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“We must promote gender equality”
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“We must promote gender equality”

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abhay-shahAbhay Shah, 17, a Correspondent from Siliguri in India, writes that civilization teaches us to improve, but many countries in the world are partial regarding ‘gender’. Here, he looks at the issue in words and images.

Will the last generation of the 21st century differ very much from the first? Will it be healthier and longer lived? Wiser, better and more intelligent? Or will it be substantially the same as the people we have known through the history shown it to us?

Civilization taught us to be better than what we were before, but to date many countries in the world are partial regarding ‘gender’. Male dominated society has made the cart – where men’s and women’s collaboration is required in order to run smoothly – wobble. Do we really want to be labeled as ‘unjust, judgmental’ people who take decisions on the basis of gender? Or do we want to make the only life-sustaining planet to be more beautiful?

Countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and many others ill-treat women. Women are asked to be enclosed within the boundaries of the ‘four walls’. While women are now getting various opportunities to exercise equal rights, still they are the victims of rape, molestation, and traditional hindrances. They are considered to be physically weak. Treating people on the basis of gender is like judging the qualities of clothes by looking only at the labels. It is so illogical. My purpose is not to create people in my own image, but to develop people who can create their own image and move on.

Let us focus on the Indian Subcontinent, where people believe in “Unity in Diversity”. However, in a fifty mile radius anywhere in India, close to five lakh girls are married before the age of 18, about six lakh women cannot read and write, over 11 lakh women have been sexually harassed at some point in life. This act has forced Indian women to carry pepper spray, and live a life of fear and suppression. Not only in underdeveloped countries, but also in developed countries like U.S.A., the female nominee for the presidential election, Hillary Clinton could not break the glass ceiling and be the first woman president of America. This is because of people who failed to entrust responsibilities to a ‘woman’.

Many leaders have tried to bring about a change in the nation. However, the changes are cosmetic. What the situation demands is a permanent solution. We need to follow and accept the terms coined by Russia – ‘Glasnost’ (openness) and ‘Perestroika’ (re-structuring). The change must come from within; only then we will be able to run our ‘cart’ smoothly.

See my video on Gender Inequality at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0CFWU8vGRI&t=4s

Reach me on Twitter  https://twitter.com/Abhay_Shah03

Photo credit: mharrsch Detail of the west wall of a funerary shrine Shandong Province China Eastern Han Dynasty Late 1st to mid-2nd century CE Limestone (5) via photopin (license)

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About me: I am studying at Sacred Heart School, where I have been prefect for two years and am pursuing Human Resource and Management. I enjoy public speaking, and in collaboration with the Rotary Club have formed Interact Club, which sponsors projects health and education projects for underprivileged children. My purpose is not to create people in my own image, but to develop people who can create their own image and move on. I believe in “collaboration and not competition”.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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