Equality for women is still an uphill battle
Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 13:03
Despite the fact that women have made major advances towards equality over the last century, they still have a long way to go.
As we celebrate the 25th Women’s History Month, now is an ideal time to take note of the progress women have made and the obstacles they still face.
There is a prevalent hidden inclination in society that classifies women as secondary citizens to their male counterparts.
The social construct that women are weak, fragile and nurturing is instilled early in childhood by gender specific toys and chores.
This notion stems from the difference-feminism school of thought.
Difference-feminism is eternally flawed because it fails to acknowledge the fact that women can be just as cold-blooded as men, and that men also have an internalized innate sense of motherhood.
The World Economic Forum’s sixth annual Global Gender Gap Report 2011 stated that women hold less than 20 percent of decision-making positions in the world.
This past year alone, Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, held the fate of the Euro. Hillary Clinton held a pivotal role in international affairs as Secretary of State, and Tsai Ing-wen made her bid as Taiwan’s first female presidential candidate. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liberia’s first female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and two other women for their promotion of women’s rights.
These achievements demonstrate that women cannot only play the role of mother that society and biology have imposed on them, but they can also hold positions of power.
Yet women are still disproportionally represented in economics and politics. Europe and the United States are exceptions to this rule.
The numbers shed light on the situation in a way that makes the gap more evident.
Only 13 of the Fortune 500 companies in 2010 reported having female chief executive officers, while more than half of college graduates, according to USA Today, are females.
Four out of Forbes’ ten most powerful women in the world are from the private sector, the rest are engaged in politics. Eight of these women are from Europe and the United States. The other two are from Brazil and India, which are emerging as global nations.
Regardless of these strides, even within the United States, women are not adequately represented politically.
The congressional super committee deciding women’s rights to birth control is comprised of men — men like Rush Limbaugh who believe women shouldn’t have sex unless it involves childbearing.
“I prefer to call the most obnoxious feminists what they really are: feminazis. The term describes any female who is intolerant of any point of view that challenges militant feminism. I often use it to describe women who are obsessed with perpetuating a modern-day holocaust: abortion,” said Limbaugh.
Limbaugh was also the focus of much controversy when he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke “a slut” for her support of Obama’s mandate that would require women’s birth control medicine to be covered by private health insurance companies.
Yet Limbaugh does not seem to find issue with the fact that our health premiums subsidize his age group’s Viagra addiction.
It is often argued that women’s sexuality gets in the way of their professional aspirations simply because female femininity is reciprocally linked to sex and reproduction.
Women in power are generally seen as atypical women, and males and society as a whole discard their status.
Women in power have to prove themselves by trying harder and being tougher in their roles.
Think about Margret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Catherine the Great and many others who were ruthless leaders and implicitly responsible for the deaths of many under their commands.
Women in power should not be anomalies, especially when they make up 51.5 percent of the worldwide population, according to the Central Intellegence Agency’s World Fact book.
The inequality of women worldwide is an inequality to both genders that undermines the potential productivity of the world.
Though women are subjected to motherhood, they are not in no way conditioned or restricted by it.
The thought of leadership being a male attribute should be abolished, as should the glass ceiling for women around the world and the social construct of gender roles in order to have true equality and democracy in the world.
As Foreign Policy magazine stated in “Girl Power and the Fragility Trap” the poorest countries of the world are the ones that limit women’s access to education and jobs.