Equal rights for women and men

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 January, 2011, 12:00am

The article 'Divorce ruling evens the balance at last' (SCMP , November 17, 2010) caught my attention.

Gender imbalance is rife in society. Men are assumed to be intelligent, decisive and the breadwinner in a family. Women are viewed as submissive, the carers of children and the keeper of the home.

But now that the lower courts have begun assuming a 50:50 division of assets between spouses after a divorce, the bias has shifted. This change shows the increasing recognition of women's contribution to the family. Of course, many take on the familiar family roles, but they also take on careers that bring home the money.

Their contribution sometimes surpasses that of men. This increase in social status is what will bring about equality between genders.

Treating couples going through a divorce equally when it comes to dividing assets is just one small step on the way to striving for balance.

Carmen So, Hang Seng School of Commerce

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Carmen. It's strange to think that, in our modern, forward-thinking society, men are still so frequently considered superior to women.

For centuries it almost made sense that men were seen as working 'harder'. They were, after all, almost always the breadwinners. Raising children and looking after the home was not seen as 'work', but merely a wife's duty.

But as society has come to realise that motherhood is an incredibly challenging 'job', and that women are as capable as men of earning a living, it has become clear that women work as hard as men.

While of course different people have different strengths, and science suggests those strengths can be divided by gender, men and women have equally important roles in life. The recent divorce ruling is a reassuring step that society is finally beginning to view men and women as equal.

Karly, Deputy Editor