What Does Gender Equality Truly Mean?

Gender Equality in Europe

Gender inequality is present in every society in the World, and Gender-based Violence is one of the most widespread forms of human rights abuse and a violation of human dignity anywhere, including all the member states of Council of Europe. 

What does gender equality truly mean? 

Gender equality means that all genders are free to pursue whatever career, lifestyle choice, and abilities they want without discrimination. Their rights, opportunities, and access to society are not different based on their gender. Gender equality does not necessarily mean that everyone is treated exactly the same. Their different needs and dreams are valued equally. Since society has favored men for so long, men have many advantages. Equity fills in the gaps so everyone else can “catch up” to men. It addresses discrimination and imbalances in society so that equality can become a reality. Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favored. 

What are the Facts and figures: 

  • While women have made important inroads into political office across the world, their representation in national parliaments at 23.7 percent is still far from parity. 
  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 percent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber. 
  • More than 100 countries have taken action to track budget allocations for gender equality. 
  • Globally, working women still earn 24% less than men on average. 


Why it matters?

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large. Implementing new legal frameworks regarding female equality in the workplace and the eradication of harmful practices targeted at women is crucial to ending the gender-based discrimination prevalent in many countries around the world. 

Regardless of where we live, gender equality is a fundamental human right. Advancing gender equality is critical to all areas of a healthy society, from reducing poverty to promoting the health, education, protection and the well-being of girls and boys. In addition to these, educating women and girls literally saves lives. A quality education for girls will also improve child nutrition, reduce child marriages and teen pregnancies, and reduce the pay gap between men and women. Not to mention offering women a pathway to financial independence. When more women work, the economy grows. Ensuring that women not only earn the same salaries as their male counterparts but also get the same access to economic independence boosts the economy. It also means that other basic needs, like healthcare, education, and adequate food and water, are more likely to be available for the whole family. Gender equality in healthcare leads to better health for all. When women receive quality care, this not only impacts their health and that of their family’s, but also entire communities.

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