Times may have greatly advanced but we are still far from reaching parity in gender-influenced opportunities. Here’s why:

According to a study presented by International Labor Organization (ILO), the current global labor force participation rate for women could barely reach 50%, whereas men hold a staggering 75%. For years, difference in these rates peak up to 26 percentage points, with some regions facing a gap of even more than 50 percentage points.

In the Philippines alone, only three are women out of the 43 Duterte Cabinet members. Six are women out of the 24 elected senators in the 17th Congress. And, only two female leaders had been elected as the Head of the State since 1899.

If we are to review all the notable studies that prove how wide the power gap between the genders are, we could definitely go on for weeks. Recognizing these figures, how is this a problem at all?

Women need more representation. The lack of female leaders may fuel the societal norm that women are supposed to be submissive while men are destined to dominate. With less women on top of corporate ladders per se, further invalidation on the capability of women comes to place, which is a flag that needs to be taken down. In fact, women are not only as capable as men, but are even better. According to a study by the Science of People, female leaders tend to build more successful and resilient companies. This is due to the fact that women possess certain soft skills that could not be exemplified by men such as a more open and honest communication, stronger sense of interpersonal awareness, and even better display of empathy.

In a male-dominated global music industry, on the flip side, the lack of recognition given to female artists has become deeply associated with society’s grossly unequal standards. How?

A half-naked male artist during a live show gets deafening caterwauls in return, but a female artist owning up her body is provocative and sexual.

A male songwriter can soar atop music charts with a song written about sex, but a female lyricist writing about an ex is annoying and is “asking for too much attention”.

Men can go to award shows showing up in the same suit-and-tie pieces and would still get countless praises for being “dapper”, but women can never strut on red carpets without having to deal with fashion police articles picking on every detail from their makeup to how the color of their heels ruined their entire look.

As the unfair treatment go largely unnoticed, some of us still ask, “Why are women asking for too much?”

Generations of brainwashing had conditioned many of us to believing that women are supposed to be kept in boxes. Just like any contained spaces, these boxes grew fuller and fuller until they had to be unconstrained. Hence, the start of an era where women are encouraged to fight for their rights, to advocate for their voices to be amplified. Is this asking for too much? Most certainly not. This is a revolution.

It’s not about proving who the superior gender is. It’s about acknowledging the clear absence of gender equity in our society which results to sexism, abuse of power, stereotypical norms, implicit bias – the list goes on. At the end of the day, wouldn’t it be nice to help dismantle oppressive power structures?

Break the patriarchy.

Stand with women.