Gender stereotypes have been a pressing issue for time immemorial. The average person has a preconceived notion about the opposite gender, which usually is a distortion of fact. A drive for a more gender-inclusive society has led to the development of recommended gender equality policies, which is the focus of this article.
In our more informed world, gender inequality and bias are beginning to phase out. The governments of many nations have contributed to this process by setting up measures aimed at combating gender stereotypes.
In this article, you will learn about 5 recommended gender equality policies to combat gender stereotypes. Ready to journey into a future of equality? Let’s get started!
What Are Gender Stereotypes?
Gender stereotypes are preconceived ideologies about the traits and attributes of individuals deemed appropriate for them based on gender. These gender stereotypes limit a person’s mind and prevent that individual from reaching their full potential.
Gender stereotypes not only limit a person but also those around that individual. People under the spell of gender stereotypes only view other humans according to their gender, considering every behavior as a direct consequence of gender.
Sadly, in Africa and most part of the western world, woman are the most vulnerable recipients of Gender stereotypes considering every behavior as a direct consequence of gender. Woman career empowerment scheme are almost not discussed in some areas.
One of the biggest problems with gender stereotypes is that it lowers the self-esteem of the targeted gender, making them see themselves as less. Gender stereotypes are also detrimental to organizations and society as they cannot benefit from the skills of those individuals.
For this reason, gender stereotypes are a global enemy, and policy recommendations for gender equality have become necessary.
5 Recommended Gender Equality Policies to Combat Gender Stereotypes
#1. Inclusive Educational Reforms
One of the most effective policy recommendations for gender equality is the integration of gender mainstreaming into the curriculum of schools. The educational background of any individual is a major determining factor for future behaviors. Instilling gender diversity in school children right from the start is a smart way to go.
Inclusive educational reforms involve incorporating gender perspectives across subjects and educational materials. More so, outside the curriculum, the school system should also set up measures for combating gender stereotypes within the school environs. These measures include staff training, career talks, and correctional steps for gender-based bullying.
These measures combined foster an environment that promotes equal opportunities and understanding between genders.
At the end of the day, individuals from a tender age will have the knowledge and awareness concerning gender inequality, and how to deal with it in their environment.
#2. Equal Pay Legislation
Government and organizations setting up policies that enforce equal pay is a step in the right direction in the fight against gender inequality. Individuals should receive equal wages for equal positions in the public and private sectors.
For almost every profession, there exists a preconceived gender-biased notion. Closing the gender pay gap is a crucial step in combating gender stereotypes related to different professions. Statistics from a recent report show that women in the healthcare sector earn 24 percent less pay than their male colleagues. This statistic further highlights the gross inequity in pay structure. An equal pay structure devoid of gender inequality fosters a fair and equal workplace.
Motherhood, often referred to as the motherhood penalty, is one of the reasons why the gender pay gap exists. Mothers tend to earn way less than men and other women without children. The wage inequality is sometimes due to reduced work hours for women with children.
However, these biased wage structures promote gender stereotypes. In the long run, it discourages women from taking on these skilled jobs. This situation further contributes to a one-sided gender distribution across organizations.
#3. Anti-Discrimination Policy
Anti-discrimination policy is one of the most effective policy recommendations for gender equality. An anti-discrimination policy promotes fairness and equity within organizations regardless of gender.
Furthermore, gender discrimination at work silences individuals and deprives organizations and society of harnessing these talents. The discrimination may also take the form of workplace harassment and even bullying. Whichever form it takes, gender discrimination is also a major contributor to deep-seated gender stereotypes.
Every organization that desires gender equality in the workplace should also initiate programs that raise awareness of gender discrimination. All workers of your organization and citizens of society should know what qualifies as discrimination and avoid it.
#4. Flexible Work Schedules
Gender stereotypes are more common in the workplace. Several inappropriate work cultures serve as contributing factors to this ill situation. One of the unfavorable work conditions is a lack of flexibility in the work schedule leading to a decrease in the work-life balance of victims.
An organization that does not encourage flexibility at work strengthens gender stereotypes. For example, when women are discouraged from working in certain organizations because it interferes with their family responsibilities, it further promotes the wrong ideology that they are only designed for domestic duties. A recent survey shows that 31% of women who left their jobs after childbirth only did so due to rigid work schedules.
Flexible work schedules are one of the recommended gender equality policies because they tackle stereotypes by allowing individuals to have a balanced work-life schedule. When organizations embrace flexibility, it symbolizes a departure from established gender norms, encouraging an environment where both men and women can contribute to work and family life in unconventional ways.
#5. Equitable Gender Distribution in Decision-Making Positions
One of the recommended gender equality policies to consider is equal gender distribution in decision-making positions. Decision makers, such as the legislative arm of government or the leadership positions in organizations must have a fair gender distribution.
Gender stereotypes support the notion that women should not assume leadership positions, or participate in lawmaking. These detrimental stereotypes have led to positions of power being largely one-sided.
However, as the governments of several nations begin to incorporate policies that support women’s involvement in lawmaking, these stereotypes will phase out. Organizations should also ensure equal spread across genders for leadership positions.
It is easier to achieve this equitable gender distribution when the nomination process focuses on underrepresented groups. Interviewers should also avoid discriminatory interview questions. It will further help to carry out a proper review of the criteria for board selection. Reviewing the criteria for selection will ensure that they are inclusive and based on skill and experience rather than gender. This will help interested candidates respond confidently to interviews without fear.
Diligent implementation of the recommended gender equality policies to combat gender stereotypes is imperative for promoting an inclusive and diverse society. Policy recommendations for gender equality, such as flexible work schedules and equal pay laws will weaken gender stereotypes in the workplace.
Educational reforms address the foundation and prove to be one of the most effective methods for combating gender stereotypes. Other measures, such as equal power distribution across genders and anti-discrimination policies, will further ensure the unlocking of the full potential of people irrespective of gender. These policies create a safe environment for everyone to thrive and for societies to prosper.