Most societies in the world are divided into social groups; in some cases these groups are defined by economic classes while others are distinguished through traditional social classes (e.g. the caste system in Indian societies) but for the longest period in history of mankind there has existed one peculiar similarity between almost all society around the world, women’s social and economic subservience. Naturally men are masculine while women are feminine. Masculinity in men bleeds egos that suppress the social and economic responsiveness of women and they are left with no space to practice their wishes but instead the societies subject them to total submissiveness.
For many years beautiful women clamored for rich and strong men to provide social and financial security but this trend has been changing over the years and currently there are many women already engaging in activities that were previously dominated by men. Unlike the traditional women who did not seek for professional employment but instead preferred to stay at home seer kids and take care of their families, today’s women are engaging professional jobs. According a research conducted in the University of Maryland in 2009, the number of women working professionally has improved significantly since 1970s and it currently stands at 75% as compared to men’s 85% that has not changed for many years. However, the working women were found to be suffering from glass ceiling effects. Glass ceiling effect, according to Giddens, 2006 is the feeling of subtle inferiority to men which has resulted in low number of promotions in workplaces awarded to women employees.
The number of men entrepreneurs and organizational heads has remained high which can largely be attributed to the confidence borne as a result of their sexual “differences”. The low number of women heading companies has resulted to the assertion that women are currently engaged in professional jobs because of economic upheavals that occupied the last part of twentieth century and has been worsening with time but not out of their own volition and desire to match men (Giddens 232). It can be argued that the number of women holding prestigious positions in companies has been affected by traditional management heads that were men and overly the top spots have been left to men who in turn have ensured women are only occupy insignificant position in their companies.
Women suffer from stereotyping from men which prejudices their chances of ever rising on the promotion ladder. The masculinity nature of men has variously been mistaken to mean that they are stronger psychologically than women. Even in our modern world, white males’ managers tend to look for younger men that are like themselves to occupy management spots especially when they are preparing for retirement. They always assume that the men they nurture will follow their management trends and they fail to see any managerial trails in women around them although there might be competent women also working in the same offices and with adverse knowledge about the company’s operations. Many societies also encourage male dominance from young ages and these mentalities are carried on throughout their lives.
In most marriages, women are the inferior partners. According to a research conducted in the University of Maryland the number of working married women with kids was found to be significantly lower than that of married women without kids. This point brings us down to the fact that raising kids up is an enormous activity that forces many women out of their careers to take care of their kids. On the other hand the number of working married men with kids is not any different from that of married men without kids (Giddens 234). This simple fact means that the responsibilities of taking care of families are entirely surrendered to women instead of the being shared between the two partners in the relationship.
Although women are charged with the largest share of family responsibilities, their economic inadequacies further explains why women still unequal partners in their marriages. Instead of being at home with their kids, men are required to pay for every bill that springs up in the family and thus they remain sole breadwinners for their families. Daily schedules that women have to work through every day and overreliance on men for financial support further stretches the gap between the two genders in societies. Despite the tedious chores they have to contend with every day, men still manage to convince their kids that they play the greatest part in their lives because they pay for every bill including school fees and general upkeep monies. Taking care of kid from the time they are born to the time they mature watching over them every day is indisputably difficult but men always claim that they take their fair share through provision of funds whenever they are needed. Even working married women are also victims of inequality in their families because often women earn less than their male counterparts.
Men leave their wives at home and toil every day for their families while their wives take care of other domestic chores. It is generally argued that men shield their women from unbearable hustles by providing for all their needs. On the other hand women are expected to naturally occupy the other domestic responsibilities without complaining. Men perceive femininity in women as physical weaknesses that should be guarded by their physique and finances. When women are placed on level grounds with men they always leave great impressions of themselves but when their fate is decided by the doctrines of societies, they always emerge as the common culprits. In schools, from preparatory education to tertiary level, women have always competed for top spots against their male counterparts but soon after graduation the pre-projected trends takes effect and women take the lower strata in the society and men are left to battle for the top spots amongst themselves.
Recent campaigns for equality have resulted in significant changes in family setup. Currently men are becoming more responsive to domestic responsibilities than at any other time in the modern history and equality especially at home is slowly creeping in. However, it is to be noted that responsibilities shared at home are still not equal between the partners as men always claim more free time to hang out with their friends as the women take the bigger share of the domestic chores. Equality in its absoluteness has not been achieved in domestic setups.
Women are tormented in different fronts but maybe the differences between their position in the society and that occupied by men can be explained well by their political participation. According to a research conducted in 2010 in America, only 19% of all parliamentary sits are occupied by women. Considering that they population of women in the US is approximately equal to that of men, the number of slots occupied by women in the house of representatives should be approximately equal to that occupied by men but because of the existing social gap between the two genders, the number of female members of parliament has remained low. Although the current number of women in the parliament is significantly higher than it was twenty years ago, the rate of growth is very low and if the number was expected to rise by 5% annually it would take about 56 years to achieve equality in parliament. The percentage of female parliamentarians is among the highest world over. There are more than ten countries that do not have female representatives in their parliaments, this means the battle against inequality is far from being won and it may take decades to achieve substantial political equality worldwide.
Women have changed several trends in a bid to substantiate their clamor for freedom from male dominance. Lesbianism has seen aggressive females look for female partners so as they can take up the male responsibilities in their relationships. In their small ways they manage to be the “men” by being the providers of both physical and financial security t their feminine partners. Social decrees have had such depths that have condemned women with equal capabilities with men to live in denial all their lives lest they be branded social misfits for refusing to obey “the laws of nature”. The history of mankind has seen transfer of social responsibilities over the generations, a popular story of young French woman that led her country’s military against England still resonates in minds of many. Joan of arc was condemned for her refusal to honor nature by fighting men’s battles and wearing men’s clothes.
World’s economy is largely supported by men. Economic power has been found to be one of the objects that result to stereotyping of minority and inferior groups. According to the forbes magazine, only one woman was listed amongst the top ten richest billionaires in the world. It is also argued that men earn more than women by a margin of about 62% which means that women are financially inferior to men and why subservience exists. Due to financial strengths, men mostly hire women for positions that enhance their jobs but not for real production in their companies. Examples of such positions include office secretary, cooks, washing girl, etc which do not require adverse education.
Cultural heritages of many communities around the world have resulted in perpetual women subservice. Religious orientations of different communities are also to blame for the inequalities that continue to dominate our societies. The laws in Iran recognize man as a guardian to his wife and thus holding women to subdued positions in the country. All major decisions in the family are solely dominated by the man who may never consult the woman even if the decision is supposed to affect them because the law recognizes such family arrangements where man is the head of his family. Every item of law that is supposed to serve both women and men in Iran discriminates against women e.g. compensations received by victims after being involved in an accident is defined in such a way that men’s compensation is double that of women. Many countries in the region, Asia, have laws that recognize men as the sole source of authority in their families. When family disagreements ensue and divorce from a marriage are requested, the law always favors men with looking into the gravity of their deeds that may actually be the cause of the divorce requests. When a woman in Iran wants to leave the county, either for further studies or to work abroad, she requires the husband’s consent before she can be cleared to leave the country.
Many parts of china uphold principles of Confucian to date, a philosophical system that has been in existence for more than two thousand years that recognizes women as subordinate member of the society. The system, developed by Confucius, dictates that women are inferior beings that are very difficult to deal with in the society. Although modern lifestyles have improved the position of women in this region considerably, men are still the dominant figures both in their families and the society at large. Chinese men have 75% more chances of securing jobs than women with the dividing line being gender differences. Even university graduates are not spared the agony; they often receive lower pay compared to their male counterparts working in the same fields because the entire society supports the Confucian philosophies. A research conducted by Peking University indicated that many women lose their jobs when they get pregnant while those that are spared get about 10% pay cuts after delivery.
Many Islamic countries especially those that are ruled by fundamentalist groups do not recognize women as equal members of the society. The Quran, Islamic religious book, recognizes that women should be accorded equal treatment as men but it further explained that men are more superior to their women. Consequences of the teaching of the Quran have been catastrophic because in countries such as Saudi Arabia a women requires a written consent from a close male relative to be allow to move around the country in public vehicles. In Bahrain and Egypt, a complaint letter from a husband to the travel agency can forbid a woman from leaving the country (The Skeptics Annotated Quran). In all these countries, men’s rules are supreme and women risk punishment when they fail to obey.
Women are naturally weaker than men but this does not mean they are inferior beings. Societies that cause torment and discriminate against women neglect a very crucial part of both social and economic elements. It is evident that women involvement in Europe and America has been substantial as evidenced by the economic and democratic progresses. Women occupy very important places in any society and they complement men’s efforts because they have unique capabilities. Absolute equality around the world might not be forthcoming anytime in the future but the world should accord women the honor they deserve; give them democratic space, allow them to occupy public offices that are qualified to handle. Although the greatest democratic countries such the United States of America have established structures that recognize women as equal members of the society there are still stereotypes that believe that women are inferior to men. While fighting for restoration of common right for minority groups in these countries, the governments should also endorse women for more public offices to ensure equality that was envisaged long ago can finally be achieved.
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