We hold half the sky.
Gender equality has quite remained an uneasy issue despite the age of globalization. To many, there is something about the term equal that doesn’t seem acceptable.
I do not blame people who remain skeptical about gender equality. Sometimes, the sources of information and women’s rights movements come in too loudly or at times, out of tune. There is no competition here between man and woman. It is not a winner-loser relationship of sorts, far from it.
Gender equality, in my own perception, actually means equality in opportunities, regardless of gender. That is all there is to it.
Women hold half the sky. Therefore, we have to be given all the opportunities to develop ourselves as full individuals, and not be limited to roles that have clipped our overall self development and our society.
In the most essential expression, equal opportunities include the right to education, religious practice, profession, political exercise, and social responsibilities. Bring these on, and we shall have drastically changed our manner of treating each other.
In my family, I saw how education empowered each generation. My beloved great grandmother was raised to become a docile, uneducated woman who kept house spanking clean, devotedly religious, and a full-time mother. She never spoke about her own dreams. Everything she did was for her children.
My late grandmother was educated by American soldiers who came to the Philippines after WWII. Oh my, she was feisty, sporty, fashionable, and could speak herself out unafraid, relentlessly. Thanks to her education.
And my mother, who has shown the ability to balance being a wife, mother, and professional, she is one remarkable woman too.
At the root of this equal opportunity situation is shared parenting. Child rearing should be shared, in order for women to be able to do work with economic and professional values, aside from mothering. We could learn from the penguins, for example.
Finally, we women owe it to ourselves. We must regard ourselves with dignity. Only then can we begin to see everyone else fairly.