Judge people by merit, not gender

Even today, many children and young people are told to act and feel a certain way to fit the norm.

Boys are expected to be "manly" and told not to cry, and girls are expected to dress, sit and behave in a certain way.

Once, during a mathematics group project, I was perceived to be less "adept" than the boys were, and assigned a simpler task while the boys did the calculations. This was even though my maths ability was no weaker than theirs.

To ensure a truly progressive society where there is gender equality, we must celebrate individuals for who they are.

We should judge people by their merits, and not sideline them because of their gender.

We must fight against preconceived notions of gender stereotypes. Only then can we truly develop each individual to his or her highest potential.

Lai Xu Qing, 14

Secondary 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2017, with the headline 'Judge people by merit, not gender'. Print Edition | Subscribe