Gender Equality, Generation Z and the Third Culture Experience
Thoughts from Gayatri Maelathi
Before reading this article the reader must realize that the life of a third culture student is just as complex as anyone else’s. The life of one born in Generation Z is akin to that of a millennial or generations which have passed. But the life of one seeking gender equality in conjunction with these two qualities opens up entirely new possibilities. These students benefit from the increased ease of communication and a more global mind, which gives them the chance to judge less and practice acceptance – and gender equality is no exception to this trend. Gayatri Maelathil is a student studying through her final year at Mesaieed International School, and her views on many issues are shaped by her diverse learning environment coupled with her Indian heritage at home. This global mind offers a unique perspective on gender equality as she balances tradition alongside the cultural diversity she is exposed to by the people in her life.
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What is your opinion on the current status of women in India?
I think because India is the largest democracy in the world, women do have a voice. Compared to the conditions seen decades ago, I think women have improved their status in areas such as the right to education, job acceptability, and women are now entering professional fields, including equal treated army positions, which is impressive. However, the practices of female infanticide, poor health conditions, sexual assault and lack of education are still largely prevalent.
How far do you think women’s rights have developed in India since your childhood?
I have noticed that women have a greater chance and ability to stand up for themselves and have a voice. However, I believe the ideology of the home being a woman’s true position, marriage and taking care of her children being her ultimate destination hasn’t changed much, although progress is seen more in the cities.
How far do you agree that the Indian society upholds values of gender equality?
I don’t think it upholds enough gender equality values as much as it’s capable of. I think it’s all to do with how much respect Indian men have towards the women. I think Indian men, generally speaking, still have this philosophy that women are their inferiors, that they are supposed to abide to any demands and decisions their husbands make, without any questioning. Many even prohibit women from equal access to or knowledge of land, property, and housing. Some men deny their wives to work after marriage, visit their parents etc.
Are there improvements the government can make to improve the status of women?
I think awareness to women, who are not privileged to know that they have their rights as a human, could be improved and further provided through campaigns, educational access to girls in rural areas. On the other hand, equally, men should be encouraged to support women’s education to know women have rights as well.
What do you feel is the main factor that contributes to gender inequality in India?
I think it’s the lack of respect for women from the men, simply put. I feel this way because, not just in India, there doesn’t seem to be enough protection for females in respect to sexual assault, domestic violence, as well as minor but significant issues such as cat calling and sexist jokes, as these are still, noticeably embarrassingly predominant and continue to only rise. I think the lack in righteous morals is the reason for this.
Do you feel gender equality is ultimately beneficial towards society?
Obviously. Why should the gender of human effect how one is treated? Both genders go hand in hand. The more balance, the more grounded and effective the society will be. How could the happiness, opportunities and respect for women, which men, unlike women, fortunately achieve as birthright be unbeneficial to the world? Mothers, wives and daughters are humans too. It should be their birthright as well.