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Unveiling Gender Bias: A Call for Collective Change

Updated: Mar 19

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Due to entrenched societal structures and cultural norms, gender bias has become a self-sustaining cycle present in every culture. These prejudices embed themselves into the communal psyche over time, shaping people’s perspectives, actions, and opportunities. Early exposure to gender norms through media and toys solidifies these biases, perpetuating a detrimental cycle.


But what if we could challenge these assumptions and stereotypes? Imagine embracing our individuality and diversity, celebrating achievements and potential regardless of gender. Picture a world where everyone enjoys equal opportunities and dignity, free from limitations based on gender identity or expression. This vision is not just a dream; it's both possible and necessary. It's within our power to be agents of change, disruptors of the status quo, and pioneers of a new era.


Passive, Nurturing Women vs Aggressive, Adventurous Men

Gender stereotypes often paint women as inherently nurturing and submissive, while men as naturally aggressive and adventurous. These stereotypes not only limit individual expression but also perpetuate unequal opportunities. Women are often pressured to conform to roles centered around caregiving, while men may feel compelled to suppress emotions and embrace aggression as a sign of masculinity. These generalizations ignore the multifarious traits and aspirations within individuals. True progress lies in recognizing and celebrating diverse qualities within each gender, allowing everyone the freedom to express themselves authentically without conforming to regressive stereotypes.


Lack of diverse role models discourages individuals from pursuing their full potential and goals.

Language Matters: What we hear is what we believe

Language subtly reinforces traditional gender roles, impacting our perceptions. Terms like "policeman", "chairman’’, “businessman” instead of "police officer", “chairperson” and "businessperson" perpetuate gender bias and discourage diversity in professions. When children see only one gender represented in certain professions or leadership roles, it reinforces the idea that those positions are not open to everyone. This lack of diverse role models discourages individuals from pursuing their full potential and goals.


Credit: The Business Woman Media


Beyond Qualifications: What are your plans for marriage and kids?

Gender bias in the hiring process is a reality, where women are assessed based on their plans for marriage and having kids, rather than their qualifications, something that men are immune from. The lack of maternity leave discourages hiring women, perpetuating inequality. Let's challenge these biases and advocate for fair policies that encompass parental leaves for both parents. 


Even if they work full-time, women are still expected to fulfill their household, reproductive, and caregiving responsibilities.

Benevolent Sexism: Woman as Superwoman

Traditional gender roles persist despite countless debates and calls for change. Even if they work full-time, women are still expected to fulfill their household, reproductive, and caregiving responsibilities. So, a household with both parents working would consist of a mother toiling in the kitchen after coming home from work, and the father relaxing in front of the TV ordering a second cup of chai. Breaking free requires dismantling these expectations and removing women from the pedestals of ‘all giving, all knowing, all doing.’


Credit: Washington University in St. Louis


Alpha Male Chronicles

Men contend with societal expectations to assume the roles of 'provider' and 'protector,' often suppressing emotions and adhering to norms. Empowering change involves recognizing the value of diverse traits in men and challenging the kind of 'Alpha male' stereotype which Ranbir Kapoor promoted in the movie Animal when he said, "You're not a man, rather a vermin." This shift not only fosters mental well-being by allowing men to express vulnerability but also challenges harmful norms perpetuating stigma around seeking support or therapy.


Boys are often steered towards STEM fields, while girls may be directed towards humanities. This biased guidance contributes to the stark gender disparity in women's involvement in STEM-related professions.

My daughter will become a Doctor & My son will become an Engineer

The impact of gender bias on parental influence over their children's career choices is striking. Boys are often steered towards STEM fields, while girls may be directed towards humanities. This biased guidance contributes to the stark gender disparity in women's involvement in STEM-related professions. Boys are encouraged to pursue challenging careers, while girls may be nudged towards roles allowing for a better work-life balance, reinforcing the notion that family responsibilities should predominantly fall on women. This perpetuates biased stereotypes, restricting opportunities for both genders and sustaining the cycle of bias.


Breaking this cycle requires awareness, education, and collective efforts. People tend to notice and remember information that confirms their existing beliefs or biases. Addressing bias involves challenging ingrained beliefs and systems, educating ourselves, and being mindful of our language. It requires conscious efforts to create inclusive environments, reevaluate existing norms, provide equal opportunities, and promote awareness about gender biases and their impact, so that we can pave the way for an equal future.






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