The problem of women’s rights has been widely discussed throughout the past century. The historical experience shows that women have made a long and challenging way to gender equality. It has taken them a lot of pain and effort to receive the social treatment that is free from gender prejudice and intolerance. Women’s fight for equality has touched upon an entire series of social spheres: education, politics, law, medicine, and government.
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There is no doubt that the contemporary social context is significantly different from that of the twentieth century, and this transformation is, to a great extent, the merit of the women’s movement. Although the public debates around the women’s rights issue seem to have calmed, it would be wrong to claim that the problem has been successfully solved for good.
One tends to assume mistakenly that the question of women’s rights focuses on the advancement of the interests of this particular group. Nevertheless, this presumption is only partially true as the proper treatment of the gender’s rights contributes to the advantages of the entire society. To begin with, one should realize that gender equality is beneficial for both males and females.
Thus, a state where the rights’ abuse takes place extensively is likely to face a series of crucial problems. Den Boer provides an example of Mexico where women represent the major participants of the crops’ collecting process; meanwhile, they are not admitted to any economic decision-making or planning. According to the author, the Mexican authorities intentionally reject the valuable assistance and the qualified estimation; this discrimination, in its turn, leads to the significant financial loss and prevents the state from the effective harvest cultivation (Den Boer 8).
At the same time, researchers Klasen and Lamanna draw a direct parallel between gender discrimination and the region’s economic performance. The authors state that this interdependence has been scientifically proved by numerous studies and explains the mentioned interconnection by the fact that the lack of education deprives women of any career opportunities.
It means, consequently, that a country loses a valuable workforce source as well as thousands of high-qualified specialists in the medical, educational, and financial fields. As a result, the high unemployment rates do significant harm to the local economy and the common prosperity (Klasen and Lamanna 96).
Moreover, it is necessary to note that women’s success in the rights protection field can serve as an important source of encouragement and inspiration for other discriminated groups. According to McLean, the women’s movement, which was initially inspired by the fight against racist prejudices, has, in its turn, made a considerable impact on other discriminated groups, particularly on the sexual minorities’ rhetoric.
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Thus, a series of women’s breakthrough achievements at the beginning of the twentieth century laid the foundation for new public debates. Apart from lesbians and gay men who openly claimed their rights for equality, one also began discussing such issues as abortion and affirmative action (McLean 19).
Therefore, women have made a much more significant influence on modern society that one could have supposed. In the book devoted to the analysis of the feminism problem, Kerr, Sprenger, and Symington claimed that women’s movement for the rights’ protection has “shaped the twenty-first century” (56). In this case, to refuse to continue the struggle would mean to deprive millions of discriminated people all around the world of their belief in justice and equality.
On the other hand, there is an opposite opinion suggesting that further feminists’ activity is unnecessary in the context of the current social and political environment. First of all, the supporters of this point of view claim that whereas the fight for women’s rights is essential in some countries, it is completely irrelevant in others.
Thus, the specialists in Women’s Rights, Barbara Burton, make a presumption that an excessive activity aimed at the advancement of women’s rights can lead to the crucial balance upset on condition that it is applied to a particular authentic culture. Burton provides the example of the Latin American countries where the concept of gender equality has a different meaning from the standard western interpretation.
The author points out that an application of feminism’s principals to the Latino-American environment can interfere significantly with its cultural and traditional background. According to Burton, the stereotypes that exist in the local society are too powerful to be rebutted, and the need for their rebuttal is highly questioned.
The woman assumes that the local communities in such areas as Latin America and the Caribbean region require a specific approach in the field of women’s rights. Otherwise, Burton suggests that one would better abstain from the aggressive feminist rhetoric in these areas (781). Therefore, the key idea of this argument is the inappropriateness of feminism’s movements in the context of a particular cultural and traditional environment.
Furthermore, the supporters of an opposite position tend to consider the question of women’s rights’ protection to be outdated and insignificant in the twenty-first century. They suppose that the discussions held around gender discrimination are no more relevant, and the further struggle is not required anymore. Hence, Doctor of Social Science, Erkka Railo, analyzes women’s performance in the political field and comes to the conclusion that there are no gender-related obstacles left in the modern world.
Railo states that social attitude to gender equality has undergone significant changes in the course of the past thirty years. The author turns to the example of the Finish politic, Paula Lehtomäki, who has managed to build a successful career on the governmental level. Railo notes that today, females are sometimes likely to have more advantages than males – on the one hand, their rights are thoroughly protected by law, on the other hand, one still tends to express a more tolerant attitude towards the frail sex.
The doctor insists that the case of Paula Lehtomäki is rather a rule than an exception in modern society. Railo also bases on the experience of interviewing other successful female politicians and claims that none of them would ever mention any cases of the gender inequality expression (52). Therefore, there is an opinion that the gender balance is already reasonably set, and the further fight can disturb the existing proportion, this time in favor of females.
Nevertheless, one cannot accept the arguments mentioned above for a scope of reasons. First and foremost, it is essential to note that the existence of a cultural background should have a favorable influence on the development of the relevant society instead of preventing it from potential progress.
Hence, Lynn Walter, in her book, enlists an entire series of regions the historical traditions of which imply an outrage violation of the women’s rights. The author mentions such countries as Iran, Egypt, and India, where women’s rights are not only the issues of social discrimination but the question of the safety of their lives.
According to Walter, every third woman in these regions becomes an object of domestic violence and abuse on a regular basis (119). Meanwhile, the professor of Chapman University, Ahmed Younis, also points out that the problem of discrimination in the Arabian world needs an urgent solution. The professor claims that the two-thirds of the Arabian females are estranged not only from the high social positions but from the educational institutions as well.
As a consequence, Asian countries constantly plunge into the environment of social unrest and protests (Younis 53). Therefore, while one should necessarily respect the traditions of every country, the cultural background of the relevant region is not to serve as an excuse for violence and abuse.
As to the participation of particular women in the political issues of some countries, these isolated cases do not depict the entire image of the current state of things. Although one cannot deny the evident positive changes in the working environment, there is still a lot of effort to be done until the problem is solved completely.
Professor of Law, Paula Monopoli notes that the process of women’s integration in the governmental institutions is highly slow and complicated. Monopoli claims that despite the commonly-spread democratic image of the USA, there has not been yet a case when a woman would become a candidate for the president’s post. According to the professor, women themselves continue to be susceptible to the gender stereotypes that prevent them from realizing their ambitions.
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Thus, Monopoli’s research shows that 40% of the USA women do not feel high-qualified enough to pretend for a good post in a company (163). Monopoli’s colleague, Sengul Celik, also mentions the high social pressure that women still experience while trying to build a career prevents them from the self-realization (77). Therefore, one still has to make a long way to achieving true equality and to liquidate all the gender prejudices that keep remaining in modern society.
In conclusion, one should point out that in spite of all the positive results, the feminist movement is as important today as it used to be decades ago. The current social and political context has undoubtedly changed; however, that does not mean that gender problems have ceased to exist. One should take into account the particular regions that still represent the examples of outrages discrimination of women’s rights.
Moreover, statistics show that even the most progressive countries still have some problems with thorough gender rights’ protection. Therefore, it is evident that there is still a lot of work to be done. As a consequence, one is to perform thorough monitoring of the current state of things and work out a wise strategy and targeting.
Numerous examples have shown that the activity of the women’s movements is a common concern, and it affects a wider spectrum than just the gender issue. In fact, the feminism movement constitutes a significant part of the common activity aimed at the protection of any discriminated group.
Burton, Barbara. “The transmigration of Rights: Women, Movement and the Grassroots in Latin American and Caribbean Communities.” Development and Change 35.4 (2004): 773-796. Print.
Celik, Sengul. “To Fight for Women’s Rights from a Global Perspective.” Journal of Academic Studies 14.54 (2012): 69-81. Print.
Den Boer, Andrea. ” Global Women’s Issues: Why We Still Need Feminism.” Policy 31.2 (2015): 7-15. Print.
Klasen, Stephan and Francesca Lamanna. “The Impact of Gender Inequality in Education and Employment on Economic Growth: New Evidence for a Panel of Countries.” Feminist Economics 15.3 (2009): 91-132. Print.
Kerr, Joanna, Ellen Sprenger and Alison Symington. The Future of Women’s Rights: Global Visions and Strategies, New York, New York: Zed Books, 2004. Print.
McLean, Nancy. “Gender is Powerful: The Long Reach of Feminism.” OAH Magazine of History 20.5 (2006): 19-23. Print.
Monopoli, Paula. “Why So Slow: A Comparative View of Women’s Political Leadership.” Maryland Journal of International Law 24 (2009): 155-168. Print.
Railo, Erkka. “Women’s Magazines, the Female Body, and Political Participation.” Nordic Journal of Women’s Studies 22.1 (2014): 48-62. Print.
Walter, Lynn. Women’s Rights: A Global View, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001. Print.
Younis, Ahmed. “Gender Justice.” Harvard International Review 35.1 (2013): 50-55. Print.