8 ways to help create a gender equal world

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we look at simple ways women can promote gender equality in their daily lives…

Mixed race boys and girls playing outdoors

As a mother of three girls, I can’t tell you how glad I am that gender equality and feminism have become buzzwords in the last few years. I’m relieved that my daughters are unlikely to face the same inequalities and demeaning experiences I did. 

But just because we’re talking more about equality doesn’t mean we’ve achieved it. The gender wage gap is still glaring. On average, a full-time female worker in the U.S. earns 80.7 cents for every dollar a full-time male worker earns.

So, how can the average mama help create a gender equal world? Here are eight easy ways…

  1. Harness the power of social media

The International Women’s Day 2020 theme is #EachforEqual. Strike the #EachforEqual pose and post your photo on social media with the hashtags #EachforEqual and #IWD2020.

Be sure to add a powerful tagline to your post to tell the world how you’re achieving gender equality. Examples include, “I work full-time and my husband stays at home with the kids” and “In our home we share the care work”. You could also scrawl your message on a piece of cardboard and post a selfie of you holding it. 

  1. Vote for women

In 2020, there are only 15 countries around the world where women hold the highest position of executive power. You can help increase the number of women in power by voting for female candidates whose views you support.

  1. Divide housework and childcare equally

Globally, women do three times as much unpaid childcare and domestic work as men do. Even when women work full-time and contribute as much (or more) to the household income, they still do more unpaid work. This overload can lead to increased mental illness and decreased productivity and career advancement.

Take stock of the division of labor in your household and work towards making it equal. Ask your partner to take on a greater share of domestic chores and childcare responsibilities. 

Both parents being involved in housework and childcare also sets a good example to children and

  1. Avoid gender-specific toys

Buying pink tea sets and baby dolls for girls and race cars or tool sets for boys may seem harmless, but it instils the notion from a very young age that girls belong at home while boys can be anything they want to be. Gendered toys can limit children’s worldview and affect their future career choices. Opt for gender-neutral STEM toys that introduce children to the wonders of science, technology engineering and math.

  1. Talk to your children about gender equality

Challenge gender stereotypes your children hear in the media or at school. Ask open-ended questions such as, “Why do you think girls can’t be doctors?” and gently deconstruct their gendered beliefs. Talk about the feminist movement and how far we’ve come, but how much work we still have do to achieve equality. Expose them to powerful women in politics, business and sports. Read books such as Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls that celebrate women who’ve changed the world.

  1. Denounce discrimination and sexual harassment

If you witness chauvinistic attitudes, discriminatory practices or sexual harassment at work, online or anywhere else, speak out against them. Ask colleagues and friends to refrain from making chauvinistic, racist and homophobic comments – especially in front of your children. The more we speak out against inequality, the less acceptable it will become.   

Young are also stepping up and making their voices heard. Educate and empower your children to speak out and become advocates for gender equality to ensure a better future for everyone.

  1. Support equal pay for equal work

If you suspect there’s a pay gap at your workplace, there are several ways you can take action. Job search website Glassdoor has numerous online tools to help you understand pay gap facts, find out how much you should be earning, anonymously share your salary and negotiate a pay raise. If you’re an employer, you can commit to paying equitably by taking the Glassdoor Equal Pay Pledge.

  1. Learn new skills

Invest in your success by learning new skills through professional development courses, books, podcasts and webinars. Not only will you benefit professionally, you’ll also actively contribute to reducing gender inequality by increasing your skill set. Talk to women you know about the steps you’re taking and encourage them to do the same.

Towards a gender equal future

Want to find out more about raising strong and confident daughters? Read 10 ways to empower girls and Please stop telling my daughters they’re pretty.