How do we lose gender biases in reality?

In reality, many women sacrifice their ambitions knowingly and unknowingly from childhood e.g. when boys are given preference in the education system either due to societal discrimination or poverty. Before a woman knows it, she has fallen short of advancement in fields she would have otherwise thrived in with an equal start to her male counterparts leaving her eventually at the mercy of women empowerment campaigns.

 

Starting a family, which is the back bone of humanity, either as a single parent or married, also more often than not stagnates women’s progress compared to men bringing in the dilemma of either advancing in self vs. nurturing the family.

Women drop off from self advancement programmes e.g. university pregnancy drop outs, while men responsible for these tend to move on growing the education gap further.

 In marriage women tend to give up careers to nurture families while men grow them as society expects them to be bread winners.

 How do we get to building more cohesive families where males and female members pitch in everything e.g. cooking and babysitting to allow for bold capable women to step out in their light especially in STEM fields that need time out of the house setting to progress.

 

I think more men should raise their voices as those on EW forum do to begin this bias elimination so that we have more men really advocating for the girl child’s inclusion in STEM as well as cohesion in the home and community settings to help change society’s perspective.

 

How do we ensure women lose the fear of losing their womanhood while progressing in STEM?

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  • Ogbeyalu Okoye
    Individual and institutional education on gender equality is essential to close the gender biases faced in institutions. Engaging men also in gender equality education is also important to change their views and stop biases on gender. Cultures and traditions that depict women negatively and restrict them from becoming economically viable is also an issue to address. Thanks for this important discussion. 
    • caroline nyakeri
      True Ogbeyalu, Institutions, society, homes and men all are critical to ensuring an enabling environment for women to thrive in their careers right from early childhood stage.
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  • Rathi Rajasekaran
    Hi Caroline,

    Thank you for raising this discussion. Recently I have been thinking alot about this - biasness. There are varying kinds including race, religon, age and of course gender biasness, which I feel surpasses race, religon and age.

    And the manner they occur is varying as well, some are comments that can leave you speechless "What did I just hear?" to others that make you wonder "Am I being too sensitive?" . Then there are those subtle actions, which we become accustom to as part of our daily life. There are also those unspoken ones as you have mentioned women giving up their careers to nuture families, assertive women equates to arrogance, pregnancy equates to an end to their education or career.

    How do we overcome this? I am not sure but I do know that if we support each other, step up and speak out when biasness occur helps. Most women can relate or empathise with biasness, as we face it on a regular basis but most women don't speak about it. If we acknowledge it, speak up when it occurs and show our support to one another, the obstacle of gender bias becomes a smaller hurdle to cross. Because people will be more cautious or aware before they speak, act or assume.

    Rathi
    • caroline nyakeri
      For sure Rathi all these biases you have raised have unconsciously become a lifestyle yet they play on one's psyche affecting confidence and productivity. Women bold enough to stand up are definitely branded too harshly. Women supporting each other will go a long way through being a united voice as some women give up their dreams from battle fatigue.
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  • Robert Leggett
    It seems like in a perfect dream world, there would be some oneness....having children, work in science/technology, making the world a better place for future generations, saving the planet etc, would all be part of the lifecycle, provide purpose, be purpose, and be seen by employers as tenants of value of employees.
    • caroline nyakeri
      Indeed Robert it would be a perfect dream world. Such cohesion would speed development , have happier people each one enjoying our strengths rather than hyping on our differences.
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