DAA Daily

SDG 5 – Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls

Belize Engstrom Staff reporter, The Pawprint

Today women are still suppressed by the modern day society. Even though we have come a long way we have a long way to go. This is why this is such an important goal to acknowledge as many may think that this is not one of the urgent matters/goals to try to tackle.

“Globally, 750 million women and girls were married before the age of 18 and at least 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone FGM” (female genital mutilation). Some of these marriages are most likely forced marriages (arranged by families) and the fact that these are still children is even more shocking.

Another conclusion would be, since these women and girls get married before the age of 18 you can easily interpret that most of these females do not have the time to get a proper education.  When you get married it is obvious to almost all that you begin building a family after. If you then get married at such a young age it means that l it is likely that you will start building a family early. Which makes it even harder, particularly for women to finish their education and later on join the workforce, if they have to stay at home and take care of their children. 

There are even countries that do not give females the option to work and they are then bound to only play the motherly role, “In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.”                                                                                                 

While some may still have a different view on women get married at a young age and think that it is not that big of a problem, it is important to know that the majority of the marriages that they enter into as barely adults are not healthy ones.

“Only 52 per cent of women married or in a union freely make their own decisions about sexual relations, contraceptive use and health care and 49 countries lack laws protecting women from domestic violence.”        

These pieces of information emphasize my point that they are not healthy and equal marriages. Laws or/and religion entitles men to their power over women in general but particularly in relationships/marriages, this leaving females constantly feeling suppressed. 

By preventing women and girls from getting married young in the first place they can avoid the inequalities and perhaps also abuse that they face. We can do this by simply showing women that marriage is not there only choice even though societal norms can imply so in several countries.

Giving women an education can enlighten and encourage women into wanting to be more than just a wife and/or mother. Education can open up their possibilities, mainly to begin working. I think this is a solution that will lead one step closer to gender equality while empowering young girls and women globally. 

If women in lower economic countries do not rely on men providing for them, and instead have an education and be working independent women it is possible that they will not see the point in getting married simply for financial reasons.   

Not only will women be more independent and empowered but if they do not get married so young they have a greater chance to not be a victim of sexual assault. As stated before there are even countries where they do not have laws protecting girls and women from domestic violence and 52% of women married or in a relationship make their own decisions about sexual relations . 

Sexual assault and violence is very common in marriages, and even though it is an intimate partner assaulting you it is still sexual assualt. I think a way to solve this problem is by constituting stricter laws or in some cases just laws on both sexual assault and domestic violence. I believe this would show women that even though it is an intimate partner that is responsible for the cruel actions it is wrong. Stern laws on these issues will ensure women to feel more protected and most of all acknowledged.  

Although women joining the workforce can be a positive solution for women instead of entering into marriages, facts and statistics can suggest otherwise. The fact is that women also face inequalities in the workplace, for example there is the gender pay gap. “For female full-time wage and salary workers was 81% of men’s earnings”. The pay gap portrays the gender inequalities at the workplace. Women being discriminated and undermined simply because of their gender is reflected in the pay gap. A way to solve this problem is to enforce transparency in salary. 

All facts and information are from: un.org https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/ 

Image result for un goal 5

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