Difference Between Feminism and Gender Equality

Feminism vs Gender Equality

Difference between feminism and gender equality may seem non-existent as both speak about equal rights for the genders. However, there is a difference. Both feminism and gender equality are very critical topics in the modern day society. Gender is the male and femaleness of a person. In gender equality, people argue for the equal rights for both genders. Also, it says that both men and women should be treated equally, regardless of their gender differences. Feminism, on the other hand, emphasizes the equal rights and freedom for women. Feminists believe that women are treated badly or unfairly by others and this should be stopped. However, both aim towards equality among genders and the freedom of people in many ways. In this article, we are going to look at each term in detail and from that identify the differences between feminism and gender equality.

What is Gender Equality?

Gender equality is the view that both men and women should always be treated equally, regardless of their gender differences. This emphasizes the harmony between two genders and this covers the sex equality, gender egalitarianism, and sexual equality. Gender equality highlights the importance and necessity of having equal law rights and equal treatments in different social situations for both genders. For example, there might be instances where both men and women do engage in the same type of work, but men are paid more than the women. These kinds of behaviors are criticized in terms of gender equality. The organizations who work for gender equality aim towards combating against the gender stereotypes, violence against women, giving equal opportunities for both men and women in politics and public decision scenarios, etc. Earlier, there were some misconceptions that certain jobs or tasks could be performed only by men and not by women. For example, armed forces, firefighters, etc. did not have women in their teams. But, at present, this notion has been changed and there are women who engage in those fields. Also, the tasks that were regarded as women’s work, such as, child-rearing, cleaning, nursing, etc. are done by males too. However, gender equality gives chance to both men and women to make their own decisions and to behave in the society as they want.

Difference Between Feminism and Gender Equality

What is Feminism?

Feminism is a collection of movements that arose for a common goal; to achieve equal status for women in the social, educational, cultural, political, and economic situations. Feminist movements try to understand the gender equality by looking at women’s situation in the society. They examine women’s status and social life and then compare it with men’s situation. In some societies, women are ill-treated by their male family members, in terms of law rights, educational rights and economical rights. Some women are not allowed to gain education, but they are forced to get married and bear children, which are considered to be their duties. Also, when it comes to inheritance of properties, most societies think that male members should get the immovable properties like lands and houses whereas women were given jewelry and some other items. These actions are criticized by the feminists and they fight for the equal right for women in the society.

Feminism vs Gender Equality

Feminist Suffrage Parade in New York City, 6 May 1912

What is the difference between Feminism and Gender Equality?

When we look at both terms, we see similarities as well as differences. Both gender equality and feminism work towards the egalitarianism in the society, in terms of gender. Both these are critical and very active movements in the modern world.

• When we think of the differences, we see that gender equality focuses on the equal situation for both males and females and in contrast, feminism look for the equality for women, especially from men.

• Feminism examines the social situations and how women are treated comparing them to males. But, gender equality is based on both genders and they look at both males and females in similar perspective.

However, both are very significant topics in the current world.


Images Courtesy: Gender equality  and Feminisim  via Wikicommons (Public Domain)

  • May Loo

    I have a question. When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, I honestly didn’t think about gender identity. When was sex and gender identity separated and why? I don’t accept (as young people do today) this separation as being natural without understanding the why. In my day men and women were what they were because they were born that way.


    LOL. No. Feminism started from fighting for only womens’ rights, but also we could see other male treatment – for example; kissing a female hand is her privilege, so feminists usually got offended when a man was trying to kiss their hands. Feminism is about both genders. Not only women. Men always had more rights than women, so feminists didn’t have to fight for them.