Gender equalities are human rights which mean that women have the same rights as men to live in dignity, freedom from fear and freedom to make choices about life. Unfortunately, until now, especially in traditional societies, women are often regarded as weak human beings and only become complementary figures. Moreover, there is a mindset that says that the role of women is limited to working in the kitchen and taking care of the family.
Indonesia has enacted various laws to protect women from violence. The Government through the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has regulated women's rights and gender equalities, namely rights in Employment, Health, Education, Marriage and family as well as public and political life. However, violence against women and discrimination and gender disparities still occur in the labor market, such as the discriminatory practice in accepting and promoting employees on a gender basis.
In addition, women trafficking and prostitution also pose a serious threat to Indonesian women, especially those who are poor and less educated.
Quoted from the UN Women website, in his remarks commemorating the International Women's Day which fell on March 8, Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said that until now, gender equality has not yet been realized.
However, according to UN Women data, there have been some positive changes, such as the maternal mortality rate which has dropped 38 percent since 2000. Besides, 131 countries have supported the elimination of gender discrimination. Laws governing discrimination against women have been institutionalized in many countries over the past 25 years and more than three-quarters of the world have laws against violence in the household. Moreover, the number of girls in school is now more than before.
Gender equalities and equal rights do not mean that women absolutely must be equal to men. Because basically, men and women are born physically different. Generally, women will not be ready if they have to bear the heavy burden of earning a living that is usually borne by men, especially those involving physical strength. Or conversely, men will have difficulties if they have to take care of the household every day and educate children. This responsibility requires not only physical strength but also gentleness and patience. This is something that is usually owned by women in nature.
Indeed, women and men are different. But, there is no discrimination against each other. What is needed here is mutual respect for the rights and obligations between men and women. Happy Women's Day!