Society's Concept of Gender, Cold Reality of Rights Injustice

Dec 11 , 2020
By Eden Sahle

We live in a divided world, where groups have come to hate and resent one another. No matter the part of the world, there is a struggle for power and subjugation of some. This comes in the form of violations of human rights, along the lines of race, gender, social status, culture, religion or political ideology.

With this as an agenda, the annual international Human Rights Day will be celebrated on December 10th with the theme “Recover Better - Stand Up for Human Rights." The need for this call unites us all. We have not done “better” or stood up for the rights of our citizens.

Concerning in this regard, as has been the case for thousands of years, is the circumstances of girls and women in our society.

Many girls and women live in unsafe conditions, facing unthinkable abuse from those closest to them or from a partner. Globally, a staggering one-third of all women suffer physical or sexual violence by their partners. Hundreds of women and girls are killed every day by their loved ones, according to the United Nations. When they are not physically abused, many women are shaped by society to consider themselves inadequate.

This is devastating not only to all women but society. No less, it harms men. Men who disregard their rights and responsibilities deny their rationality. It makes them project their failures onto those they deem to be vulnerable, women. They become abusive, perpetuating an injustice that has been passed down to them from their parents.

Society helps, and in many ways prods, them to commit such injustices. Men are brought up in a structure that tells them that being masculine is to be aggressive and have a sense of superiority and entitlement. Women are brought up in a socio-cultural system that tells them that being feminine is to be dependent and loyal.

Such troubling societal and familial attitudes rob both men and women from enjoying their different but equal nature without harming each other. Preconceived societal male and female characterisations prevent individuals from discovering what they are capable of and what they want to become in life.

Men, regardless of their wish and opportunities, are pressured to find their masculinity and life satisfaction in their bank accounts and professions. Women, regardless of their wish and opportunity, are pressured to find their femininity and contentment in life in marriage and children. The consequence of this is men doubting their manhood when their career does not go as expected and women daunting their womanhood when they could not get married.

But the value of a human being does not revolve around money, work and marriage. Professional success is important, and relationships are helpful, but contentment comes from the inside, in finding satisfaction with whatever it is that we have put our mind to. Irrespective of our gender, we all possess talent, vulnerability, sensitivity, empathy, and many characteristics.

Helping people find a place in the world irrespective of their gender roles should be society's business. We should not put a burden on the sexes but give them the freedom to choose for themselves and teach them tolerance instead of hate and looking down on one another.

They should avoid the thinking that hails from a damaging culture. The awful conditioning must be undone on the sexes for society to thrive. Affection, consideration, collaboration and responsibility are traits that everyone should have. The promotion and support of their personal growth are, in many ways, a contributing factor for improving the circumstances of women.

All of us owe to ourselves to address societal ills and rebuild the concept of the self and contentment that compliments freedom and justice. It requires men and women to see themselves as dignified despite labelling that comes from others. When an outlook is based on who each person is, instead of which gender, the tendency to discriminate diminishes.

PUBLISHED ON Dec 11,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1076]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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