“Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, she doesn’t have what it takes. They will say, Women don’t have what it takes.”
Clare Boothe Luce
I have always wanted to be the woman who doesn’t feel the need to talk about her gender issues, but not all our wishes come true.
Do I have any obstacles participating in the community due to my gender?
The first word that pops up in my mind is Equality, which means that I think about gender as equal rights between men and women. Gender is also Norms, social norms. What is expected from me as a woman?
Being a girl, I’m confronted with lots of stereotypes and behavior that pushed me to challenge, to grab my pen and express the things I wish to do, to speak my mind.
As a female, limits were made by my family regarding my dreams and passion.
I still remember when I was a little girl; when young boys swear and use tough language, their behavior is often tolerated as normal for their age. Families assumed that they are trying to act big. Grown men spice up their vocabulary with occasional profanity and it is mostly acceptable. On the other hand, female actions are expected to be more restrained than their male counterparts.
All of that affected my choices in my life like what to study, what to wear and who will I choose as a life mate (husband).
It also had a big impact on my personality, independence and on the type of my daily activities and hobbies.
These issues related to my gender as a girl affected me in achieving my goals.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking of how my life would have been like if I was born a boy instead of a girl. I tell myself that being a man might be easier than being a woman – at least here in the Middle East.
Many times I have experienced that people looked at my gender before they looked at my work.
As an Egyptian girl I have always been a little different from other girls of the same age. I have always thought of being independent from my family and to live on my own. I have always wanted to take responsibility of myself and to be free of the traditions and away from social dogmas that claim that a girls place is at home, but it is not really acceptable to see a girl living alone in general.
I like to talk about a challenge of inherited culture which includes several bad habits that portray women as a human being with less rights than men (Double standards), and the wrong explanation of religion which puts women in a lower degree than men.
My dream is to see gender equality and freedom of speech implemented all over the world, in particular the Arab countries.
Nowadays Egypt is facing various challenges: namely the closed mentality that is brought about due to a huge deficit in democracy and human rights.
The progress for women is hindered by gaps in public knowledge about basic rights as well as by institutional weaknesses in Egypt’s government.
Egyptians stress basic needs when they talk about human rights, and this conception of human rights informs popular attitudes on women’s rights.
Most Egyptians interviewed by journalists, say men and women have equal rights in an ideal world, but in reality these rights are not ensured in today’s Egypt—for women as they are for men. The general sense that men and women should have equal rights does not translate into an attitude where they have the same roles and responsibilities in life. Both men and women see women as having the primary responsibility for taking care of the home and raising children, while men serve as the primary breadwinners.
In all Arab countries, males have traditionally been the providers, females the homemakers.
People argue that there aren’t enough jobs for everybody, so women need to sit at home, and let the men work, so every family will have at least one income!!
Even when we have the right to work and are educated, women’s job opportunities are not equal to those of men. In Egypt for example, women have limited opportunities to work in the private sector because women are still expected to put their role in the family first, which causes men to be seen as more reliable in the long term
Women don’t get jobs to work or become productive. They have jobs so that society can indulge in the lie that both genders are enjoying their full rights. The majority of women have jobs that are not mentally challenging. Their employers always keep in mind that they won’t stay long enough to hold any managerial position.
My dream is to see men and women working together, swapping ideas, sharing power, but in my country women are still struggling to minimize the gap between what their annual salary is compared to their male counterpart within the same profession.
The wage gap is determined upon a number of variables. These variables include the median wages of both gender that work full-time and throughout the entire year, their education and skill levels, the number of men and women entering the workforce, and the strength of the economy at that point in time. Women are continuously being hired less compared to men, being given fewer training opportunities compared to men, and are being given smaller pension and benefits packages relatively to men.
On the other side, sexual harassment in workplace is a problem being addressed in many forums and feminists have raised concern regarding this burning issue.
Due to economic pressures and increased educational opportunities many women are entering the work force. They have to work to supplement their family income and at times have to support the family as well. Single women have to earn their livelihood. Pressures are many and added to it sexual harassment is an additional problem they have to face.
The sexual harassment of women in the streets, schools and work places of the Arab World is driving them to cover up and confine themselves to their homes.
The harassment, including groping and verbal abuse, appears to be designed to drive women out of public spaces and seems to happen regardless of what they are wearing.
– A better tomorrow for women!!
Being Female – is it affecting my future? Should I copy male behavior to get a successful career? Or will female values begin to be embraced and appreciated with the increased number of highly educated women in society?
I have no doubts that women have a lot of obstacles in the Middle East, but it’s up to us how we choose to handle these obstacles. We can either see them as problems that are oppressing us or we can see them as challenges, this is a choice we have to make ourselves as women.
First of all I am a human being and if I have some goals I’ll work on achieving them. Life always comes with obstacles whether you are a man or a woman. I think that if we rise above the gender issue and become qualifies aware and educated we can reach much more than we are aware of. I realize that women in the Middle East are facing more obstacles in their way to their goal, but I believe that if you really want to achieve a goal and work hard for it, it can become a reality. Obstacles are there to be overcome. The knowledge we get from this will make us stronger as human beings.
So I see many strong women, which makes me confident that women are made of certain strength. So obstacles or no obstacles women can do a lot of great things. The key word is to believe in your self. Because if you don’t believe in your self who should?
So to all women – keep fighting for your dreams- not because you are woman but because you are human beings that have a lot to give to the world.
By: Jasmine Elnadeem
17 thoughts on “Do you believe in gender equality??”
I love it, thank you. You expressed most of my feelings.
you underscored many important points. Both sexes should have equal rights.
Keep up the good work you contantly post on your thought provoking and informative blog.
Nice pictures too.
you underscored many important points. Both sexes should have equal rights.
Keep up the good work you constantly post on your thought provoking and informative blog.
Nice pictures too.
keep up being what you are,life is tough,and so are you,am glad to read all that you wrote.Is courage for a lot of other women,keep it up we need people like YOU………
Empowering women will empower the world.
A wonderful piece Jasmine. You are a Brave One, and your words and actions will change this planet.
i hve been asked by interviewer in un compound that what do you think about gender equality.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I couldn’t agree more. Gender equality is an issue very close to my heart. So much is hidden beneath the surface of equality given by law in most countries.
Absolutely wonderful. Very well written, both in an informative and in an emotional way. It is so sad when I think that it is only now that women are beginning to get some sort of equality or at least are more aware of their RIGHT to ask for it. It simply pains me to think of all the previous generations and all the amazing minds that were lost and forbidden from participating in the world in full, in science, literature, arts, business and more, because they were women. Worst of all, I am sad by the women who GIVE UP this right willingly nowadays, and accept the view that they are secondary creatures. Like Simone De Beauvior said: The Second Sex. Men and women are different, but neither one is better than the other. That is the fact that took us about 4.5 billion years, the Age of Earth, to finally begin to digest!
Thanks for all your encouragement by reblogging or commenting on my post.
Well done!! Seriously..I’m Maltese but I can tell you that there is no real Middle East and West when it comes down to certain issues..and the difference that characterize men and women still exist in all parts of the world. Maybe in some parts, it’s still more evident than others. Keep it up!
I read what you have written and am glad that there is a great amount of conviction in what you exp[ress, which is in itself a proof that genders are equal in that they both have the intelligence and ability to contribte to the society in general. Once this point will be accepted as is the case in many countries and societies, other countries will give womn they due not out of necessity and convenience, but as a given and almost divine right and acceptance. Roman was not made in one day, and in certain scenarios it takes and has taken more than hundreds of years – the vote of women, equal pay and so many other issues have taken so long to ripen. Having said that I believe that the nest ambassadors for women are women themselves. Societies remain conservative BUt in varying degrees, so what may seem to be an utopia in one country is not necessarily the case in comparison, nevertheless the basic elements have to be very equal in essence, form and application. Many women are revered in this side of the world and many are maybe the role models of many a woman. To them my respect and to all who have the ability and are brave enough to stnad up and be counted.
Jasmine, this paragraph really got my attention:
“Women don’t get jobs to work or become productive. They have jobs so that society can indulge in the lie that both genders are enjoying their full rights. The majority of women have jobs that are not mentally challenging. Their employers always keep in mind that they won’t stay long enough to hold any managerial position.”
I think you could write a series just on this subject… keep talking, continuing our conversations in Turin.
that is true it happen in the Caribbean. but it seem like it is changing
mielno Wspaniałe nadbałtyckie miasteczka możemy spotkać nawet w naszym państwie. Zaliczają się do nich między innymi Mielno, Międzyzdroje oraz Władysławowo. Mielno to popularny nadbałtycki kurort leżący na pięknym Wybrzeżu Słowińskim. Niezwykle dużo osób podczas wakacji wyrusza właśnie w te okolice z powodu ślicznych widoków. Mielno zachwyca swoim urokiem każdego człowiek jaki do niego przyjeżdża zarówno z Polski jak z zagranicy np. Włoch. Niezależnie na to jaki typ urlopu planujesz, to Mielno będzie dla niego najlepszym celem. Noclegi Mielno powinno się zamówić parę miesięcy przed wymarzonym urlopem nad morzem. Wczasy dla milionów osób są najcudowniejszym okresem w przeciągu całego roku. Wybierając się na wczasy mamy nade wszystko nadzieję na to, że będziemy się kapitalnie bawić, a także wypoczniemy w przyjemny sposób. Mielno gwarantuje nam znakomitą zabawę. Działa tutaj dużo ciekawych klubów, do których mamy możliwość udać się ze znajomymi i pobawić. Stosowne oraz także niedrogie noclegi Mielno możemy odszukać na setkach campingów, jakie znajdują się prawie że przy samej plaży. Pola namiotowe poświęcone są w głównej mierze dla studentów, jakich nie stać na opłacenie pobytu w pensjonacie albo apartamencie. Można zauważyć taką tendencję, jaka wywołuje, iż Polskie wybrzeże jest co raz bardziej popularne na Zachodzie.
this was nice…coming from a guy i hope gender equality can be more appreciated. i hope my final essay will come out as good as ours. it’s is also on gender equality
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