Gender Inequality Around the World
In much of today’s way of life, we have subconsciously conformed to the standards that society has laid on us. They can come in forms of education paths and career choices. Stereotypes reflect society’s expectations based on gender, indicating that one ‘should’ abide by such ‘rules’. Over the years, this issue has amplified social issues such as gender inequality.
Even in the 21st century, according to the European Union, of 103 million children out of school worldwide, 57% are girls. However, the Australian Bureau Statistics established that women aged 25 – 29 are more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree or above as compared to their male counterparts with 40% of women to 31% of men of the same age range. Thus, gender inequality can vary from country to country depending on culture and wealth factors.
Despite, an increase in countries achieving parity of education among both genders, girls are still at a disadvantage in regards to access to education in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. According to UNICEF, ‘there are currently 5.5 million more out-of-school girls than boys, worldwide’. Factors deterring children from gaining education include poverty, geographic remoteness, armed conflict, lack of school infrastructure, and poor-quality education.
Gender and career choice is another area where we can experience gender inequality. This can be elaborated by my experience at university as a public relations graduate. I recall one day entering my friend’s engineering lecture only to be greeted by a pool of male students, very much so the opposite of my lectures when the majority of students were female, indicating the clear division between male and female dominating courses.
A survey conducted by the University of Melbourne in 2016 showed that the most popular undergraduate field among females is ‘society and culture (30.5%), health (25.5%), and management and commerce (14.9). Whereas for males, the courses they dominate include society and culture (22.6%), management and comer (22.4%) and engineering and related technologies (14.5%).
The tendency of leaning towards a gender-segregated daily activity has the potential to lead to gender gaps in career-related interest and choices and a lack of confidence for individuals who choose to flout such social stigma. To combat this issue, the World Literacy Foundation has established the ‘Ambassador Program’, whereby individuals are trained to advocate and fundraise for eradicating global inequality and illiteracy. Find out more here.