The Impact of Gender Bias, Stereotyping and Discrimination on Women and Girls
Women are physically and intellectually inferior to men; a belief that was commonplace only decades ago. Science has since sought to debunk these beliefs, however, much of the damage has already been done, to society and the brains of many. This is gender bias in its purest form. 184 out of 194 countries in the world have guaranteed equality between women and men in their constitutions as of 2016, however, discrimination of women still persists in ways through: laws and policies, social norms and practices, and gender-based stereotypes.
What is Gender Bias, Stereotyping and Discrimination?
Gender bias is the act of showing favouritism or biased behaviour towards a group or person based solely on their gender. An example of this in the home could be that daughters may be expected to help with domestic jobs such as cooking and cleaning whereas, sons are more likely to be asked to help with maintenance jobs like mowing the lawn. These gender-based tasks teach children from early on that they have different roles expected from them based on gender, this goes hand in hand with gender roles and stereotypes.
Gender stereotyping is a generalised view or preconception about attributes, or characteristics that are, or ought to be, possessed by women and men or the roles that should be performed by men and women. Stereotypes can be positive or negative but this doesn't make their impact less harmful. For example, women are weak or women are nurturing', even though women are nurturing can be seen as a compliment or a 'positive stereotype' it can actually be a harmful belief that women are naturally more nurturing than men when it comes to the persecution of crimes against children, which is often harsher towards women, especially in the court of public opinion. Even though this is not entirely bad, it is still unfair. This can especially be seen in the case of The Moors Murders.
Lastly, gender discrimination is when someone is treated unequally or disadvantageously due to their gender. This is arguably the most overt of the three, often evidenced by statistics.
Where does gender discrimination take place?
It is not always easy to pinpoint gender discrimination as it can happen on multiple levels, from one-on-one interactions to federal and institutional degrees. Some examples include:
It is also important to note that there are many elements of gender discrimination that may be more severe for certain individuals based on added factors outside their sex, such as race, economic status, sexuality, or disability.
The hidden consequences of gender bias, stereotyping and discrimination
Gender discrimination persists in our culture, with women and girls continuing to experience prejudice and impediments to equality in a variety of settings. While overt forms of discrimination, such as denial of education, employment prospects, and political representation, have been identified and addressed by feminist movements worldwide, there are hidden repercussions of gender bias that frequently go unreported.
Teach girls bravery, not perfection | Reshma Saujani on YouTube
One of the biggest effects of gender discrimination is the erosion of women's confidence and self-esteem. When women are subjected to constant messages letting them know they are incapable or undeserving in comparison to men, women then begin to internalise these beliefs and doubt their abilities. This can manifest in various ways such as impostor syndrome, anxiety, and lack of assertiveness. As Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, said in her TED Talk on 'Teaching girls how to be brave, not perfect', "We're raising our girls to be perfect, and we are raising our boys to be brave... we're not teaching our girls to be brave".
Another impact of gender discrimination is the perpetuation of gender stereotypes, which limit women's choices and opportunities. From an early age girls are forced to follow narrow definitions of femininity, which dictate that they should be nurturing, emotional, and passive. This can discourage young girls from pursuing careers in male-dominated fields or participating in activities that are deemed masculine. As Chimamanda Ngozi-Adiche, Nigerian author and feminist, preached in her TED talk on 'The danger of a single story': "The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED on YouTube
Career paths and gender pay gap
Many established organisational structures are built on the foundation designed to fit men’s lifestyles from the times when they were the only household provider and women only made up a very small percent of the workforce. For example, many career-boosting international opportunities often assume the addition of a “trailing spouse” who has no career and can easily move - a family situation most common for men rather than women.
Studies show that many institutions often undervalue or fail to recognise entirely the behind-the-scenes work that women often do, such as building a team or avoiding a crisis, while simultaneously awarding the achievements and success of men’s “heroic” acts. Therefore, while these patterns were not built to specifically discriminate towards women, their combined effect often puts female workers at a disadvantage and creates a vicious cycle of biases that men are better fit to be leaders.
On average, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In the UK, among full-time employees, the gender pay gap in April 2019 was 9%, in 2021 7.7%, and 8.3% in 2022. Higher earners experience a much larger difference in hourly pay between the genders.
How to prevent gender bias, stereotyping and discrimination?
Preventing stereotypes towards women and girls can be challenging, but there are still several ways to avoid this as soon as possible, which will be also beneficial for females considerably, since according to Harvard Business School, there is official proof that gender stereotypes harshly destroy a women's self-confidence and what kind of severe consequences that females can face due to offensive gender stereotypes. Consequently, there are numerous solutions to how it can be stopped, for instance how people can minimise gender stereotypes in the workplace. Companies can do 3 actions towards it based on Vantage Circle, such as:
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What are charities and how do they work?
A charity’s aims have to fall into categories that the law says are charitable. These are things like preventing or relieving poverty or advancing the arts, culture, education, or science. It has to be established exclusively for what is known as public benefit. That means its only purpose must be charitable.
Charities can’t make profits. All the money they raise has to go towards achieving their aims. A charity can’t have owners or shareholders who benefit from it. Charities have to state what their charitable objectives are in order to be registered with the Charity Commission and then explain how they are meeting them in their annual reports, which are publicly available.
What are girls' education charities?
Girls' education charities in developing countries typically aim to increase the time that children spend in education institutions and the quality of teaching that the children receive by building schools, tutoring outside the classroom, improving literacy, incentivising attendance, and providing supplies and technology.
They are also organisations that focus on improving access to education for girls and young women, particularly in regions and communities where girls face significant barriers to education. These charities aim to address issues such as poverty, discrimination, cultural biases, and lack of access to resources that can prevent girls from receiving an education.
Some examples of girls' education charities include:
Malala Fund: The Malala Fund works to ensure that girls around the world have access to 12 years of safe, quality education.
Room to Read: A non-profit organisation that focuses on improving literacy and gender equality in education in developing countries.
Camfed: The Campaign for Female Education is an international non-profit organisation that works to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women.
Girls Who Code: A US-based organisation that aims to close the gender gap in technology by providing girls with access to computer science education and coding skills. Educate Girls: A non-profit organisation that works to improve access to education for girls in rural and remote areas of India.
Education is a critical tool for social and economic empowerment, yet millions of girls around the world are denied access to education due to poverty, discrimination, and cultural biases. Girls who are denied an education are more likely to live in poverty, experience poor health outcomes, and be at risk of child marriage, trafficking, and exploitation.
Girls' education charities work to promote gender equality and provide girls with the resources and support they need to access education and achieve their full potential. By providing scholarships, educational resources, mentorship, and advocacy, these organisations help to break down barriers and create opportunities for girls to succeed in school and beyond.
In addition to the benefits for individual girls and their families, investing in girls' education has significant social and economic benefits, including reducing poverty, improving health outcomes, and promoting gender equality and social progress.
Educate Women and Save the World | Dorsa Esmaeili
How do charities impact girl child education?
Charities have a significant impact on girl child education in many ways. Girls' education charities provide a range of services and support, including:
Increasing access to education
Charities work to increase access to education for girls by providing scholarships and financial assistance to cover school fees, books, and other educational resources. This helps to reduce the financial burden on families and increases the likelihood that girls will attend and complete school.
Providing educational resources
Charities provide educational resources such as books, school supplies, and uniforms to girls who may not have access to them. This helps to ensure that girls have the tools they need to succeed in school.
Teacher training and support
Charities provide teacher training and support to help teachers create a more supportive and inclusive learning environment for girls. This helps to ensure that girls receive quality education and are able to reach their full potential. Mentorship and leadership development: Charities provide mentorship and leadership development programs to help girls build confidence, develop leadership skills, and pursue their goals. This helps to empower girls and prepare them for success in school and beyond.
Advocacy and awareness-raising
Charities raise awareness about the importance of girls' education and advocate for policies and programs that support girls' access to education.This helps to create a more supportive environment for girls' education and increases the likelihood that girls will attend and complete school.
Girls' education charities play a critical role in promoting girl child education by addressing the social, economic, and cultural barriers that prevent girls from accessing education and by providing resources and support to help girls succeed in school and beyond.
Everyone has a role to play in girls' education
The role of government in girl's education
The government efforts to safeguard children who are at risk and guarantee that they obtain a high standard of education, training, and care to enable them to thrive. The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is responsible for the management of £54 billion in funds allocated towards the provision of state-funded education for a total of 8 million children aged between 3 and 16, as well as 1.6 million adolescents aged between 16 and 19, in the United Kingdom.
The role of governments in promoting education in underdeveloped nations has been suboptimal. It is imperative for governments to revise their policies in order to promote the attendance of girls in educational institutions. This can be achieved by ensuring that all children have equitable access to education or by offering financial assistance to families whose daughters pursue education. It is vital for educators to guarantee that female students are provided with a high-quality education, which can be achieved through receiving training and support provided by the government. In order to provide a safe educational setting for female students, it is crucial for governmental bodies to allocate resources towards the establishment and upkeep of scholastic infrastructure, including but not limited to lecture halls, reading rooms, and lavatories
The role of organisations in girls' education
It is necessary for organisations to persist in their efforts to facilitate girls' access to education, as there remains a significant amount of progress yet to be achieved. These crucial organisations have made it possible for young girls who were previously unable to access education or envision a promising future to now have hope for assistance. The organisations that are most widely recognised for their efforts in promoting girls' education include Educate Girls, Malala Fund, Camfed, she's the first, Care international, and the United Nations.
Girls' Education Initiative for these organisations must persist in their pursuit of novel avenues for collaboration, such as partnering with technology enterprises that can furnish young females with smartphones or tablets to facilitate their academic pursuits. Individuals have the option to either promote modifications in policies at the regional, national, or global level or enhance the recognition of the issue. Organisations have the potential to motivate their employees to engage in volunteer work or fundraising activities that support initiatives aimed at promoting the education of girls.
The role of families in girls' education
Families hold considerable importance in various aspects. If parents prioritise education, they can encourage their daughters to attend school regularly and take an active interest in their academic progress. Financial assistance is available to cover expenses related to educational fees, uniforms, and textbooks. The process of deconstructing gender stereotypes. Parents can motivate their female to pursue disciplines that have been historically male- dominated, such as science or engineering, and furnish them with the necessary support and resources. Creating a safe and supportive atmosphere.
This might involve guaranteeing that their female are provided with hygienic water and sanitation facilities within their household, in addition to safeguarding them against physical or psychological maltreatment. Support groups. Individuals have the ability to share their personal experiences and advocate for the prioritisation of their daughters' education among their community members. Efforts can also be made to modify policies or cultural practises that have detrimental effects on the well-being of girls.
The role of individuals in girls' education
The success of non-profit organisations that aim to facilitate girls' education is heavily reliant on the contribution of individuals. This consists of both singular and recurring donations, as well as initiatives aimed at generating funds for a particular purpose or organisation. Engaging in volunteer work is a crucial undertaking, whereby one can contribute to society by serving as a mentor or tutor for young women, providing technical assistance or strategic counsel, or assisting with fundraising or event coordination.
Disseminating information through social media, producing blog posts or articles, and organising events are all crucial means of promoting girls' education and raising awareness about the matter. Individuals have the opportunity to contribute a minimum of 10 pounds on a monthly basis to these charitable organisations and monitor the impact of their support. It is imperative that we take action and collaborate to promote communal well-being and equal opportunities for all.
Role of SaGG Foundation in educating girls'
The impact of girls' education benefits us in ways deeper than ever! Not only does it enhance your career but also pushes you to become more aware of your rights and direct a brighter future for yourself. Education and its impact can positively change the trajectory of your life and we emphasise on girl child education to help place girls on the path to success.
However, in The Gambia, female education is not supported easily. Girls are subjected to early child marriages, child labour, child trafficking, and many similar adversities that hinder their growth and possibilities.
We believe in creating an impact and bringing about a change through education. This initiative is only successful with your help!
We believe in creating an impact and bringing about a change through education. This initiative is successful with your help!
Different ways you can support a charity
There are many ways to support charities, and doing so can bring significant benefits both to the individuals and the organisations involved.
Some of the different ways to support charity:
Donate money : The most common way to support charity is to make a financial contribution. This can be done through one-time donations or by setting up regular donations. Donating money can provide critical financial support to organisations, allowing them to carry out their mission and reach more people in need. Donate here
Volunteer your time : Volunteering is a great way to support charities. It can involve a wide range of activities, such as assisting with a fundraising event or working at a charity shop. Volunteering can help charities operate more efficiently and reach more people in need. Raise awareness: Another way to support charities is by raising awareness of their work. This can involve sharing their messages on social media, talking to friends and family about their mission, or participating in awareness-raising events. By raising awareness, you can help charities reach a wider audience and encourage more people to get involved. Become a volunteer here
Raise awareness: Another way to support charities is by raising awareness of their work. This can involve sharing their messages on social media, talking to friends and family about their mission, or participating in awareness-raising events. By raising awareness, you can help charities reach a wider audience and encourage more people to get involved.
Charity fundraising: Gather exclusive fundraising ideas and help enable educational access to girls in The Gambia. Organise events to raise funds online on our platform or conduct physical events to socialise for fundraising purposes. You can get in touch with us and we will guide you through the process. See ideas to raise funds
Charity gifts: Donate to cover school fees, provide uniforms and books, and support essential needs. Join our events or organise fundraisers with friends to amplify the impact. Your contribution goes beyond the classroom, empowering girls with training and resources for economic independence. Together, let's support girls' education and empower future leaders in their communities. Donate a gift here
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Girls' Menstruation Education Empowerment: Society's Role in Supporting Girls' in Education
Menstruation is painful and can cause embarrassment and inconvenience if not handled appropriately. In education, young girls need more prudence and support through their menstruation. For this to be achieved everyone has to give a hand.
Menstruation commences at the age of 10 – 16 years. It begins with ovulation which causes a thick lining to develop around the uterine wall. If the ovum doesn’t get fertilised, the lining disintegrates 12 – 14 days from ovulation. It comes out as blood called menstruate through the vaginal opening. It occurs once every 4 weeks and lasts 3 - 7 days.
Lack of access to safe and hygienic menstrual products can have significant impacts, especially on girls' education. According to research, 49% of girls have skipped a whole day of school due to their periods, and out of those, 59% have resorted to fabricating excuses to avoid attending school. This results in approximately 137,700 children in the UK missing school annually due to period poverty.
Menstruation Education: How Can Everyone Help Girls?
They’re several ways people living around school going girls can help them feel comfortable as they go through menstruation. Menstruation during puberty or for the first time comes randomly. This may lead to unpredicted inconvenience if a girl’s clothes get blood attained. Girls are advised to immediately approach any adult around for help. The public too should receive with open hands, all girls in need of help on menstruation.
Menstruation brings abdominal pain caused by contraction of the uterus as it shades off the developed walls. Parents and guardians are therefore advised to teach their daughters different ways of reducing the pain. These include; lying down and relaxing while breathing slowly and deeply, slowly rolling a hot water bottle over the belly, using fingers for stroking the belly back, taking pain killers among others.
Addressing the challenges during girls' menstrual cycle:
To address these challenges, schools and communities can provide menstrual cycle health education. Schools are also encouraged to acquire extra uniforms for girls undergoing menstruation. These will be meant for girls with heavy periods which might stain their uniform. In addition, the public should encourage young menstruating girls to take fluids like juice and water to replenish the lost fluids.
Community leaders should also organize a donation based funding project to provide free reusable pads to school going girls since some parents aren’t able to afford pads for their daughters. This is caused by a hand to mouth type of economy which is very common in Africa.
Credit to TED
Menstruation Education Empowerment:The Detrimental Impact of Menstruation Stigma on Girls' Education
Menstruation is looked at as a source of humor and an abnormality by mostly men and boys in society. This leads to depression among menstruating school going girls further leading to poor performance in class. Volunteers should rise and advise people in public gatherings on the impact caused by negative reaction to menstruation. Health education on menstruation can also help dispel common myths and stigmas surrounding menstruation.
Concerned people should stop myths from being spread by malicious members of the public that menstruation is a sign that a girl is ready for sex. This willing guard against early pregnancy which would lead to school dropout.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is a worldwide initiative that unites non-profit organizations, government agencies, individuals, businesses, and the media to advocate for improved menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). MHH is celebrated on May 28th every year. Its primary objectives are to challenge taboos, raise awareness, and transform negative societal attitudes surrounding MHH. Additionally, MH Day actively involves policymakers to enhance the political importance of MHH and drive tangible actions at global, national, and local levels.
Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Solutions for School Girls: Education and Support
In order to tackle the challenges faced by girls who cannot afford menstrual hygiene products, we propose the implementation of homemade reusable pads and accessible public distribution, complemented by nutritional support and psychological counseling.
So, your support changes lives. Make a change by making a donation!
What is your opinion on implementing comprehensive menstrual health education in schools?
A) It is necessary to empower young people with knowledge about menstruation.
B) Parents should be solely responsible for educating their children about menstruation.
C) It is unnecessary and may make students uncomfortable.
D) I'm not sure/I have no opinion.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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