How does gender inequality affect the lifestyles of civilians living in New York, USA

“Gender equality refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration – recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’ but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people centered development.”

Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Gender Mainstreaming: Strategy for promoting gender equality, United Nations, New York, August 2001.

Gender inequality is a global issue and is one that plagues New York. It is a shame to say that there is no one country in the world where all woman can expect to share the same rights as that of men. My research question is, 'How does gender inequality affect the lifestyles of civilians living in New York, USA?'

(http://www.siwallpaper.com/black-and-white-new-york-skyline-1-wallpaper-hd.html/black-and-white-new-york-skyline-1-wallpaper-hd-2)

In this section, I will give an overview on the type of investigation I will conduct, with examples and evidence I have gathered on the internet. I will also give background information on the city.

I am going to be looking at Gender Equality in New York City. New York is a very popular city and it is considered to be one of the wealthiest cities. It would be interesting to explore this social issue in such a modern and advanced city. New York exerts a significant impact upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is considered to be the cultural and financial capital of the world.

Above is a map of New York City.

(http://www.mapresources.com/media/catalog/product/N/Y/NYC-XX-983782_comp_4.jpg)

To answer the main question, we must first answer 3 other sub-questions to better knowledge of what we are researching.

The sub-questions that are associated with the main question are, 'How do we measure gender inequality?’, 'What is the root of gender inequality? and ‘Why is achieving gender equality so important?’

First of all, measuring gender inequality could be measured in different ways. The Gender-related Development Index, also known as GDI is a tool that measures the development corrected by the existing gender inequalities. The tool measures the gender gaps in the following factors; life expectancy, education and income.

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Above is a graph depicting the amount of Gender equality of U.S versus that of Western Europe. The graph shows that the United States is only slightly above France and Italy. The United States is only in the middle of achieving gender equality, but the level equality is slowly rising. Despite this, it is still nowhere near the level of equality that Ireland has.

Organizations based in New York such as UNICEF, are working hard to develop a gender equal society on a global scale.

In 2006-2007, UNICEF undertook a major evaluation of the implementation of its 1994 Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. The evaluation found that the strategies advocated by the original policy remain sound, but that it required updating to respond to new programme priorities and to improve the priority and resourcing given to gender equality programming by the organization. They since launched a new policy called 'Gender Equality Policy'. This policy is focused on gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women.

This is their aim,

'We in UNICEF, with our partners, work for and envision the day when all nations will value and care for girls and boys as equals; a day in which countries have not only placed the survival, protection and development of children among their first priorities, but also consciously promote and protect the rights, and develop the energies, of girls as well as boys; a day in which nations have ended discrimination against girls, wherever it occurs.'

'We work for and envision the day in which respectful relationships among girls and boys are understood to lie at the heart of a healthy and secure national future; a day in which girls and boys are educated and encouraged to know and to speak their own truths; a day in which all girls and boys have the specific knowledge and services they need to ensure a future of healthy reproduction and freedom from HIV and AIDS: a day in which being a girl or a boy is no bar to quality education, or to high achievement in any sphere.'

'We work for and envision the day in which all girls and boys have equal enjoyment of age appropriate health care in accordance with their needs; a day in which girls and boys live fully and equally free from physical assault, demeaning labour, early marriage, harmful practices, abuse and exploitation, retaining undamaged their capability to enjoy the rewards of life, and embrace its full responsibilities. We work for and envision the day in which women and men are supported by a range of services to lead mutually respectful lives with proportionate shares of domestic responsibilities and rewarding labour; a day in which children witness women and men alike achieve self-realization through continuing education and participation in public life and democratic leadership; a day in which both girls and boys recognize and claim their equal right to similar wellbeing, fulfillment and contribution to national development, securing the foundations of civil and political liberties down the generations.'

It is these aspects that are missing from everyday life in New York. This policy hopes to change this. Read more here: http://www.unicef.org/gender/files/UNICEF_Gender_Policy_2010.pdf

On International Women's Day on March 9 2015, more than 1,000 women and men were marching for gender equality in New York City. The protestors kept on shouting, 'we want gender equality and we want it now'. The people marched from the United Nations headquarters to Times Square.While elsewhere, people across the world rallied to demand change.

This is a quote from one of the people protesting in New York:

“I am here because of my mom,” Claudine Mukamabano, a Rwandan orphan told PIX 11. “She was killed in the Rwandan genocide and she believed in me and taught me to believe in myself.”

The second sub-question is, What is the root of gender inequality? If you asked people in 1963, most Americans did not yet believe that gender equality was possible or even desirable. It was normal that a woman did not pursue a career and still take care of the house or be a good mother. A survey conducted by researchers in the University of Michigan stated their results showed that more than 66 percent of women agreed that the most important family decisions "should be made by the man of the house"

Change came much later. After 14 years, two-thirds of Americans believed that it was “much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.” And after another 24 years, two-thirds of Americans rejected this notion.

As of today, changes are being made and people are re-thinking their stance.

The last sub-question is, 'Why is achieving gender equality so important?'. First of all, this would give women equal rights and opportunities that men have. This would create a large influx of money as women would earn the same amount of money as men. This would help all countries alike to boost their economy. Of course, equal pay must be heavily enforced in the workplace in order to achieve it. Any disparity in wages due to gender is unfair and highly suggests that a woman is unable to work as effectively and efficiently as a man. Equal pay would also bring about greater respect for both men and women in the workplace. Women would also be able to receive the same amount of education as men, creating equal exposure and opportunities for both genders.

To conclude, this website was meant to promote the idea of gender equality and it is focused on New York City. Showing how aspects of the lifestyle of the new York people can be affected by gender inequality.

Throughout this investigation, I was able to understand the importance of gender equality and the factors that make it so hard to achieve but yet so necessary in New York. Even though there is still a long road ahead, the situation is improving. There are crucial factors that need to be changed and re-thought in order to improve the lifestyle of the citizens living in New York.

Sources:

http://www.unicef.org/gender/files/BasicEducation_...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBAL3Sg56jc

http://pix11.com/2015/03/09/thousands-march-for-ge...

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