While hearing a song from a
Bollywood movie Patiala House, I came across the thought of a great risk our
society and the world faces that is of Gender Bias (Sexism) or a broader term to
define it Gender Imbalance (Gender Inequality). These terms seem to be normal
with the usage in daily life conversations and debates. But, what we fail to
understand is that they are a growing virus crippling our society from the core.
Weakening beliefs, faster paced lives, politically influenced views, educational
and professional goals, social norms and threads, differently opinionated
cultural and religious beliefs and above all the lack of belief in humanity has
fueled gender Imbalance beyond control. Raging like a wildfire, consuming
everything that comes in its way and vaporizing the most commonly felt human
emotions, Sexism is the next big disease running through the veins of this
society and the world in general.
History has it where corporations were flooded with men, and a woman working in
such an environment was considered a social stigma. Today, the same society has
turned the tables and considers working women as the pillars of the future. The
plague that has gripped our nations is of whose better, men or women. An unseen
competition has begun, where stepping over the others’ ambitions has become a
normal practice just to prove the above. Women empowerment is now seen as a
threat amongst the masculine side of the Gender division and vice versa.
So let’s talk about some official numbers, According to a press release by the
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the number of men in the country stand at
106,449,322 while the number of women are 101,314,780. The total population of
Pakistan stands at 207,774,520. Meanwhile, there are 10,418 transgender in
Pakistan. With these figures in mind, it can be seen that there is a natural
balance in the population. However, the social abnormal conformities have caused
additional pressures for both the sexes to win at proving who is better.
I would like to quote an American multicultural study from www.hbr.org, “A 2012
randomized, double-blind study gave science faculty at research-intensive
universities the application materials of a fictitious student randomly assigned
a male or female name, and found that both male and female faculty rated the
male applicant as significantly more competent and hirable than the woman with
identical application materials. A 2014 study found that both men and women were
twice as likely to hire a man for a job that required math.” The research
further states that women have to go through several sorts of bias at work, such
o Where women have to prove themselves over and over again with their success
discounted and their expertise questioned.
o Whereas, in my experience I see men being exploited with the same aspect in
today’s workplace environments to keep them under the required pay scales and or
• The Tightrope:
o Having expectations of women being feminine and should continue to do so while
behaving with a masculine personality professionally.
o While in today’s world, I see men as being the bigger gossipers creating a
similar attribute as that of women to fit in to a corporate culture or
• The Maternal Wall:
o With the responsibility of bearing a child and then being responsible to
balance work and personal life, many women go through the heartbreak of losing
o As men had the ancestral responsibility of earning bread and butter for the
family, they built-up the division of labor even in personal lives. Whereas, now
as information becomes easier to access and with a greater power at hand of
knowledge, men have started realizing the importance of the greater
responsibility to emotionally and mentally stabilize their family as well,
taking both personal and professional lives head-on.
o It is observed that women, who had to face the hardships of being in a male
dominant environment, consider the younger women coming into their organization
as their competition, thereby inflicting greater hardships on the younger women.
o In reality, not only women but everyone faces conflicting interests,
professional jealousy and rivalry and ultimately have to deal with the
insecurities of the employees who were there before them.
o Professionalism has been perceived as being synonymous to isolating oneself
from their own emotional and spiritual side of their personalities while being
in the work place. Women, trying to act professionally, end up being aloof from
the other co-workers to maintain their status-quo as an authoritative
o With men it may vary, but, in most cases they have been seen to perform better
in a similar form of environment. Whereas, teamwork has been promoted on a lot
of level now a days.
The point worthy of highlighting in all of the above is that, it stands true
that regardless of the weaknesses and strengths men and women are equal in their
own way. Keeping the religious and cultural aspects aside, it should be
considered that we all need to respect and earn respect as we would expect from
others. Gender equality comes with sacrifice, patience and above all the
circumstances of others.