The issue of gender equality in society has gained popularity in the precedent century with the rise of the feminist movement and women’s struggle for rights equal to those of men. The reason for the shift towards recognizing women’s rights in societal interactions is the changing ratio of males and females in the overall population on the globe with the growing number of women (Rothkopf, 2016).
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Legal recognition of women’s rights, guaranteeing safety, and equality in employment and social issues are the most significant landmarks in the women’s struggle for gender equality. 2014 has become a historic year for women, as it was the year of the 20th anniversary of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development that first proclaimed the need for improving the lives of women. What is more, the participants “examined issues including access to decent reproductive health services, sexual health advice, and support and the elimination [of] harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage” (Ford, 2014, par. 2). Together with that, in 2015, it turned 20 years since the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women during which the participating states stressed the necessity of removing obstacles that kept women from equal participation in public and private life.
The topic of gender equality affects both men and women. Speaking of menfolk, what is mainly impacted by the shift towards gender equality is the masculine ego as historically these were men who ruled the world (Rothkopf, 2016). As of women, the role of sex equality cannot be underestimated as they gain the right to equal involvement in public life, payment for work, and social protection.
Moreover, the issue of gender equality is a representation of social stratification, namely gender stratification. Even though women’s struggle for equal rights has brought positive shifts in social interactions between men and women, gender stratification still exists. In everyday life, it may be seen nearly everywhere as women are almost always occupying lower and less paid working positions than men, for example, such as nurses, secretaries, receptionists, etc. That is why gender stratification leads to class stratification as women occupying lower positions have less income if compared to men. Except for income, females have less access to wealth, power, and occupational prestige than males that are all dimensions of social equality and criteria for class stratification (Macionis, 2012). That means that even though there were more positive shifts in achieving gender equality, women and men are still unequal.
In the end, I should say that I have chosen the topic of gender equality because I do believe that all people are and should be equal in their rights and access to social benefits such as education, social protection, healthcare, and equal remuneration for work. Moreover, anyone regardless of gender should have the right to choosing the way of spending the life and the person with whom to build a family. Before the study, I never realized that there are women somewhere out there who suffer from forced weddings or live with the consequences of female genital mutilation being the form of governmental family planning. Bearing in mind everything said above, I am strongly inclined to believe that the issue of women’s rights and equal social protection should gain further development on national and international levels so that it is guaranteed that women all over the globe have decent living conditions.
Ford, L. (2014). Why 2014 is a key year for women’s rights and gender equality. Web.
Macionis, J. J. (2012). Sociology (14th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education.
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Rothkopf, D. (2016). The end of an era… for white males. Foreign Policy, 216(1), 68-69.