How gender inequality affects men and women
Although gender equality is mostly aimed at empowering women in a world that overlooks and discriminates against them based on their gender, inequality also affects men. Here are a few ways that gender inequality affects both men and women:
Men tend to face a lot of disapproval and discrimination when it comes to their emotions because they’re expected to be strong and not show a vulnerable side. This often leads to men's mental health issues not being addressed because men don’t feel like they are able to talk about their emotional or mental struggles - fearing being labelled ‘soft’ or feminine.
Remember, mental health doesn’t choose a gender and being in touch with your emotions as a man doesn’t mean that you’re weak. Talking about your emotions is healthy and we should never discourage anyone from doing it based on their gender.
Targets people’s sexuality
The idea that men can’t be feminine and women can’t be masculine really causes unnecessary hurt in our society. Because men are expected to be ‘manly’ and behave in ways that show they are providers and only have certain types of relationship, gay men become an unfair target for discrimination. Same with women being expected to fulfil certain gender roles, be feminine and sleep only with men - women who don’t fit those roles are shamed and sometimes even physically hurt by people who choose to discriminate. As a result of this, people in the LGBTQIA community may still feel like they have to hide their identity so that they don’t experience homophobia, bulling or end up being excluded in social spaces.
Encourages unsafe sex
Women who carry condoms are harshly criticised because people believe that they sleep around or they’re always ready to have sex. But, if you and your partner don’t have a condom, chances of engaging in unprotected sex are high, which will also increase your risk of contracting an STI; including HIV. The truth is, carrying a condom is not only the guy’s responsibility; women should carry condoms too.
Gender inequality also affects the opportunities that are available for men and women. In most cases, women are not afforded the same opportunities as men. For example, women are not hired for jobs in male-dominated industries, and if they do get hired- they most likely get underpaid.
Living in a society that is not equal is unfair and nobody should experience that. In order for equality to be achieved, both men and women have to come together by speaking up and being #DoneWithSilence when it comes to discrimination because of gender or identity.
Remember, if you need advice or help, remember that you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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