Week Two: Challenges women face with regards gender equality

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a nice weekend. We are in the second week of our e-discussion. Welcome to those who have just joined us. If you have not introduced yourself yet and shared your understanding of gender equality, kindly do so in Week One.

Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men. Our focus this week is on challenges women face with regards gender equality. This will help you guide you:

  1. What are the challenges women face ? Please share examples.
  2. What possible solutions can be put in place to ensure gender equality?

Please click on the reply button to contribute.


The challenges women face comes in so many forms.Some are natural whereas some are man made. To most opportunity holders,women are not reliable because of

  1. The monthly cycle they go through.some women’s productivity is affected during this period (menstrual cycle).
    2.Opportunity holders are mindful of the fact that a woman may eventually get pregnant.When this happens you can’t lay her off but will be paying her for virtually no work done during maternity leaves.
    3.There is also a grand perception that women are weak and cannot be entrusted with certain opportunities.
    1.Clear lines of equal opportunity must be drawn in the form of quota system to ensure that fair opportunities are given to women.
    2.Women must up their game and come out of this weaker vessel perception
    3.Opportunity holders who discriminate against women must dealt with when properly reported

Good morning to all, once again I’m Eric Opa Doue from Liberia

Thank you for this week # 2

Women are abused endlessly and considered inferior. Women always have some problem or the other to face in society. People evolved and so did the problems, they did not go away but changed from one to another. We need to realize these problems and act on them fast.

Problems Faced by Women in the world:

Firstly, violence against women is a very grave issue faced by women in every part of the world. It is happening almost every day in various forms. People turn a blind eye to it instead of doing something. Domestic violence happens more often than you think. Further, there is also dowry-related harassment, marital rape, genital mutilation and more.

Next up, we also have the issues of gender discrimination. Women are not considered equal to men. They face discrimination in almost every place, whether at the workplace or at home. Even the little girls become a victim of this discrimination.
Moreover, there is also a lack of female education and the gender pay gap. Women in rural areas are still denied education for being a female. Similarly, women do not get equal pay as men for doing the same work. On top of that, they also face workplace harassment and exploitation.

Ways to Tackle These Issues:

We must all come together as one to fight these issues faced by women. Every citizen and government must try to make it a safe place for women to be. They must make more stringent laws against people who commit crimes against women. They must also be implemented properly to ensure everyone takes them seriously.
Furthermore, opportunities must be provided equally for men and women. In every field, we must encourage women to give their best. It does not matter whether it is the medical field or sports field, opportunities must be equal.

Moreover, education must be stressed upon gravely. It must be made a compulsion to educate every girl and woman for a better future. We must join hands to protect and safeguard our women in the world.


Addressing the challenges relating to workplace productivity the following measures are recommended for formal workers:

  1. Deduction for unemployment insurance
  2. Paid Maternity leave

However, in countries with no unemployment insurance programs this becomes a problem and civil soviety need to pressure their governments to put one in place. Otherwise regardless of which sector the woman us working as long as it is in the formal sector she must be granted paid maternity leave by the state. It should not be the responsibility of the employer else private sector employers will be reluctant to take more women, and even if they do they will be underpaid for work of equal value with men.


@bansah315 you are right that a lot of cultures around the world hold these negative prejudice against women even though such myths have been proven to be false time without number. The false myths have oftenly been invoked as basis to deny women the equal opportunities and priviledges they deserve.

The fact is a lot of women across cultures have successfully combined their reproductive responsibilities with productive responsibilities; for instance, women constitute the majority of farm labourers eventhough, unlike men, they still have household chores and other reproductive responsiblities to do at home.

@Erita this is an excellent overview of the socio-economic and political challenges women face in most cultures accross the world. Not only are women under-represented in both social and political sphere, but also their enormous contribution to economic productivity have constatntly been undervalued. This is partly due to the fact that men are the decision makers at most work places and in the coporate institutions as well as governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Bringing the issue closer home, majority of the voices we hear on radio are male voices. Programs are mostly designed by senior male staff with perhaps only a minimal inputs from junior female staff, or in most cases no female inputs at all. Most newsrooms assign primetime program slots to male staff whereas female broadcasters are assigned only to minor roles. Women issues or matters of gender equality are often missing in the content of broadcast material and women are overlooked by producers when they select guests. These again go back to the fact that men make all the decision and our society expects women to ‘simply obey’ or stay silent.

In my country Sierra Leone, women face a lot of challenges to gender equality based on several factors. Which includes but not limited to;
Traditional cultural practices. We have tradions and practices that preach against equality. Men are seen as stronger and for some positions it is believed that men should be in front and women should follow. This starts as early as childhood , the manner in which boys/girls are raised. Boys are in many household given priorities over girls.

In politics, women generally don’t support other women, they prefer men to lead. In instances where women contest for certain positions, all sorts of insults and humiliating things are spread about that particular woman. Most often other women seeing this shy away from contesting.
Our two major religions are Christainity and Islam that always preach against inequality between the men and the women. Therefore people who are very attached to the religion take it as a normal thing.
Socially, men and women, boys and girls are believed to have different gender roles, because of this, people see women who socialise in some ways as trying to imitate men. For instance football. People believe football is for boys or men and so when they see women playing football, they’ll frown at it.
To achieve gender equality, we first need to let Society understands that, men and women are actually biologically different but that in no way should deter women from been equal to men vice versa. Traditional practices and norms should be revised. Boys and girls should be treated equal at an early age. Women should learn to support each other rather than compete. The media can be a very important instrument in raising awareness. Thank you all. I hope my contribution is meaningful yo this group smile

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Women face a number of challenges as far as gender equality is concerned. In most of Sub Saharan Africa, women are the ones who work hard to provide food for the family but in most cases they don’t have a say on which plants to grow and what to sell. Even if they sell the agricultural produce, the money doesn’t go into the woman’s account. It is the man who receives the money and gets to decide how that money will be used.

There’s a need for stakeholders to revisit the laws that determine land holding. Women ought to have land under their names if needs be. Not only land but other sectors of the economy as well. Women should be able to borrow capita from banks using their own names. Some countries have moved a step further towards gender equality by opening institutions that are for women like universities and commercial banks/ building societies. By such moves, gender equality is likely to attained at some point…


This is actually very true. It cut across African communities

@bansah315 let me start by welcoming you to our discussion platform. This is your first ever post and I am still hoping you will go back to week one and introduce yourself properly. Do you think it is fair to regard the first two points of your post as challenges related to gender equality?

In what way would the menstrual cycle affect productivity? Can you be specific? Are women told not to work during this time? Secondly, getting pregnant is a human right, women cannot be punished for that, there should be clear policies regarding this for any employment institution.

@somedshahadu you are right about this, I once visited Cameroon and where I was they told me it was the woman’s duty to work on the field and produce food and they still have to take care of the family and other household chores

Hello @Erita

Let me take just one point from you:

What are we doing wrong as society, because every year there is a specific period set aside to stop gender based violence? Awareness is there but it never stops.

Women in the world and Kenya in particular faces the following challenges.
Political.In Kenya women are majority voters but they are enemies of themselves for they cannot unite to vote their own.In Kenya 2010 constitution allows 1/3 gender rule where in all political elected people is supposed to be women,however the issue has not be implemented even today.The women faces violence during campaigns and the electoral rules are not adhered to.Voters are sometimes bribed and women cannot manage to swim in the murky political arena as men.
Social challenges.Traditional cultures prohibit women to inherit property and also rule men.Women who are learned are treated with suspicion especially when demanding their rights.young ladies are forced to marry early example masai community.Ladies are forced to be carry female genital mutilation (FGM)
Economic.women who are poor are taken advantage by the rich where those that are young lose their education when they exchange favours sexually this has led to impoverishment of women.
Solutions.Enacting and implementing laws that protect women.Counselling in primary,secondary and college regarding social economic issues.
Encouraging traditionalists to protect women rights.
Forming social groups to enlighten women of their rights and to support projects that will empower women politically and economically.

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Role of the media to maintain the standard is to engage those who respected these value and harboured them as critical role a woman should play.

My told me to ask an elder “how are you”? He gave me the reason that if the elder say’s he/she is not fine what can you do as a child?

The whole thing is to take recognizance of what roll this women play on communication

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Many thanks again @Busi_Ngcebetsha for this wonderful introduction to our second week. I have been reading through some of the insightful comments people have shared regarding the numerous challenges confronting women.

To help us unpack the nuances of the challenges by paying attention to structural constraints that inhibit the progress on gender equality. I have prepared the following set of discussion questions to further stimulate our discussion and to elicit reflective responses from among ourselves.

You may answer any of the questions in no particular order:

  1. What do you think about engaging men and boys to participate in gender equality initiatives as opposed to making it look like only women issue? How do you practice gender equality at your radio station?

  2. For the men on this platform, what do you think about the women and girls in your life (mother, sister, aunts, daughters etc … what future do you wish for them? Do you think women and girls should be treated the same as men and boys in society? Why do you think so?

  3. Do you feel there are certain ‘privileges’ women enjoy due to the ideals of femininity? What are these privileges? Do they have an adverse impact on women or even the men themselves?

Looking forward to reading from you all @imintah

Hello @mrndegwa

We welcome you to our discussion platform. We are delighted to have you join us and believe we will learn from each other. Please remember to go back to Week One and introduce yourself so that you do not miss on getting a certificate of participation at the end of the discussion.

You have mentioned important points as quoted below:

These are really challenges that need to be addressed. In most cases the way they are addressed is by means of “talk” and no implementation. I like the fact that you mention implementing laws in your solution.


We are happy to have you here.

What would you say are the challenges facing women with regards gender equality?

Looking forward to reading from you.

Hello @somedshahadu

Thank you for these questions. They will help us explore the issue of gender equality and personalize it. When we do that, we surely can make an impact.

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Currently, I think there is emerging evidence to show that girls and women are gradually giving opportunities to compete or attain their goals compared to men, my postgraduate study has proven this evidence, we are having 50% of admitted students on the program, M.A.International Affairs at our premier university in Ghana, who are women. As I said earlier now, it is knowledge, understanding and capacity building of both sex. Our rural communities, these indicators are not well understood by the indigenes, we have to engage communities through education sensitisation both formal and informal, sexual education, career development with men and women in attendance etc.

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Good day to all,
This is Eric Opa Doue again from Liberia.

I want to look at

  1. Women and Education,
  2. Women and Health and
  3. Women’ Economic and Political Empowerment.

Education is a key area of focus. Although the world is making progress in achieving gender parity in education, girls still make up a higher percentage of out-of-school children than boys. Approximately one quarter of girls in the developing world do not attend school. Typically, families with limited means who cannot afford costs such as school fees, uniforms, and supplies for all of their children will prioritize education for their sons. Families may also rely on girls’ labor for household chores, carrying water, and childcare, leaving limited time for schooling. But prioritizing girls’ education provides perhaps the single highest return on investment in the developing world. An educated girl is more likely to postpone marriage, raise a smaller family, have healthier children, and send her own children to school. She has more opportunities to earn an income and to participate in political processes, and she is less likely to become infected with HIV.

Women’s health and safety is another important area. HIV/AIDS is becoming an increasingly impactful issue for women. (Source) This can be related to women having fewer opportunities for health education, unequal power in sexual partnership, or as a result of gender-based violence. Maternal health is also an issue of specific concern. In many countries, women have limited access to prenatal and infant care, and are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy and childbirth. This is a critical concern in countries where girls marry and have children before they are ready; often well before the age of 18. (Source) Quality maternal health care can provide an important entry point for information and services that empower mothers as informed decision-makers concerning their own health and the health of their children.

A final area of focus in attaining gender equality is women’s economic and political empowerment. Though women comprise more than 50% of the world’s population, they only own 1% of the world’s wealth. Throughout the world, women and girls perform long hours of unpaid domestic work. In some places, women still lack rights to own land or to inherit property, obtain access to credit, earn income, or to move up in their workplace, free from job discrimination. At all levels, including at home and in the public arena, women are widely underrepresented as decision-makers. In legislatures around the world, women are out numbered 4 to 1, yet women’s political participation is crucial for achieving gender equality and genuine democracy.

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