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Are Women or Men More Empowered - Essay Example

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Are Women or Men More Empowered? Empowerment is the tendency of an individual to acquire his/her social, religious and ethical rights. “The term really took off with literature discussing empowerment of marginalized peoples, such as women and the poor, and especially with regards to community development” (Jamie, 2011)…
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Are Women or Men More Empowered? Empowerment is the tendency of an individual to acquire his/her social, religious and ethical rights. “The term really took off with literature discussing empowerment of marginalized peoples, such as women and the poor, and especially with regards to community development” (Jamie, 2011). As a child, a girl does what her parents tell her to do and so do the boys, though many parents are more biased in their favors towards their sons than their daughters. When they grow up, boys generally select their life partner themselves while girls accede to the choice of their parents, particularly in the conservative societies. However, women become more and more independent as they age. When a family starts, it is usually the man that controls it but as the children grow up, the control gradually shifts in the hands of the woman. Men at all ages ranging from a child to an old person are generally more empowered than women whereas women increase in their empowerment as they age. The anti-suffragists that surfaced in 1871 interpreted feminism in terms of illness. They believed that women suffragists were mentally sick and would invite the wrath of the country. Women were denied the right to vote in an attempt to save the country’s security from being jeopardized. Nevertheless, there has been a consistent advancement in the women’s empowerment over the decades since the late 19th century. As a result of the continuous struggle of the suffragist women, women had gained increased representation in the elementary and secondary education till the 1880s. An 1890 census suggested that out of the total 369 occupations, women were employed in 360. In 1900, 20 per cent American women were employed away from the home. More women pursued higher education. Percentage of married American women that had gainful jobs increased from 5 to 11 between 1900 and 1910. As a result of the continuous repulsion of the Congress for the Women Suffrage Amendment, the Women’s Party in US made picket lines outside the White House in 1917. After an extreme struggle of two years, the Amendment was passed by the Congress in 1919. In 1920, the American women were given the right to vote. The Great Depression of the 1930s empowered the women further. With limited jobs and reduced salaries, men were left with little choice but to allow their wives to work. Number of marriages also increased in the 1930s because men needed earning partners in order to live a good lifestyle. Earning women thus become a weakness for the men. Percentage of the working women increased from 20 to 31 per cent in the five decades between 1900 and 1951 (Angelfire, n.d.). At a time when women were already gaining empowerment in the society all over the world, the Civil Rights Movement served only to take the women empowerment to a higher level with women being the pioneers of the Movement and active participants in it. One woman in the history, Rosa Parks did her bit by refusing to leave her seat in the bus for a White American on 1 December, 1955 and was even taken to task for that, but she brought a revolution in the status of Blacks in America (Hare, 2008). 35 per cent American women were employed in 1956. The following decades brought even brighter professional future for the women. Despite all the changes in the societal roles and responsibilities of women that have occurred over the centuries, men still happen to dominate the society almost everywhere in the world today. The popular culture has played a fundamental role in stereotyping the women as sex objects. Social work literature provides a lot of evidences for the injustice done to women in the workplace. “Although social work is a profession largely dominated by women, a disproportionate number of men serve as managers in the social service arena, and women are promoted at a significantly slower rate than men” (Dewane, 2008). In many places, women are still earning 30 per cent less than are the men, yet women today are the most empowered than they have ever been in the history. Although women have gained increased representation in such social work professions as teaching and nursing, yet they have largely maintained a second-class status in them. Social work literature suggests that feminism is associated with sexuality at the workplace. Recruiters tend to avoid hiring women in the social work professions in an attempt to escape encountering such issues as gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the workplace. Certainly, women are intelligent enough to realize their continued inferior role in the society and believe that men are more empowered than them. Nevertheless, women in the 21st century are much more empowered than they were in the 20th or the preceding centuries. They are more educated, more independent and more powerful. The future is likely to bring more empowerment for the women in all of these respects. References: Angelfire. (n.d.). The Women's Movement: 1880-1950. Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/ca/HistoryGals/Wesley.html. Dewane, C. J. (2008). 10 Leadership Strategies for Women in Social Service Management. Social Work Today. 8(2). Retrieved from http://www.socialworktoday.com/archive/marapr2008p38.shtml. Hare, K. M. (2008, Dec. 29). Rosa Parks: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement One woman’s defiance sparked a political movement. Retrieved from http://www.america.gov/st/diversity-english/2008/December/20090106142830jmnamdeirf0.6788446.html. Jamie. (2011, May 13). Literature Review: Theories of Empowerment. Retrieved from http://villageearth.org/pages/village-earth-blog/literature-review-theories-of-empowerment. Lewis, H. (1992). The European Dream Of Progress And Enlightenment. Retrieved from http://history-world.org/age_of_enlightenment.htm. Read More
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