Treatment of women needs to change

There is a deep need for change in how our society treats women.

Singapore has made great leaps in terms of closing the pay gap, increasing job opportunities and reducing stay-at-home rates for women.

Yet, there has always been an issue lacking in coverage: equal moral treatment.

For far too long, women have had to live with snide remarks made about them, being ridiculed and having sexual abuses hurled at them.

Nobody bats an eyelid when a woman is called a "b****" - or subjected to other forms of abuse - or when men carelessly and purposely utilise words loaded with sexual innuendo.

The disrespect can go beyond language to inappropriate eyeing, touching and open harassment.

We need to have conversations with our males and females alike, young and old.

We need to teach young men to treat women with respect. We need to teach young women that they have less to fear because they will be the ones to work towards a better tomorrow for themselves.

We do not live in as bad an environment as some big cities elsewhere, but, every day, there are still countless subtle instances of immoral treatment and disrespect we suffer. We need to try and change as a society, which includes trying to educate older folk.

When women have to learn self-defence tactics because they fear something untoward will be inflicted on them by men, rather than for other causes such as attaining fitness; or when women are afraid of walking about in certain neighbourhoods at night; or when women constantly refrain from openly confronting men and choose to walk away as it is their only choice because the men are simply stronger and few present will stand on their side, then there is something wrong with the way our society operates and we need to change this.

A lot of people say that in Singapore, giving birth to a girl is the same as bearing a boy. It is time to behave like this is true.

Jin Zhi Yan (Miss)