OPINION: We must promote gender equality


Paul Capoccia, Community Editor

While our country has made strides toward gender equality over the last hundred or so years, a recent study suggests our job is far from complete.

According to a study published in January in the journal “Science,” girls as young as six years old may be led to believe men are inherently smarter and more talented than women.

In the study of 400 children ages five to seven, one activity involved children picking either a board game “for children who are really, really smart” or a board game “for children who try really, really hard.” Five-year-old girls and boys were equally likely to pick the game for smarter kids, but at ages six and seven, girls began to choose the other activity.

This is not okay.

We need to educate children that gender equality is possible and necessary. We must teach them that men and women deserve the same rights and opportunities. Men and women are equally capable.

We must also reflect upon ourselves: Do we treat men and women or boys and girls differently? Would we ask our sons so many questions about their clothes? Would we ask our nieces how much they enjoy playing sports?

We need to pass legislation that encourages gender equality for the future. The gender pay gap can no longer be allowed.

According to work by Claudia Goldin, a Harvard labor economist, published in The New York Times, the pay gap is a real problem. Examples referenced include female doctors and surgeons making only 71 percent of what their male colleagues make. Meanwhile, female financial specialists only make 66 percent of their male counterparts.

All children should be able to grow up knowing they can achieve their dreams. It is our job to let them.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @PaulCapocciaTWW