If you have ever checked the emojis that are currently used on your phone, you will note that most of them still maintain a sort of gender bias. For instance, while they depict a number of male types emojis in professional careers, most women are still given only beauty roles in emojis. This has led to a number of employees at Google feeling that they need to change this.
How this Will Happen
The employees have submitted their emojis to the Unicode Consortium. Unicode Consortium is a major organization located in Silicon Valley and is responsible for the creation of new emojis. Every emoji that is officially used on any phone has to go through this huge organization and their decision is final. They hope apps and software will have more inclusive emojis.
How Bad is it?
According to a number of leading figures, this issue is quite huge. If you check your emojis, all the women that are shown there are only practicing traditional roles. These women are either a princess or a bride. The only professional role a woman is depicted in is being a dancer.
According to experts, this might have an effect on how women view themselves as they grow up. It might cause them to have a lesser outlook on life. They may think that professional roles such as being a doctor or an engineer are preserved for men. The only surprising thing is that the issue had not been raised earlier.
The issue came to the fore last week when a professor at the Ohio Wesleyan University tried to congratulate her friend who had received a promotion at work. She was surprised when she noticed that there were no emojis befitting a congratulatory message to her friend.
What leading Figures are Saying
One of the notable people who have commented on the issue thus far has been Michelle Obama. She has used her tenure as the first lady of the United States to promote women’s rights and equality. Campaigns for equality in the recent past have led to more color diversity in emojis. Previously, all emojis were depictions of white people. This camping led to greater diversity in the emojis used.
Jeremy Purge, a member of the Unicode Consortium, added an interesting twist to the discussion. He has proposed adding more roles that depict men doing house chores. This will help bridge the gap in gender equality.
As for now, the emojis lead us to believe that there are no male dancers or male hairdressers. However, this is not a true depiction of what the world really looks like. In the current world, both boys and girls need to understand that there are no gender specific roles in life. Anyone can be whatever he or she wants to be in life.
Hillary Clinton had a say on this issue. She has been at the forefront of women equality in the recent past. For instance, her campaign recently welcomed the move by the treasury department that the image of Harriet Tubman will appear on the $20 bill. She has not shied away from speaking her mind on this issue. Her campaign points out women are being given recognition all over the world in greater numbers than they have ever been. As a result, she raises the issue why up to now; no emojis reflect the roles that women play in society.
What the Employees Want
The Google employees have been very specific about their request. They do not want the new emojis to be gender ambiguous; they want it to be clear that these are depictions of women roles in the society.
However, this may take some time to implement. For one, Unicode Consortium has to consult a number of giant tech companies. In addition, they need to make sure that these emojis do not rub anyone the wrong way as the company is trying to stay politically neutral.
Why this Issue Needs to be Considered Seriously
According to the latest technology news, almost 20% more women use emojis than men. In addition, most of the women that use emojis are those under thirty years. These women are still choosing their career path so that they can shape the future. If they are fed with propaganda on the kind of roles women should play, it might affect how they behave in future.
Attaining gender equality still faces many hurdles in this world; it is a journey that has to be taken gradually. It is the little victories like this on emojis that will help shape the future and how women are viewed in society. The team from Google hopes that the new set of emojis will be available in phones before the close of the year 2016.