- Area: Social Sciences
- Program: Social Work
- Type of Writing: Essay (Explorative)
- Course Level: 2000
- English Speaking Nativeness: Non-Native
- Paper ID: SS.S.W.E.2.N.5
Editorial Paper: Women in our society
This essay explains what is the number one Social Welfare issue I would like to alleviate and the reasons I want to do so.
Women in our society
Women throughout the history have been subdued and, in one way or another, have been forced to live a low profile under the shadow of men. It seems that from the beginning of the world women have some devil inside and men are the ones that can handle it. Let’s think of Adam and Eve in paradise. Who was to blame for the disobedience committed? Of course Eve was to blame!
Nowadays, professional obstacles, gender wage pay, political participation, maternity discrimination, physical and sexual abuse, and, in some cultures, right to marriage/divorce, access to education or health services, prejudices, and stereotypes, are some of the inequalities that women experience all over the world.
Some examples of the reality that women live in around the world are the following:
- In 2015 the United Nations stated that: “Around one third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.”
- Machismo in Mexico is the belief that women are to be submissive to their fathers and later when they marry, to their husbands. Women have no right to education because it is a waste of time and money since they are to marry and take care of children.
- Muslim women in some countries are denied health services because of the beliefs they profess. The Quran states: “And say to the believing women that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty saved to their husbands, or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers…” [Noble Quran 24:3]. Listening to some of my friends from Bangladesh which is a Muslim country, women and children are not allowed health services unless the doctor is female so women die unnecessarily.
- Religion has played a huge role in discriminating women. The Catholic Church for example, denied the role of women in leadership positions. In her article, Sister Simone Campbell. A nun on the bus, Jean P. Kelly recalls the investigation conducted by the Vatican to some U.S. Religious Congregations. These nuns were not just praying but also taking action on social issues. They were protesting, sending letters to the U.S. Congress, working against domestic violence, taking care of the homeless, single mothers, and immigrants, to mention some. Nevertheless, some bishops thought that they were too focused on social justice. Those bishops accused nuns of being rebellious and against Catholic teachings just because they took leadership positions and stood for the poor and needy.
- A survey conducted in 2015 showed that women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent. The survey also showed that payment was worse for women of color.
- Despite the laws that protect pregnant women, some companies discriminate them. Such women are harassed with negative comments when the employer knows they are pregnant, their salaries are cut off partially or they are under pressure when returning from having their baby, if not fired.
- Women pay more than men for the same stuff. Clothes, perfumes, pencils, personal care products such as razors, toothbrushes, shampoo, and the like, if they are for women, a “pink tax” is added. A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs surveyed almost 800 products and found that in 42% of the cases, women paid more for the same items as men.
- In some cultures, women cannot choose their husbands or decide when to marry. They are traded for livestock, food, land or money. Some of them meet their husbands on the wedding day and have to suffer rape and mistreatment because they are seen as property. In some cases husbands can divorce or kill their wives for insignificant things.
These are some of the challenges that women face in their everyday lives. Some are evident, others are more subtle. It is like women have to struggle to get what men have already taken for granted just because they were born male. In spite of the efforts made by feminists groups to promote gender equality we still live in a culture that supports some patriarchal ideas which sometimes are even encouraged by women themselves. That’s why we need some changes in the way we address the social problems described above.
Nations, U. (2015). United Nations. Retrieved from The World’s Women 2015. <http://unstats.un.org/unsd/gender/chapter6/chapter6.html>.
Islam’s Women – Jewels from Islam. Islam’s Women – Rulings on Women in Society. <http://www.islamswomen.com/articles/rulings_on_women_in_society.php>.
Kelly, J. P. (2016, 12 12). Atavist. Retrieved from Unexpected Woman: https://uscatholic.atavist.com/unexpectedwomen#chapter-1817982>
AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. Retrieved from The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. <http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/>
Sebastian, C. (2016, 3 07). CNN Money. Retrieved from Why Women Pay More than Men for the Same Stuff: http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/07pf/pink-tax/>