Voices of youth

Find balance in gender rights

The change to the Women's Charter to allow some men to file for maintenance raises a few questions ("MPs debate maintenance payouts for men"; March 1).

Should this be extended to all men, regardless of physical circumstance, just as it applies to all women? What ideas on gender equality are we propagating? Do these policies imply that we have a greater inclination towards gender partisanship in certain situations?

Are we unprepared to embrace policies that dispel notions such as "men are still viewed as the primary breadwinners and should not be granted the same rights as women"?

Many women want to see a reduction in the gender gap. But this does not mean we should disregard gender parity in issues that are prejudiced against men.

Ultimately, the way to improve a society revolves around our ability to craft social policies that strike an equilibrium between gender equity and equality. Only then can we bring together the two halves of humanity to reap benefits for all.

Ashley Tan Yu Yi, 16, Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'Find balance in gender rights'. Print Edition | Subscribe