#Beijing25 || Viewpoint: George, Gender-based Violence and Social Inequality

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By Angelin Anna George

Earth contains millions of animal species and they are all present in two types, a male and a female. This distinction is based on the biological differences and the category of distinction is the sex of the animal. So what is gender then? Gender is a social construct which was created to define man and woman. Women all over the world have experienced oppression because according to this social construct women were supposed to be meek and submissive; thus making them easy targets for oppression.

The asymmetrical relation between the two genders has always been cited as a reason for the inequality experienced. According to this asymmetric relationship, women are considered as the secondary or other sex that is weak and incapable of being productive; while men are considered as the superior and productive sex. Years of suppression of the female sex has had drastic effects on the society as a whole. Sometimes, women limit themselves because of the ideals that have been driven into their minds over the years. In other cases, men limit women to a life inside the house because their faulty education taught them to blindly follow the patriarchal norms. Basically, the social construct of gender has embedded itself deep in the minds of most people. This leads to problems such as social inequality amongst men and women. Individuals who still view women as the weaker sex believe that they cannot handle professional jobs and discriminate against any female who is striving to make a different life for her.

People all around the world are always striving to matter and to assert their dominance at some point in life. Often, the safest place that men can assert their dominance without having their masculinity questioned with resistance is at home with their wife. This is the cause for most cases of gender based violence. Most women do not stand up for themselves because of the norms and values that they are taught as a child. The problem lies in the fact that these values and norms were taught by a patriarchal society that did not value women. Therefore, these women believe that they are only suited for such a life wherein they have to blindly serve their husband.  Domestic violence as a form of abuse can be physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious and sexual abuse. It ranges from subtly demeaning woman to brutal assaults such as marital rape. Gender based violence can also been seen in the way women are treated by unknown men in the society, for example, most women have experienced the gaze and lewd comments of strange men.  

In conclusion, the female sex has had to deal with years of oppression and in fact, they are still dealing with inequalities in all phases of their life. Yet, this oppression is currently not as bad as our ancestors have had to face. Since most women have gained resilience and strength from the hurdles they have had to overcome in life, they are able to slowly end change this misogynistic attitude of the society. Even though it is a very slow process, it has resulted in a lot of good. Most firms and government sectors have hard and fast rules about the minimum number of women employees, and violence against women have been deemed as a criminal offence. Therefore, women as a whole have started to fight against this oppression and stand up together for their right to live their life.

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