Women have been victim of inferior treatment and oppression since a long time. Different societies throughout the world are patriarchal and male dominated and hence, females have never got the freedom to utilize their rights or to express themselves in the society. …
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In fact, females were so suppressed that they did not even know that they have their own rights and independent existence in this world and society. With the movements of feminism, things started changing for women population and they started becoming aware of their personal and social rights. However, the transition was not an easy one. Due to male domination, every institution in the society like politics, literature, education, family, defense etc., used to encourage and promote male dominance. According to Smith (1988), life and world was explained through male interests, male point of view and male ways of seeing, and this was achieved by omitting women from “most form of codified knowledge” and institutions in the society (Afshar, & Maynard, 2000, p.805). However, what really hampered the growth and progress of women was their exclusion from the institution of religion and education. Hence, if feminism is to succeed in true way, then it should aim to educate every woman about her rights, strengths and abilities, as only education can make her aware of her capabilities and can make her confident in making a respectful and strong identity in male dominated society.
Roots Of Female Oppression
Male domination and male outlook was so strong in the past that it seeped in every aspect of the society. The field of education was also dominated by male thinking. According to Mackinson (1982), the partial and biased male views of the universe had influenced the core of all the academic subjects as the contents, concepts, methods, theories, researches etc., as the academic subjects were all based on male view (Afshar, & Maynard, 2000, p.806). The male dominated thinking in education field stunted the mental growth and social progress of women as it marginalized their perspectives, opportunities and experiences (Afshar, & Maynard, 2000, p.806). Women were excluded from all the institutions in social stratification (Afshar, & Maynard, 2000, p.806). Her role was limited to the domestic chores and serving the family members and that too, without being given any credit for that role. This led to lack of exposure to broad thinking and lack of awareness about their rights and freedom in the society. However, with the movement of feminism, things started changing for women population. Feminism Feminism became a global movement after its movement re-emerged in the ‘West’ in the late 1960’s and 1970’s (Dickson-Waiko, 2003, p.98). The feminist movement started spreading its wings and reached all corners of the “Third World” by 1980’s (Dickson-Waiko, 2003, p.98). However, it was not an easy achievement. Variety of revolutionary and social movements was instrumental in bringing the change in the psychology of women and men (Dickson-Waiko, 2003, p.98). Moreover, it took a lot of time for feminism to take its roots in developing countries from Africa and Asia. This is because progress of women also depends on the culture they are born in. Western feminist Margery Wolfe (1992) stated that if feminists aim to improve the lives of women throughout the world, then they need to understand the cultural values of women from different societies, as understanding the perspective, gender relations and sex role is important if feminism is to be spread without causing conflict between women from different cultures (Sagaria, 2000, p.102). Moreover, there is a huge difference in the way women are treated in Western societies and Eastern societies. For example, women in Western society have freedom to choose their romantic partner and take decisions regarding their marriage (Sagaria, 2000, p.110). However, the same freedom is not enjoyed by women from Asian ethnic
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