By Prachya Chowdhury
Edited by Labiba Raida and Adeeb Chowdhury
One day, a woman got a job at a very famous law firm in the city of New York. She was to be the secretary of a lawyer. The lawyer made the secretary stay over for extra hours for “extra work.”
It is not difficult to imagine what such “extra work” entailed. Suffice to say, she found herself deceived and sexually abused during such periods.
The boss threatened her that if any potent authority came to know about this she would be fired. She had no choice but to be sexually abused by her boss, because that was her only source of income. If she lost the job, she would not be able to provide for her family.
This is a story that is stunningly common. Gender inequality has existed since the beginning of civilization. In many countries during the late 1700’s women didn’t have the right to vote or even voice their opinions. There were many reforms during that time but no one cared to enforce. There were even parties were each individual women shared each other’s opinions. As for voting, it was during the 1920’s that women finally got the right to vote. In Bangladesh for example, during the late 1800’s women weren’t allowed to get outside of their house and even if they did they had to cover every single part of their body well. They also could not acquire education.
Rokeya Begum, a famous writer and an advocate of women’s rights, raised her voice against this. She tried to educate girls but the father of the family wouldn’t allow it. Eventually she started a school only for girls and it only had five students to start with. As more people saw this, they gradually changed their minds and started to send their daughters to school. Those were the problems of the past.
Gender inequality still exists to this day. Women in some countries have to wear a Hijab, meaning they cannot show any of their body parts. They cannot even drive in Saudi Arabia, and recently famous companies like Twitter and Facebook were sued for gender discrimination. In famous cities all over the world, we can see living examples of this type of discrimination. Women are not paid as well as men, they do not get to hold high positions like men, and they cannot work at night for long hours (due to the possibility of being raped).
Considering all these problems there were many laws, acts and reforms to try to prevent these problems from ever happening again. For example, there is a law that states discrimination against women is wrong. A famous Polish scientist even claimed that shorter women could not succeed, according to his “experiments.” Personally, I think that laws cannot change the mentality that people have. It is totally up to the people. If people do not realize then there is no use of any laws, because people eventually use their “rights” and find ways to bypass the law. The only plausible solution for this is to make sure everyone gets educated the right way and are taught about how every human being regardless of their gender is equal.
About the Author
Journalist of Gender Equality department
Prachya is a student of William Carey Academy. His interests include photoshop, video editing, and soccer. He is also an award-winning MUNer.