Why do I find gender inequality an important issue? Because my daughters and now my granddaughters and grandsons live in a world where it still exists. I have experienced it in my life. It began when I was young. There were not many sports opportunities for girls -- be a cheerleader or watch the boys. My high school advanced physics class had only a handful of girls. The boys asked me what I was doing there. Physics wasn't really for girls. But when I won the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow contest in the same school, no one was surprised -- of course a girl would win. In college I was encouraged, with the other mainly female PT students, to all attend the same physics section. The dean of my college told us we could bring down the curve and actually pass then. Otherwise we didn't have a hope of competing with the other, mostly male, pre-med and pre-dental students in the class. You see the girls were not as good in math and scientific thinking. I and one other female student needed to attend a different physics section -- we had to argue with the dean to do so. We earned B's. Early in my professional career I was not promoted over a male for a supervisory position. My experience was better and we were hired on the same day. But I was hastily told "he signed his hiring papers before you". They were giving preference to a male for the job. And as I raised my children while working full time at a career, both my female peers and family members were not always supportive. Even though men have families and careers as a matter of course. And when my husband for a time stayed home with our child while I worked, people thought it very strange. So the gender equality card played both ways in its unequal assessments.
In 2015 I believe things are better. More equal opportunities in sports and education are available. But opportunity as children does not mean equality as adults. Society is more accepting of men as caregivers for children at home but that does not mean it accepts women in high power jobs or gives them equal pay. And outside of this country women suffer from inequities we can only imagine. If we all agree that slow progress is acceptable then some day our grandchildren will be telling the next generations their own personal stories of gender inequality. I don't want that to be true. Don't wait for others to correct this. Do what you can now. Join the HeForShe movement, donate, advocate, teach or reach out. Individuals can make a difference. One woman or man at a time.