Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In your society, how far is equality for all a reality?

In the Singaporean society, equality for all can be a possibility, but is not likely in the near future. Meritocracy may make equality for all a reality eventually. However, at present equality for all remains far from being a reality in Singapore due to the existing gender and age discrimination.

Sexism is evident in the workplace and the female workforces are at a disadvantage. The gender equality taught in education does not automatically translate into gender equality at work. In fact, women still face persistent obstacles in the workplace because this domain has largely remained male-dominated. Males are traditionally thought to be the sole breadwinner of their family, while females are thought to stay at home and watch over the matters of the household. Young women who are just entering the workforce have a lower chance of getting employment as compared to men. This is because they may require maternal leave if they get pregnant and will be seen as a liability to the company.

Even if females get jobs, they are often low-paying and low-skilled ones. Moreover, career advancement opportunities are rare for women since they are thought to be unable to fulfill their job responsibilities due to their family commitments, which men are traditionally not subjected to. This inequality is evident in the persistent wage gap between the male and female workers in Singapore. Generally, it is observed that it is a consistent trend for males to earn higher wages compared to females. Hence, gender discrimination results in unequal remuneration between the male and female workforce.

Ageism is another kind of inequality prevalent in the Singaporean society. Age discrimination especially towards the elderly is often based upon the stereotypes which regards the elderly as ‘useless’. The elderly persons can only take up unskilled jobs. Many employers are often quick to turn away older job applicants as they judge them based on their physical indication of their age. We often hear of elderly workers being rejected from job when employers come to know about their age.

Such discrimination leads to poverty and helplessness among the elderly population. Instead of enabling our older workers to acquire new jobs with satisfactory remuneration, they are forced to work on low wages. This leads to lower self-esteem in the aged people. The 2010 census shows that the supposed prime age of unemployment is over 65 years. However, this may be due to the stability in jobs as these jobs are usually not meant for career advancements. Nevertheless, ageism puts elderly in a pathetic situation as they are treated and paid unfairly.

However, the meritocracy system is in effect in Singapore which can help reduce the inequality based upon age and gender. The fundamentals of meritocracy is that people should be rewarded based on what they do, not who they are. The system of meritocracy ensures that the best and brightest, regardless of race, religion and socio-economic background get the opportunities they deserve. Everyone has access to education, which equips them with skills and knowledge to earn a better living. This means that everyone gets equal opportunities to do well and is rewarded according to their merits. For example, all Singaporean students in government and government-aided schools, junior colleges/centralized institute, independent schools or institutions, specialized schools, etcetera who are not recipients of any “Edusave Scholarship” are eligible to apply for the “Edusave Merit Bursary” if they are within the top 25% of each level and stream in their schools and meet the testing criteria of not exceeding $5,000 monthly gross household income.

In conclusion, equality for all is far from reality at present. Age and gender discrimination, more or less, exists in Singapore. However, the government can begin salvaging the current situation through education. Schools are where many young people shape their way of thinking and build up their perceptions about people and other things. Therefore, the government can work hand in hand with the ministry of education to incorporate awareness about such discrimination in the curriculum itself, and make equality for all a reality before it becomes too late.

Written by: Annabel Fung

3 comments:

  1. Experiencing gender discrimination is already a tedious fight, but if your fellow female colleagues also gang up on you like it's high school all over again, the daily work will be nerve-wracking. This essay on equality is timely and the advocacy is admirable. - Layce of essay service.

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  2. Thanks for posting this. I wish it was able to be translated, but for some reason Google toolbar isn't working. I copy pasted it into another application and read the post. my profile

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  3. In every country there is a problem of equality. In some countries it manifested very sharply and obvious progress in other. I think that this problem will manifest itself in one way or another at least for decades. Maybe will be combated that forms of inequality that exist today but others will show up. - Mary from Custom essay writing

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