From centuries ago, to date, women have always been disadvantaged in society compared to men. Women inferiority crops from a culture that begun centuries ago, including the 19th century’s popular society convention, referred to as women domesticity. The society across different cultures view women as inferior, limiting them to domestic duties while men explore their desires. The gender power model, for instance, states that power is gendered in that men have advantaged access to power, force, higher control of resources and, have less social obligations (Huis, Hansen, Otten & Lensink, 2017 pg.2). Moreover, cultural ideologies across different communal dimensions advantage men more than women. This gender disparity is evident in many aspects of modern life, including education, work environments and, resource allocation despite women’s population surpassing the male counterparts. Despite all these disadvantages, women can still ‘have it all’ if the society focuses on achieving gender equality through women empowerment.
Women empowerment bases on two main principles; these are individualistic approach and collective approach. Individualistic approaches depend on the individual woman’s choices that will elevate her to a sustainable level. Collective approaches, however, entail the societies efforts in helping elevate the women’s stagnation. Currently, multiple nations have developed strategies to help elevate women achieve their desires. These efforts have yielded considerable success; however, more needs to be done since men still dominate many aspects of people’s lives.
The first step to achieving women empowerment is by giving them the freedom of choice with no judgements. In most cultures, the societal perception of a reputable woman limits them from pursuing their dreams due to fear of judgement. Women’s choices are mostly restricted to cultural ideologies which are stricter to women than men. Moreover, Women have more social obligations compared to men significant of them being taking care of the family. Family responsibilities have been left for women failure to which the society judges the woman harshly for failing to raise a decent family while overlooking the man. This aspect limits women from having free choices without the fear of being judged. Moreover, in some societies, women are disadvantaged from accessing certain fundamental services in favour of men. Men, for instance, are more likely to be educated compared to women.
Education has proved to be the most powerful weapon in changing the world. In the 20th century, in particular, achieving anything significant is almost impossible without education. Despite this, some societies still prioritize men education at the females’ expense. Currently, only 66% of all countries have managed to achieve gender equality in primary education, 45% in lower secondary education and 25% in upper secondary education (Vokic, obadic & coric, 2019, pg. 78. ). These are below average digits for a world that is aiming to achieve gender equality. Education is significant in empowering women for an all-round economic evolution. Education similarly opens up employment opportunities for women, consequently combating poverty and developing a sustainable economy.
Besides this, women through history have been limited from accessing any leadership position or role in society. Leadership and other job aspects in most countries are designated as a men’s domain, limiting women to background roles. Currently, women’s roles in leadership and the job market have slightly improved; however, with a slow rate. For instance, women parliamentarians globally by 2015 was 22%, a figure that has improved by only 3% to date (Vokic et al., 2019 pg. 79). Besides this, as of 2019, only 87 of the 195 countries worldwide have had a female president. The inadequacy of women in leadership positions limits them from adequately articulating their issues, an aspect that would significantly empower them to achieve their desires.
The female work environment is also challenging, despite females taking up more job opportunities. Currently, 49% of the job market is occupied by a female, an almost equal proportion to the men—however, these female face multiple challenges in the job market affecting their work delivery. Women have more social responsibilities compared to men, especially those with families. For instance, despite Ann-Marie Slaughter being the first female director of policy planning at the statehouse, she was puzzled between being a parent and work delivery . Spending time from her family frustrated her since, as a woman, she was used to spending the majority of her time with the family. Despite such challenges, society can still empower women to actualize their dreams. Family obligations, for instance, have always been left as a woman responsibility. Men should equally take on parental duties to allow women to have equal competing advantages in the job market. Equally, women in leadership positions face immense challenges making men respect them is hard. Men have been cultured to be superior; hence they may find it uncomfortable working under a female boss. The men superiority complex should, therefore, be discouraged to provide opportunities for female leadership.
Women makeup about half of the world’s population; what therefore happens then when this population faces constant social, economic and cultural discrimination. Besides this, this population is subjected to threats, buttery and assault from the male population. Women face multiple challenges in their everyday life, and, despite women empowerment being at the centre of every nation’s agenda, they are still disadvantaged. Women nonetheless have proved resilient through these challenges as they have done everything in their power to achieve their desires proving that women can equally, ‘have it all.’ The society, therefore, needs to put in more in helping women achieve all these.
Anne-Marie Slaughter , “ Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” The Atlantic (2012). https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/07/why-women-still-cant-have-it- all/309020/
Huis, Marloes A., et al. “A three-dimensional model of women’s empowerment: Implications in the field of microfinance and future directions.” Frontiers in psychology 8 (2017): 1678.
Vokić, Nina Pološki, Alka Obadić, and Dubravka Sinčić Ćorić. “Gender Equality Initiatives and Their Benefits.” Gender Equality in the Workplace. Palgrave Pivot, Cham, 2019. 75-104.
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