

🔹 Keep an eye out for domestic violence

If you are aware that a friend or acquaintance is a victim of domestic abuse, seek assistance and support. It’s worth noting that besides physical hostility some women also face psychological and verbal abuse. Whenever you or someone you know experiences domestic abuse, it’s important to report it.

Unfortunately, the UN data shows that only 40% of all women in the world attempt to find some help, mostly from friends and family. Very few women (around 10%) seek help from the police and/or other institutions.

🔹 Assist pregnant women and parents

Pregnant women must be offered seats in public transport, retailers put children’s changing rooms in all restrooms ( not just the ones for women), and employers provide family leave to any of the parents upon request.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported in 2021 that the average length of maternity leave less than 14 weeks is witnessed in 64 nations. As a result, 3 out of 10 moms worldwide do not have the legal right to take time off work to relax, recover after childbirth, and care for their newborn.

On a global scale, there is a vast “gender leave gap” totaling 16.7 weeks, with the average maternity leave being 18 weeks and the average paternity leaves being 1.3 weeks. Additionally, just one in ten young fathers worldwide reside in nations that offer at least 10 days of paternity leave.

🔹 Ensure a proper education for girls

Around 129 million girls today do not have access to education. Even though the number of girls enrolling in school has increased significantly, there is still considerable improvement to be achieved.

Better-educated women typically have healthier lifestyles, engage in formal job markets, and avoid forced marriages, and gender-based discrimination, according to the World Bank.

The main barrier in girls attending schools, besides poor infrastructure and underdeveloped educational systems, are specific traditions that either ban or limit equality.

Fighting gender inequality in the workplace

🔹 Encourage diverse teams

According to research by the Boston Consulting Group, a global consulting company, an organization performs better with diverse staff on board. According to one of their surveys, adding just 2.5% more women to a team of managers can boost innovation revenues by 1%.

April Reign, the diversity consultant, stated that removing names, photographs, and addresses from CVs early in the application process is one strategy to enhance the hiring of women and other underrepresented groups since, according to studies, biases based on race and gender can influence what happens even before the interview.

It’s worth mentioning that there are CV tailoring services that can help create a professional CV based exclusively on your expertise, such as DevelopmentAid Recruitment Solutions CV Tailoring.

🔹 Employ gender-neutral hiring procedures and flexible work arrangements

Be careful how you word your job postings. According to studies, women are turned off by words like “competition” and “driven.” However, adjectives like “collaborative” and “cooperative” typically draw more women than men in some countries.

Use blind review procedures (like work sample tests), anonymize resumes, and standardize interviews. These will allow hiring people with various backgrounds.

It is also important to change the way a company evaluates its employee performance so that the focus would be more on output and accomplishments rather than time spent at the office.

This helps everyone, including people who are caring for aging parents.

🔹 Pay or ask for equal pay for the same work

Businesses that pay attention to their employees and provide the same compensation and bonuses (in comparable positions) contribute to an important step toward gender equality.

In addition, staff can make use of their contacts and resources to demand that the employee salaries are made public or that an equal pay audit is conducted, as has already been done in some organizations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European nations.

In addition, when hiring, the company must base the pay scale on years of experience with some room for exceptional accomplishments.

🔹 Do not tolerate sexual harassment

Sexual harassment can be spotted in an inappropriate sexual advance, asking for sexual favors or other inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, that is considered offensive, humiliating, or threatening.

Employees need a secure means to report harassment, including sexual harassment and discrimination, without fear of being disclosed or fired.

There are certain actions one can take:

  • Report to HR or your boss (better anonymously or in written form)
  • Save any emails, messages, or notes concerning the issue
  • Make and preserve copies of any submitted complaints, along with all the replies
  • Take action along with other workers, including filing a petition

Final word

In today’s modern world gender inequality remains a global issue even though many developed nations attempt to close the gender gap. The problem persists in poor and developing nations and the latter should take steps to solve it by tackling abuse at home and in the workplace, ensuring equal pay for equal jobs, and altering hiring procedures to ensure everyone, despite gender and religion, gets equal opportunities and sharing responsibilities.