Equality and equality are two terms that have been used interchangeably but they actually have very different meanings. There has always been a misconception of what equality really is all about. Many think that gender equality is sameness and making sure that all people received an equal portion of whatever things are to be divided among them in different scenarios. Well, gender equality and equity is a collection of legal principles for example in jurisdictions which follow the common natural law of different nations which supplement very stern rules governed by the law and once applied may exercise control in a ruthless manner to attain what is universally termed as natural justice. It is not really a matter of exercising equal share of things like resources. It is more than that. For example, there could be an equal share of roles and responsibilities in a certain workforce but that does not necessarily mean that gender equality has been exercised. Thus, this essay seeks to disapprove the notion that the equality has the same meaning and reference as equity and more especially on issues of gender.
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Take for instance; in an organization set up that involves construction work, some duties require the use of physical energy which women can hardly do. Women cannot suffice the needs of such kind of jobs requiring the application of physical energy owing to the nature of their being. While gender equality would require that a balanced share of the duties according to many, the question would centre on enforcing natural justice by performing fairness which comes out naturally. The feminization of the workforce therefore does not mean that we have attained gender equality; only equity has been exercised. Equality has a meaning that all people have come to the same level which can never be by just ensuring that the workforce is feminized.
While biology does establish the group an individual is segregated into, the community in which that person lives in and the society at large has the ultimate power to determine the way we are identified as “gender.” Gender is a cultural term whereas sex is a biological one. Socio-biologists assert that biology or what can simply be called “genetic make-up” shapes the character of a person and in addition determine such social in-equalities like gender inequalities found in society. Socio-constructionists have the belief that although gender is a social distinction between women and men, nobody is born a man or a woman but instead male or female and develop into either a man or a woman as a result of the society and its structures. Ideologies in sociology like culture, gender hierarchy, institutions and order are said to amount to gender inequality and not the individual’s sex (Blackwelder 112-45).
In actual fact, feminizing the workforce cannot be used to fulfill all the materialistic needs of women and therefore gender equality would be short changed in such efforts. Gender equality could far much be realized without feminizing the workforce. What is needed is to establish where one can perform best and be fruitful. Setting up a system to counteract what seems like man domination in the workplace would not help anything in promoting gender equality. The ideal of breadwinner and homemaker as well as feminizing the workforce reinforces a division between genders. Feminizing the workplace therefore will turn out to be an injustice done to the men as women apparently will receive favors at the expense of their male counterparts. What is simply needed is ensuring equal chance and opportunity to all people of both genders. Ensuring gender equality does not mean making things to conform to the desires and capabilities of the group that initially faced some kind of injustice. The question therefore is not about the interest and status quo of a particular group but striking a balance of both groups to ensure no one specific group benefits at the expense of the other.
Matters of the workplace should be provided for on procedures of merit. Regardless of whatever gender, as a long as an individual qualifies for a position in the workplace, then they are the suitable fellows in them; men and women alike. The opportunity that the man and the woman have should be the same (Hawkesworth 11-18). The feminization of the workplace looks like the workplace is applying double standards in the execution of roles and responsibilities in the organization leading to a compromise.
Nature has it that there are some jobs the females cannot not perform effectively without the men like construction works. There are some jobs that need aggression and strong body physique. Feminization of the workplace in the name of promoting gender equality will only act as a major setback in the process. Feminization of the workplace is only seen to shift the problem of gender inequality and not really finding an amicable solution to it. Initially, women were not well absorbed. The attempt to absorb them henceforth in the workforce should not seem to favor them. The opportunity and the rights which were initially infringed should now be permitted other than feminizing the entire workforce.
In more general terms, equality implies that all people get exactly the same outcome of whatever thing is anticipated. Equity has more to do with the quality of the outcome. Equity is basically concerned with making sure that the specific needs of a person of either gender are met to the maximum. Therefore, men and women may not engage in equal tasks because of the physical nature of women. However, equity will ensure that satisfaction and fairness is exercised in the different levels of engagement. The works they do may not be equal but the satisfaction should strike a balance in both parties. This is a very important lesson that should be learnt by all people. It is an important topic for feminism and for humanity in general, for tolerance and respect. Therefore, equality is not the same as equity. Gender equity observes the exercise of justice and fairness to all unlike equality that is concerned with having a similar portion or outcome regardless of the effects and repercussions.