Battle of the sexes needs truce

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 12:00am

Gender equality is a concept that feminist groups are trying to achieve.

But will an equal balance between the sexes ever truly exist? In my opinion, no.

I am not saying that women will forever be inferior to men. Hillary Clinton and Anson Chan Fang On-sang have shown that women can be adept and respected politicians.

An increasing number of girls entering colleges and high schools are choosing science subjects - a path formerly dominated by males.

But in developing countries, there are societies held back by old norms and traditions.

Only a few years ago in Afghanistan for instance, girls could not receive an education, and women had to cover their entire bodies - except for their eyes.

In some countries, it is commonplace for men to have more than one wife.

These societies remind me of ancient China - a time when girls were not allowed to attend public exams and instead were taught how to be good wives and homemakers.

Today, however, gender equality still seems a rather distant goal.

The preference towards female tutors for children might never change.

And if you were trapped in a fire, who would you prefer to come to your rescue: a man or woman?

True and total gender equality can never be achieved.

But gender inequality does not equal gender discrimination.

We need to acknowledge that men and women are genetically diverse.

They have different body structures and inborn personality traits.

For example, it's a fact that men are more muscular than women.

Women, on the other hand, are more sentimental and can be a good source of emotional support to others.

Men and women should be treated equally.

No matter how their roles are divided, both genders deserve respect.

Pulcheria Chung is a regular SYP columnist