Discrimination denies women their individuality. With virtually no limitations placed upon them, men are able to take up any course in life they choose. Women, however, cannot do so. Instead, they perceive from an early age that their individual potential is limited and that their choices have been narrowly defined to a specific set of approved occupations. The results of these forms of discrimination are obvious, they allow men to maintain control over their own opportunities and guarantee their continued place within society’s power structure.
Social approval had long been given for men to abuse women who were seen to be stepping out of their social place. All of these behaviors can be seen as acts of discrimination against women because they have categorically denied them the chances to develop into their individual selves. Societies have chosen to give men greater levels of responsibility, education, employment, and power upon the basis that they are men, at the expense of women. Rather than giving both genders access to the institutions and infrastructure of society, we have allowed more than half of us to live a segregated life. These types of discrimination seem to serve the operation of society where clearly defined roles and expectations are of importance. What these forms of discrimination achieve is the maintaining of men within their positions of power. Whether based upon biblical reference which places the woman in a subjugated role or on physical strength or even on perceived mental / emotional capability, the effects of discrimination against women have been horrible. The true tragedy of discrimination against women, or anyone for that matter, is that the total effect is to place artificial barriers along their life’s path. Being denied a job because you don’t have the required skills is acceptable discrimination. But, being denied a job because you happen to be a woman is unacceptable discrimination. Men are given the opportunity to define themselves on the basis of their occupation and personal achievements. Women, on the other hand, are forced to define themselves as attachments to their husbands and families. Although some of the worst employment discrimination was eliminated by the Civil Rights Act in 1964, many women continue to undergo unfair and unlawful discrimination in the workplace. Even though women have come a long way, they are still being discriminated against in certain fields of work. High-end jobs, most commonly large companies and medical fields, continue to discriminate against women even though they have the same job qualifications as men.
On International Women’s Day, we pose the big question: how far have women come? Recent statistics demonstrate that despite an increase in women’s income, the number of women completing post-secondary education and the number of women finding full-time employment, there is still a visible disparity in income and workplace presence between the two genders in the U.S. The fact that women continue to face all these inequalities regardless of the progress that has been achieved in the past few decades, means that employers and companies need to undertake long-term initiatives to ensure that there is equality in both employment opportunities and income between their male and female employees. This needs to be executed through implementing quotas, creating campaigns and programs that increase awareness and promotion of equality in the workplace, and to establish programs that support women who return from maternity or child care, and to raise awareness of the option of paternal leaves.
Companies also need to establish preparation programs for women who are returning from maternity or child care leaves so that they can be quickly integrated into their work without feeling at a disadvantage due to their break from work. Another option pertaining to pregnancy and child care is that of paternity leave. Paternity leaves are protected by The...
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