Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – ​​Blueprint Newspapers Limited

“Gender equity is a situation where all human beings are free to develop their personal capacities and make choices without the limits set by strict gender roles” – Holzner (2010).

It is said that equity leads to equality. Equality between men and women exists when both sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence, enjoy equal access to education and opportunities to develop ambitions, personal interests and talents.

Gender equality requires that women and men equally enjoy socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. This does not mean that men and women are the same, but that women and men have equal power and equal opportunities for financial independence, education and personal development.

According to Peace Corps, globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks and also less political participation.

Securing women’s rights and giving them equal opportunities to realize their full potential is essential not only to achieve gender equity, but also to achieve the country’s sustainable development.

For example, women’s participation in politics helps to advance gender equality and also promotes the quality of good governance in terms of enhancing accountability and transparency and also reducing corruption.

Women’s political participation translates into tangible gains for democracy, including greater responsiveness to citizen needs, increased cooperation across parties and ethnicities, and a more sustainable future and peace.

The importance of gender equity cannot be overstated. Gender equality helps strengthen a country by reducing poverty and instability.
Research indicates that poverty rates are highest among young girls. As boys and girls age, the gender gap in poverty widens. This is probably due to the fact that girls do not receive the same education and job opportunities as boys and that when girls marry they often do not work. When women receive better education and job opportunities, they thrive.

Gender equality can lead to peace. Research shows that gender equality is linked to peace. When a country addresses key areas of gender inequality like education and employment, it promotes peace.

Achieving gender equality requires the empowerment of women to ensure that decision-making, both private and public, no longer tilts in favor of men. Empowering women increases a woman’s sense of self-worth, her access to opportunities and resources, and her decision-making power.

Also, it strengthens the status of women through literacy, education, training and awareness. Achieving gender equality and empowering women are essential to building just, prosperous and peaceful societies.

However, UN Women (2014) highlighted that creating a sustainable world and strengthening the role of women in supporting their families and communities is paramount to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Empowering women and promoting gender equality are key to accelerating sustainable development. Without women, achieving sustainable development is impossible. A woman is the backbone of a man. The government can contribute to the sustainable development of the country by empowering women and making full use of their labor force for economic growth. There should be no gender inequality.

Furthermore, empowering women and providing them with equitable representation in the making, enforcement and interpretation of laws plays a remarkable role in political development and will also help the country achieve sustainable development.

Also, educating women to improve social development and protect the environment to promote sustainable development. The environment is considered a key source of the country’s economy.

Mary Oluwatosin Afolabi,
University of Maiduguri,
Maiduguri, Borno State.

Mara R. Wilmoth