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Written by Pavithra Santhosh, Grade 10 Student of Global Schools Advocate and Mentor in India, Ms. Gem Jos

It is said that gender is poetry that each of us has created from the language we have been taught. This single quote in itself tends to prove how all genders are equal by default and that it is the thoughts and ideas that have been circulated through the generations that create these cracks in the balance of equality. Around the world, there exists an automated sense of male dominance. And I consider it to be my most basic right to speak against this inequality.

You must always wonder how discrimination based on gender persists. A person who comes to this world as a newborn is unaware of the cruelties in the world. Yet somehow, this concept manages to circulate itself over the generations. Each time a mother asks her son to sit aside and asks her daughter to help her out in the kitchen, sexism yields. Each time a father talks about how his business will be carried on by his son and politely forgets to refer to his daughter, sexism yields. Each time that society holds women responsible for the inhumane cruelties done to them, sexism yields. And each time when mothers and grandmothers who are women themselves say that this is how it is and you and I can do nothing about it, sexism yields.

We cannot say that women are the only victims of this injustice. There are situations in which men too have to undergo this inequality. A sense of toxic masculinity is being cultivated in the minds of men. They are asked not to cry because boys never cry. The most common gesture of pain is asked to be not expressed! Men do not wear makeup. Men do not carry handbags. Men do not help in household works. All these "don'ts" are, in reality, the "can'ts." If a man does any of these, he is said to be "girlish." And all these stereotypes trigger an unwanted male ego which later on develops into dominance.

The major step that can be taken through Agenda 2030 is to raise awareness on gender equality. The government can organize meetings and discussions and can change the perspective of people toward different genders. Conducting rallies, incorporating gender equality as a topic in our syllabus, bringing up children properly from all genders as equals, etc., can also be helpful.

However, our world is one big patriarchal society. There is a so-called social balance that seems to exist only when men rule over women. But it's high time now that we break all these social barriers and move forward to show our actual potential. Because our silence has been taken for granted. Let us make sure that there are more Roosevelt's and more Bell Hooks in the generation to come. Let us make sure that women no longer remain silent about the injustice done to them, as it has been proven in the past that silence does no good to us. Let us make sure that there are as many queens as there are kings. Let us make sure that all the people who go through oppression and violence speak out and get justice for what they have been through. And let us also make it a point that no woman from now feels like a person without a cause. Let us make sure that there is no more splitting of pink and blue!

As Wadi Ben Hikari, a 17-year-old activist who works for the marginalized sections and humanitarian missions, quoted at the 2018 Y20 summit:

"Life doesn't always give us what we deserve, but rather, what we demand. And so you must continue to push harder than any other person in the room."

Written by Pavithra Santhosh, Grade 10 Student of Global Schools Advocate and Mentor in India, Ms. Gem Jos


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