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Are We Equal?

On the 17 of November BBC 1 is airing a documentary uncovering the views of young


people as they come to grips with the never ending problem of gender equality.
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So heres the big question: are all genders equal? Gender inequality is the inescapable issue
which influences many factors of our everyday lives such as education, careers,
relationships, money and the media. In this eye-opening documentary the opinions on
modern day gender equality among teenagers and adults are tackled to see how aware the
public actually is.
In the first episode of the documentary, the Sixth Form College, Solihull in the West Midlands
is put under the spotlight in order to get an insight about how the students, experts and more
importantly head teacher Paul Ashdown deals with issues of equality in his college. This is
then debated along with discovering his views as an older adult who has previously been
impacted by growing up in a different society.

The controversial topic of dress codes, as seen as a common bias towards females when its
deemed inappropriate, is discussed with the head teacher. The people who should be
changing their behaviour are the men observing younger women he said in reply to
females (in other schools) being sent home due provocative clothing. When some of the
students at the sixth form were asked, generally the female students responded saying they
had been told their clothing was inappropriate, confirming the prejudice towards females.
It was clear that quite a large amount of the younger generations are starting to realize the
extent of inequality in society, with the help of social media websites in which 95 percent of
teens (12 17) use the internet, and 81 percent of them use social media sites - e.g. Twitter
or Tumblr. These websites commonly discuss the double standards for different genders,
especially as the younger generations plan for their futures, realising the difference in pay
between men and women. The full time gender pay gap is currently 10%, and the average
part-time pay gap is 34.5%. Women are being paid less for doing the same job as a man,
and that means inequality.

Julie Maitland who runs the feminist and equality society at the Sixth Form explained that if
theyre (the media) saying good things about feminism, it doesnt make a
story. However, posts to websites about gender equality are largely looked into, twitter
hashtags such as #yesallwomen and the response #yesallmen debated, including the
explanation of what movements such as feminism and meninisms agendas are.

The truth behind cat-calling is exposed as the difference in personal experiences between
teenage females and males is highlighted. A report, taking in 22 countries, shows that on
average 84 per cent of women are harassed on the street before they turn 17. The
teenagers interviewed confirmed this, also expressing their dislike of being cat-called and
how it makes them uncomfortable. Some of the females who answered that they hated
being catcalled, and some even highlighted the fact that it was largely more common for
females to get catcalled than men.

Throughout the documentary, controversial topics are raised and views from the public are
shown to find out if there really is equality between genders, and if there ever really could be.
Recent reports of groping in concerts and sexual harassment in the workplace clearly
outlines that this issue is really not going away.