Out of 195 countries in this entire world, women only led 19 of them. In parliaments globally, women hold just 21 percent seats. Only a mere twenty-three of all Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In the United States where they pride themselves on liberty and justice for all, the gender division of leadership roles is not any better. Since the suffragettes first marched in the street of Washington, D.C. back in 1913, revolution of gender equality started till this day where both men and women are given the same opportunity to pursue our education and career. This phenomenon had us believe that the revolution of gender equality has succeeded and the fight is over. However, the happy ending has not arrived just yet. The revolution of gender equality has stalled and the fight is far from over due to a few reasons.
It is true that women in many countries have been granted the rights to vote, for instance, Malaysia. And the accesses to health care facilities in many countries are readily available to women. However, the revolution of gender equality has yet to succeed because there are still places in this world where women are being denied their basic civil rights. This is unarguably true when about 4.4 million women and girls are still caught up and stuck in the sex trade. Countries such as Afghanistan, fifty percent of the women still suffer from all types of rights violations such as forced marriages, rape and sexual harassments. To make matters worse, teachers are threatened not to teach young girls and girls are constantly being abused. If the fight for gender equality were over, such disparity would not still exist.
According to an article published by Time.com, women are still earning significantly less money than men. The sweeping changes in the 1960s was indeed huge and revolutionary; women’s employment increased significantly; women caught up with and surpassed a lot of men in terms of college graduation rates and more women got doctorates as well as professional degrees. However, the existing wage gap between men and women tells us that the legendary revolution has in fact stalled. The U.N. Women report revealed that although there are more women in the workplace taking up leadership positions, the pay levels are anywhere but near the reaching of equality worldwide. This is particularly obvious in the South Asia where women are earning thirty three percent less than men. Thirty three percent is a significant gap in the generation that brags about gender equality. If gender revolution is still in rapid progress, such wage gap between male and female shall not exist in such significant statistics.
Far from being a victorious revolution, the fight for gender equality has stalled, as discrimination against women is still prominent. There may be laws made to protect women’s rights and to ensure that both gender receives equal respects in today’s society. However, the stereotypes and discrimination held against women are still strong. Just as the most current controversial reports of the Indonesia military that imposed “virginity tests” upon female recruits and even the fiancées of military officers. Not only is such test harmful and humiliating to women, it also sets back the civilization of mankind to the medieval age. Virginity testing is being recognized as a form of gender-based violence, which according to the guidelines issued by World Health Organization, has no scientific validity at all. In the globalization era that we live in, if it is true that gender revolution had succeeded, then why are the capabilities and the intention of a woman who wants to serve her own country be defined by the status of her virginity?
Reaping the fruits of what women so many generations before us had sowed with sweat and blood should have us feeling grateful. Not a single soul would stand out and disagree with the fact that in the current era that we are living in, the female gender is lucky to have equal, or almost equal, opportunities as our male counterpart when it comes to pursuing an education or applying for the highest of positions. However, this does not mean that the revolution has come to a victorious end. In this part of the world where women are being respected, on the other end of the exact same world, women are still being oppressed. Women might have been given a fair share of opportunity but a significant wage gap still exists and to top that off, discriminations and stereotypes against women are still a problem that needs to be solved. With all these being said, it is sufficient to win the argument that the revolution for gender equality has been stalled and the fight has yet to be over.
I know I stopped updating my blog. I tend to just let thoughts dissipate into air. It’s either I feel too lazy or as I grow older, I became less expressive. Well, I do express a lot on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Microblogging, if that counts. I will be off to my exchange in a few weeks and we shall see if there is any improvement.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed this piece I did for my Expository Writing class.
FYP submitted, like finally. It came to a point where I don’t care how he grades me anymore, as long as I have submitted it! 🙂
One leg out of university. Ops, there is still finals of course! Study mood, come on, work your magic!