While it has been established that women are good at multi-tasking and can conveniently juggle many aspects of their lives effectively without allowing any part suffer, they are still viewed through the narrow minded lens of culture and religion that makes it a standard that they be treated less than their male counterparts in the workplace and in decision making.
It is a fact that many women make the world balanced by juggling life’s demands and challengers associated with the feminine gender while pulling their weight professionally; yet, they are still considered inferior and less than the men in the workforce.
Across the continent, various pointers reveal that despite advocacies, women still have a lot of challenges to surmount in the work place to achieve equality and parity. These challenges cut across various sectors and are proving difficult to crush in many organisations though, some women are lucky to find themselves in institutions where ability supersedes gender.
In some climes, the average woman is more educated than the men. For instance, in America, it has been established that the average woman is much more educated than the men as they have over the decades earned more bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees than men. Yet, many of them still earn less than their male counterparts. This disparity in pay check is a major pointer to the fact that in spite of civilisation, gender inequality is still the norm even in developed countries of the world.
In Africa, women are expected to naturally take low income jobs irrespective of their qualification and abilities because it is believed that they have no responsibility, cannot manage finances and are usually dependent on men.
This is why young men and even women quickly stigmatise a woman that seems not to live by this norm; they are labeled whores or play things to their bosses or other men because there is a cultural belief that women cannot achieve anything on their own.
A woman that drives a car is often assumed to have been given the car by her husband or a lover. A woman that looks good is seen as definitely having a man taking care of her. This myopic belief is a strong enabler of gender inequality. This also accounts for victimisation or bad treatment of women.
Subtle harassment that comes in form of a joke and sexual harassment is one of the challenges women face in the workplace and an indicator of gender inequality. While advocacy and different movements have helped to put this on the consciousness of people, many do not still believe that some acts are harassments and expect women to laugh.
A survey conducted by a nonprofit organisation, Stop Street Harassment, in January 2018 found that 38 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and 81 per cent reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, including verbal or physical assault.
Research has also established that women are promoted less often than their male counterparts across the board despite having required qualification. It is said that women aren’t moving into higher-up executive type roles because there is a dearth of female role models in the workplace. This makes it look like moving into a leadership role for women is unattainable.
Inequality is a complex problem which is enabled by various factors and continues to thrive because religion, culture and patriarchy have made it entrenched in all areas of life. People defend it pervasively and give excuses for why it thrives, including those who are at the receiving end of its damage. Inequality is a major roadblock in the journey towards social justice and real development which needs to be uprooted for the society to attain its potentials in development.
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