"Gender equality is a human right and not a female fight." This statement is a wake-up call to every individual who turns a blind eye to the meaning of equal rights. Equality is not a cause for a particular gender. It's the fundamental right of every individual. It is necessary for all genders to work together to achieve the same.
Society often focuses on improving the quality of life for only a few groups of people. In implementing egalitarianism, we unknowingly make the differences more evident and the divides wider. Compared to previous generations, it is true that we have come a long way to create a better place for women. Although there is a long way to go, women are still starting to make remarkable achievements in several fields. A common opinion being held is whether we are still hung up on providing special treatment for a gender, rather than focusing on creating a society where all genders are equal.
An opinion put forth when discussing gender equality in India revolves around the public transportation system. This questions whether, rather than focusing efforts on creating a transportation system that is respectable in aspects of accessibility and safety, it is possible that providing separate fares is an injustice to other genders. Here, the ideology of impartial respect, which every individual deserves, is seen to be contradicted by introducing a disparity in fares.
Another instance of opinions that we can observe is on the topic of preconceived notions of stay-at-home men. It is still a difficult topic for people to comprehend and accept men who choose to be the sole caretakers for families. For a long time, we have portrayed men as the providers of the family; it's high time that we wholeheartedly accept that men can also be homemakers. Only if the concept of overseeing the activities of the household becomes a gender-neutral topic, can women become the breadwinners of the family and can men choose to be the homemaker.
Similarly, it has become a needed norm to grant women maternity leave in order to look after themselves postpartum and look after their newborn. However, it pushes the responsibility of childcare away from fathers by not creating a mandatory clause in the workplace to provide paternity leaves. A father is equally an integral part of a baby's life and has the duty to tend to his family in these crucial moments. The lack of proper interaction between a child and the father disrupts the emotional bond between them.
Feminism is not a gendered movement. Rather than making feminism a gender-oriented concept, we must normalize that it is one of the many steps ahead for achieving equality! Every issue should be analyzed based on the truth rather than clutching onto stereotypical thoughts. Merely favouring a particular gender or hanging on to stereotypes can never pave the way to the modernism we hope to see. "A modern society is created by its modest thoughts". It is up to each and every one of us to shoulder the responsibility to achieve a sense of true equality.