Gender Equality

Gender Roles Hurt Everyone and Help No One


By Insirah Mim

Edited by Labiba Raida and Adeeb Chowdhury

Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, but you know what else? Human rights are also mens’ rights and mens’ rights are human rights.

Throughout my life, I have experienced many different cultures and societies and it upsets me that the similarity between all of them is not how connected and positive they each are, but the fact that in every one, women and men are denied their basic human rights and there is so much inequality spread amongst different genders.

Right from the beginning of this journey called life, we are introduced to stereotypes and stigma. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the most basic gender roles and stereotypes that have been inscribed into our brains since childhood, “Girls like pink, boys like blue.” “Boys play with cars, girls play with dolls.” ” Boys like superheroes, girls like princesses.” Having been taught all this, how do you expect so much of us? How do you expect us to accept people of different religions, races, and cultures, when we can’t even accept the basic, our opposite gender.

In the life of a couple, there are two days in which they achieve the highest level of happiness. Their marriage and the day a child comes into their life. When a couple is expecting a child they may be asked, “Do you want a baby girl or baby boy?” and a high percentage will answer, ” I’m happy with either! No matter what gender, I will love them.” However, if that child grows up and decides that they want to dress or act like their opposite gender, their parents become ashamed or disown them. “If you want to be like that, you’re not my child!” If you were happy and content with having a boy or girl then, why is it that now you are not? The root problem of all this is that, society has created a definition of how certain genders should behave.

Even in many books of worship we can see that women are idolized and shown as very highly respected people. In many religions these idols are praised. For example, in Hinduism there is Durga and in Christianism, Mother Mary. Is it right that we are respectful to these women but then turn around and abuse the other females around us? Even in Islam, the Prophet Muhammad (PBOH) says, “Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother.” Every religion has portrayed women as very respectful and of great value in the society. Yet many humans fail to.

Recently, various cultures have been responsible for creating a definition of the roles of each gender. Rather than fighting against it, many of us have just accepted it as it is. We must find the courage deep within us to fight for what is right and what we believe in.

Considering all these situations, women and men face many types of discrimination just like the ones mentioned above. If the mentalities of people aren’t changed or don’t change, situations like these will be much more likely to happen even if there are millions of laws to protect the rights of the people. In order to provide a better future for the upcoming generations as well as present, we must work harder at becoming more accepting of differences and teaching others to as well. If we don’t stick up for ourselves, who will? After all, we are all human.

About the Author 

Insirah Mim
Journalist of the Gender Equality department
Insirah is currently an 11th grader at William Carey Academy. She takes great pleasure in writing poetry, dancing, singing, acting and playing basketball. She strongly believes in being kind and good to others. One day, Insirah hopes to help people all over the world.

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