Samreen Ahsan: What Is Gender Equality?

Samreen Ahsan is an author. History, art, and literature are her relevant passions. She loves digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in to. A Prayer Series is my first story about paranormal events based on Islamic concepts. Her new book: Once Upon A [Stolen] Time is a romantic fantasy fairy-tale.


This year, MALA is spotlighting individual stories from men and women who take a stand to eliminate violence against women, both nationally and globally. Our community looks forward to supporting UN Women’s Orange the World Campaign to support efforts to end violence against women and girls worldwide. UN Women and partners around the world are marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, launching from International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th until UN’s International Human Rights Day on December 1oth.


What is gender equality? Does it even exist or is it just a topic of debate?

I’ve always wondered who could answer me correctly. Perhaps, there is no one. When two genders—male and female—are not born equal, why do we even talk about gender equality?

Lets just assume this term exists in our world then does it mean for a woman, she has to be equal to a man? How so? Isn’t the woman of today equal to a man already? In fact more than a man!

Take an example of a workingwoman—who is a mother, a wife, a homemaker and leading a professional career. She works from 9 to 5 fin her office and then her other job starts after reaching home—cook, clean, feed and put children to bed. Does that make her equal or better?

If a child falls sick, it’s the mother who has to wake up in the middle of the night regardless if she has to go to work in the morning. Does that make her equal or better?

When she comes home, she has the responsibility of looking after everything and not the man of the house. Does that make her equal or better?

But if that woman does not fulfill any need regarding her house, she is considered as an irresponsible woman. If her work demands travel, people start gossiping about her, complaining she is not a good mother. This rule is never applied to the men. So where is gender equality?

We talk about modern society, women competing in every field where hundred years ago, these careers were not even possible or considered for women. But what has really changed now?

In South Asian society, despite a girl being a doctor, she is expected to stay home, cook good food, look after the entire family of her husband, make sure no one ever receives a complain. Many educated families have doctorate degrees but their mindsets are still in Stone Age. I believe, still our world needs to progress. It’s not about gender equality. I don’t mean to prove here that one gender supersedes the other or is always superior to the other. I don’t think there is any competition. If God has not made them equal, how can a man and a woman be equal?

It just surprises me when I see female professional speakers, talking about women rights, discussing gender equality on a global platform. A woman, no matter how modern and professional she is—if she is a mother, her children are her responsibility. I don’t mean to say men are superior in this matter and only a woman is responsible for taking care of children, but if she cannot take the responsibility of her own children, no one can. I may sound old school to some readers but that’s how the nature works.
In my personal opinion, gender equality should be considered when you’re raising a child. A daughter should be raised and treated in a same manner as the son is. She should be given equal amount of love, care and attention from the parents as the son. She should be given as much education as the son would get.

Gender equality does not mean proving to be better than the other one but treating them equally during their childhood. For me, gender equality does not exist in ‘grown-up’ world. When a woman is carrying a child in her womb, she is the one putting her career aside, she is the only one bearing all pain, she is the one spending sleepless nights. For me, a man and a woman can never be equal but also none of them is better than the other. They are given different tasks by the nature, their anatomies are different, their way of thinking is different, and when we go against nature, catastrophes are inevitable.

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