Inequality is one of the most prolonged global debates that have refused to go away despite the great strides made through globalization (Alexander 29). The contemporary world is characterized by economic, social, cultural, and political integration of both men and women across all spheres. This has resulted in increased empowerment, especially for women who had taken a back seat on most issues for a long time (Gelb 40). The concept of inequality revolves mainly around the elements of justice and equality, as many people remain ignorant of their roles in ensuring an inclusive society.
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Globalization has created numerous opportunities for both men and women through technology, migration, education, economic production, as well as in sports and entertainment (Trask 17). However, it is important to note that some societies are still practicing their conservative traditions that limit women’s access to certain things. In addition, the element of sexuality has taken the gender debate to a new level, owing to the fact that some societies are open to same-sex relationships while others maintain their condemnation of the same (Jin 60). In order to address the challenge of gender inequality in an effective manner, relevant stakeholders have their priorities right and come up with strategies for meeting them. One of the priorities should be identifying the opportunities that globalization has created and the way they can be exploited to improve the quality of life (Alexander 42).
Gender inequality is one of the globalization challenges that the world is bound to continue dealing with in the near future. The contemporary world is characterized by high technological advancements that have improved the level of human interaction. This has in turn influenced on the kind of relationships that people have. Over the last couple of decades, there has been an increased focus on the plights of people in same-sex relationships across the world (Jin 100). Through the internet, the world has been turned into a global village where people from different cultures interact on a different level. This has affected the acceptance of gender in different societies across the world over the years. For example, the United States has made great steps in promoting gender equality and the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender people (Trask 40). Although the feat was achieved through serious lobbying and relentless demonstration by human rights activists, there are certain members of the society that remain opposed to the development. In most cases, these individuals base their arguments on religion, culture, and the law of nature (Trask 43).
Globalization has played a major role in highlighting the challenges involving gender based violence and sexuality (Jin 124). There are numerous cases where men have been victimized for abusing women physically or emotionally, while similar situations against men are often ignored. According to research, there are certain societies that brand men that are abused by women to be weak and deficient of authority. Such perceptions contribute a lot to the high number of men abused by women, but choose to remain silent for the fear of being scorned. On the other hand, women have used the tag of being weaker to play the victim in such cases because the probability of people buying into their stories is always high (Jin 129). This has created a situation where men find it very hard to receive justice and equal hearing during gender-based violence cases.
It is very clear that not everyone is reaping the benefits of globalization. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people are among the people that have not been fully accepted in a more liberalized contemporary society (Faudet 61). Countries such as Saudi Arabia and China are still opposed to same-sex relations despite numerous efforts by human rights groups to advocate for their acceptance in the society (Jin 179). China is a very conservative country with regard to issues of love, sexuality, sex, and relationship. Its societies believe in the law of nature that dictates on heterosexual relationships (Faudet 61). The opponents of the issue in the country cite religion and the need to maintain social order as the main reasons behind their stand (Trask 60).
This is very contrary to a country such as the United States, which has accepted all these groups of people and even have a constitutional clause that guarantees them equal treatment and justice like any other citizen. Women in Saudi Arabia also have a different set of challenges compared to their counterparts in other parts of the world. Some of the notable things that women in Saudi Arabia are still prohibited to do include opening a bank account without the authority of a male guardian, driving, wear revealing clothes, and put on makeup. Others include unregulated interaction with men, competing in sports such as swimming, and trying out new clothes while shopping (Trask 109). Clearly, women in Saudi Arabia are not treated in a just and equal manner because their counterparts in other countries do all these things at will.
The perspectives of feminists on the effect of globalization
According to research, the doctrine that advocates equal rights for women has gained a lot of momentum and support across the globe since the turn of the century. Several feminist movements have been established across the world with the aim of championing for women’s liberation (Gelb 300). The main motivation of feminists is ensuring an equal and inclusive society that provides equal opportunities for both men and women. They believe that all human beings should be equal regardless of their gender with regard to issues of economic justice, migration, employment opportunities, democratic rights, and global governance. The kings letter also addresses the same sentiments by pointing out the need to create an inclusive environment, where people are not wrongly judged for things they have not done and being in situations beyond their control.
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The feminists also have a number of theories that seek to identify and elaborate on the challenges of globalization on women’s rights, the shifting balance in terms of gender roles, and the power of increased access to information (Markovic 29). The first one is the post-colonial approach that entails explaining the concept of justice and gender balance during the colonization era. They believe that most societies have retained the values, ideologies, and nature of social order they were introduced to by their colonizers (Markovic 46). The main reason as to why these cultural practices have remained over the years is the fact that they are dependent on the economic contexts within which they were introduced.
People that were initiated into a system where men apply as the providers and women as homemakers struggle to accept changes that give either gender a more influencing role. Men tend to feel like their losing their place in the society when women get opportunities for economic empowerment (Gelb 346). On the other hand, women tend to feel more vulnerable and less valued when their men make lesser income, yet they are supposed to be the main providers. However, feminists argue that it serves women better, when they can make their own money, as well as hold powerful and influential positions (Trask 126). According to Jean-Paul Sartre, inequality is a result of choices that people make with regard to others. The French philosopher argued that if people were to have a positive attitude towards others, the challenge of inequality would be addressed effectively.
The second theory entails the ethics of care, which entails the inability of the globalization to increase the value that people have with regard to various caregivers. Feminists argue that women all over the world are naturalized caregivers who do not receive the acknowledgement and support they deserve (Trask 201). They argue that the world is more focused on promoting economic growth and better social integration at the expense of creating a just and equal society that motivates everyone to do their best because their reward is guaranteed. They believe that without good care, even the ability of people to be economically productive is often compromised (Trask 219). Therefore, it is important to be just towards caregivers and provide them with the same opportunities as others. There is a need for globalization to focus more on the embodiment of care ethics in its global reform process (Markovic 73).
The third theory is transnational feminism, which argues that globalization has brought both opportunities and challenges to the concept of women liberalism. Opportunities associated with globalization include increased access to information by women through the television and social networking sites. This has played a major role in enlightening women about the experiences of their counterparts in other parts of the world, the limitations they contend with, and the efforts being made to address them (Gelb 370). Human rights experts argue that such opportunities empower the women a lot through acquiring different perceptions about their position in the society, as well as influencing them to develop attitudes that are more aggressive (Gelb 370).
In addition, globalization is helping women achieve a better position in the society through changing gender roles both at home and in the workplace. Amrtya Sen argues that over the last couple of decades, women in employment or business have managed to negotiate for equal allocation of duties and responsibilities in the household owing to the fact that they also have an income that takes care of certain expenses. On the other hand, the feminists also believe that globalization has created more avenues that the society can use to suppress women’s agendas (Markovic 82). They believe that the emergence of social networking sites has led to experiences that are more negative for women who have been continuously treated as sexual objects on a global scale. In addition, the global debate on affirmative action has not received the necessary good will from both the global population and the relevant authorities (Gelb 392).
Globalization has influenced numerous aspects of contemporary lives in different ways. It has opened avenues for economic growth, social integration, political stability, and promotion of human rights. The concept of gender balance is one of the social spheres that have changed a lot because of the globalization effect. Different parts of the world have received globalization in their own ways that have either promoted or undermined the concept of gender equality. The contemporary world is very liberal with regard to issues of sexuality and gender roles. Some societies have been receptive of the groups of people that have chosen to identify in a different way from the customs, while others have maintained their cultural practices by undermining the new elements brought about by globalization.
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Press, 2013.
Faudet, Michael. Dirty Pretty Things. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016.
Gelb, Joyce. Women and Politics around the World: A Comparative History and Survey, Volume 2. ABC-CLIO, 2009.
Jin, Ha. The Bridegroom. Random House, 2008.
Markovic, Mirjana. Impact of Globalization on Organizational Culture, Behavior and Gender Role. IAP, 2012.
Trask, Bahira. Women, Work, and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities. Routledge, 2013.