By Kyenpya Katkuk Esq
Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, social rights and opportunities.
It may be broadly understood as fair and compassionate distribution of the fruits of economic growth.
Social justice refers to: 1. Equal rights 2. Equal opportunities 3. Equal treatment.
Bearing in mind the theme of this year’s Social Justice Day ” Closing the Inequalities Gap ” I would be sharing some interesting facts that would be gender specific to women and how to close the inequality gap.
Gender inequality in Nigeria is influenced by different cultures and beliefs. In some parts of Nigeria women are considered subordinate to their male counterparts. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not just a basic human right but it is crucial for a sustainable future.
Poor countries have a monopoly on gender inequality. There are significant disparities in health, education and bargaining powers within marriage in countries with low GDP per capita.
According to the World Economic Forum here are some interesting facts :
1. Women are 47% more likely to suffer car crashes in a car because car safety features are designed for men.
2. 33,000 girls become child brides everyday. This vary between communities because girls are not valued as highly as boys and marrying them at a young age transfers the economic burden to another family.
3. Women in rural parts of Africa spend more time collecting water to help their household. Due to the lack of infrastructure, combined with the expectations that women should meet up to their household duties and limited employment opportunities for women means that they shoulder unequal burden of gathering firewood and water for their families.
4. Only 6 countries give women equal legal working rights as men.
Belgium, Denmark, France,Luxembourg and Sweden. A typical economy gives women three quater of the rights of men in measured areas.
5. 22% of all Professionals are women compared with 78% who are male. This accounts for the gender gap that reflects in the STEM skills gap. Researchers say that “Women usually avoid scientific pursuits because of their self views”.
Inequality remains one of the biggest obstacles to shared prosperity. No country, no economy, no company, or community can meet today’s challenges or achieve its potential until it’s people can achieve theirs.
According to the World Economic Forum, it would take about 108 years to close the gender gap. The biggest gaps to close are in the economic and political empowerment dimensions which would take 202 and 107 years to close.
Conclusively, when women and girls are valued as much as boys and men, when countries invest in their health, education and skills training, when they give women greater opportunities to participate in the economy, manage incomes, own and run businesses, give access to land and loan facilities. The benefits would cause a ripple effect to their children, families, communities and to the economy and thus the, issues of social justice such as equal rights, equal opportunities and equal treatment would would aid in closing the gap.
1. More women should be empowered and have access to infrastructures like health and education. 2. More girls should be enrolled in schools to hinder child marriage.
3. More girls should be encouraged to take STEM related courses.
4. There should be an increase in women’s political participation.
5. Organizations and businesses should employ more women compared to men to close the gender gap.
6. Women should support other women.
7. Family friendly policies should be put in place in organizations and businesses to optimize women’s productivity in the workplace.
8. Challenge stereotypes and gender norms.
Kyenpya Katkuk is the Executive Director of Girl to Woman Development Initiative.
Lawyers Alert hereby puts our readers on notice that this article is based on the writers opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization except otherwise stated.