To say that women are equal to men, is like saying a doctor is equal to an engineer. Yes, both are graduates and professionals, but their functions in the society are different. They should just be proud of what they can and should do, and appreciative of what the other is doing. There is no point in a doctor claiming that he is equal to an engineer and so should be allowed to build a skyscraper, nor in an engineer seeking the privilege to perform a surgery. There were some interesting articles that complained that there aren't as many takers for women's cricket as there are for men's. Of course, if the best of these women's teams play against the worst of men's team (at any given level - national or international), it's not even going to be much of a contest. So the simple fact is that women are not up to men's level in playing cricket, and so there are few who are interested in watching them play. It has nothing to do with a perceptional bias. If this difference is evident in even something as simple to analyze as a game, then how can we assume equality on a larger scale? I am sure there are other fields in which men are no match for women. This does not make men and women more equal, but adds to the inequality.
I have been reading many articles that ascribed crime against women to a perception of this inequality in the society. In my opinion, this is fallacious reasoning. Hurting or abusing another is always a wrong thing to do - whether or not they are equal. For example, whether or not you consider a manager and a worker who reports to him to be equal or not, it is not acceptable for the manager to abuse the worker, or the other way. I don't think it's because they are equal or they're doing the same job in their organization, but just that it is not okay for anybody to hurt anybody else - be it man or animal or plant - physically or emotionally (or in any other way). Why don't we stop at that, rather than bring in unsustainable and arbitrary points such as equality? Of course, we can discuss and debate on those lines as much as we want, but let's not allow our opinion on these abstract concepts (such as equality) to cloud our view on something as down-to-earth as crime and punishment.
I don't think anybody is equal to anybody else. What I believe is that we are all in different stages of evolution (of the soul), and at our current level we have certain responsibilities that help us get to the next level if we gladly play our part, and to our best ability. We are all essentially manifestations of the same spirit, equally loved by God, and deserve to be equally treated by the Law. We're like gold or diamond in different levels of refinement or polishing. But the equality stops there. Yes, men and women are different, and the society needs them in different roles. To understand and accept our weakness is the key to developing our strengths. That is the way we grow. If anybody cannot see this obvious truth, they're either closing their eyes to it, or actually blind. To accept this difference and celebrate this diversity is vital to solving the gender issues that the world is facing today.