Gender has an impact on all of us. Gender norms tell us what is acceptable in our society for girls and boys, women and men. Girls and women are frequently undervalued and have lower social status as a result of gender stereotypes and gender discrimination.
Girls and women bear the brunt of the negative consequences of strict gender norms and roles; they are more likely to be constrained in their freedom, they face extreme levels of violence and harassment around the world, and they have limited opportunities to choose how to live their lives. But that isn't to say boys and men don’t suffer as well. Concepts about what it signifies to be a man constrain boys and men's behaviour, which can be harmful. Encouraged negative masculinities in men end up serving to aid the cycle of discrimination and inequality.
People are prevented from reaching their full potential when they are denied the freedom to choose their path in life because of their gender. There is much we can do to contribute to a more gender-equal world. The first step is to understand the underlying causes of gender inequality and to challenge gender discrimination when we see it.
What is Gender Discrimination?
Gender discrimination refers to the practice of treating people differently simply because they are male or female, rather than based on their abilities and personalities. The following are examples of discriminatory acts that you may encounter or have already experienced:
- Objectification and inadequate representation: When a person is treated as a commodity or an object without regard for their personality or dignity, this is referred to as objectification.
- Stereotypes of gender: Stereotypes are how societies intend people to behave based on gender. Girls, for example, must stay home and assist with domestic chores, dress modestly, and refrain from going out late at night. People are frequently judged based on how well they conform to gender stereotypes.
- Sexual Harassment: Harassment such as catcalling on the street are prime examples as to how women's freedom to move about their surroundings is constrained. The normalisation of harassment, as well as the lack of action of observers and authorities, continues to perpetuate and limit women's freedom.
How to Call Out Gender Discrimination?
Calling out discrimination can be risky at times. It is not your responsibility to fix the world on your own. We are all involved in the same movement. Simply changing how we interact with others and expecting others to do the same will not stop gender discrimination. Lasting change will only occur if the organisations that affect our lives change as well. Don't be discouraged by these large obstacles; each small accomplishment is a step closer to our common goal. This being said here are some of the ways you can challenge gender discrimination if you feel it is safe enough to do so.
- Share Your Personal Experiences: If you are comfortable doing so, you should share your own experiences with discrimination. This could include bringing to light sexist remarks made by friends or peers, as well as reporting harassment on public transportation.
- Call Attention to Discrimination in the Media: Don't support entertainment that is derogatory to women and girls and fails to reflect their true power, potential, talent, and diversity.
- Support Campaigners: Joining forces with others is an excellent way to make a significant impact in the pursuit of gender equality. Look for local advocacy groups.
We can be the change we want to see in the world because fashion is such an important part of our daily lives. We can't change the system on our own, but we can educate ourselves and raise awareness about gender discrimination in the hopes of a better future. Choose brands that share your values to take control of your style and raise awareness in your daily life. For inspiration, F≠ck the rules and follow us on Instagram.