We’ve come a long way.

Women have worked hard to stand up for their fundamental rights and demand equality with men.

From the right to vote to equal pay, women slowly realize their worth as valued and legitimate members of society.

Let’s take a look at gender equality and how it’s defined in our modern society.

How We Define Gender in the 21st Century

In the last one hundred years or so, there has been an evolution of sex and the role it plays. Women can now be found on a much more even playing field to men.

According to Morgan Wiley of Prezi, traditional roles have been swapped for a more mutual relationship between the two sexes. Both men and women are now recognized as having personal goals, hopes, and dreams which they want to achieve.

The lines between genders have become blurred. Women now can earn money if they wish, as do men.

Morgan says that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of men who stayed at home and looked after the children increased by one million between the years 1989 and 2012.

However, there are still areas of society in which women struggle to be equal to men. One of these areas is in the workplace.

The wage gap is a current, trending topic that brings to light the difference between what men are earning versus women.

Wikipedia explains that in the United States, women earn on average 78 percent of what men do. An additional statistic that highlights this inequality is the wealth gap.

The average American single women own just 38 percent of the wealth that her male counterpart does.

Equality for Both Men and Women

So, what does it mean for men and women to be equal in a society that is still lacking in some areas?

The Council of Europe has a clear-cut definition of what equality for both men and women looks like in the 21st century.

They explain it as both genders having equal visibility, responsibility, and participation in all aspects of both public and private life.

This also means equal access to and distribution of a government’s resources, indicating that men and women are valued equally.

They believe it aims to change the very structures of society so that both men and women can experience their fundamental human rights. This will, in turn, continue the function of a democratic government as it views all its citizens in the same light.

On a positive note, the push for gender equality has resulted in the development of a legal framework.

This is being pushed onto modern governments as they begin to understand the importance of equality and basic human rights.

Women Empowerment in Modern Society

What does the empowerment of women look like in modern society? Many of you are familiar with the history that precedes women’s societal status in the 21st century. Let’s take a look at how women can be and are empowered in our current climate.

Mary Claire Lagroue of Verily believes that empowerment means embracing femininity, not getting rid of it. Femininity is an intangible concept – it is an essence. It can’t be tied to a role or a task. Femininity is what it means to be a woman, and being a woman isn’t defined by a role determined by society.

Mary cites a 2006 report that looked into the lives and perspectives of middle-class women from Shanghai, Oslo and Sydney aged 25-30. The words these women used most to define femininity were “empathy and caring for others.”

In the age we’re living in, femininity can be reclaimed by women while still remaining equal to men.

It doesn’t have to mean sensitive or inferior. It can mean bold and determined – and separate from stereotypical roles once placed on women.

How Gender Equality is Being Achieved

It’s been slow going, but women are quickly catching up to men when it comes to equality.

There are many ways that women have the freedom to feel empowered in the 21st century.

While they haven’t achieved every aspect of equality yet, they have every chance of succeeding this as we advance into a culture that is every more tolerant and accepting.

It may seem slow, but we’ve come a long way in the empowerment of women and gender equality.

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