Student Name: Mohammed Jaffer Abbas
Student ID: 41628
Title of Essay: Women of Today
Women of Today
“All men are created equal.” These famous words were spoken by Thomas Jefferson (the third President of the United States) in his Declaration of Independence and are still being quoted by historians and politicians in America. The statement holds true to the equality of all men in the world but what about women? On examining every aspect of society from race to religion to economic status to education level, one can safely say that women have always been discriminated against. However, one can observe a change in gender roles in recent times because women of today are modern, independent, outspoken and can take care of themselves unlike women of the past decades who believed they were inferior and were considered second-class citizens by the men. Gender roles can be defined as "socially and culturally defined prescriptions and beliefs about the behavior and emotions of men and women” (Anselmi and Law 1998, p. 195). Many women have impressively broken through the defined beliefs about their behavior and are setting good examples for young girls to follow in future. They see themselves equal to men and are interested in pursuing careers and independent lifestyles as opposed to house jobs (National 2002). They have excelled in the work force; made a name for themselves in politics and have improved their standard of education significantly. Their achievement in recent times defines the change in the gender role of women in today’s society.
Firstly, more women are being hired to work in high profile positions in big companies and organizations. This was not the case in earlier times when women were considered suitable only for domestic jobs or as teachers in primary and secondary schools. However, only a minority of women liked working in gender-specific jobs such as teaching, nursing and other low-end jobs (Judy & D'Amico, 1997). Early in the 20th century, few women were a part of the labor force. Their place was at home, taking care of the family and doing domestic chores. However, that has completely changed over time as women have grown in stature over time and have become an integral part of the labor force in many countries of the world. In America, just after World War 2, the civilian labor force participation for women was a paltry 32%. Now however, some six decades later that rate has climbed in excess of 70% (Carlton Davies 2002). Also, women used to pursue their careers only until they had a child or they got married. This is not the case anymore as more and more women have begun taking their profession seriously. In the last ten years in America, mothers have accounted for most of the rise in women's overall labor force rate. For mothers with children between the ages of 6 and 17, an astonishing 77 percent are in the labor force (Carlton Davies 2002). This is a further indication of the improvement in the position of women in recent times. Even though women still aren’t paid more than men, their situation now is much better than before when it was a rarity to see a woman in a workplace. Women now make up 46.8% of the labor force in America (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Also, the support from the American government has been tremendous. The Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Bill have acted as stepping stone for women to enter the US work force in large numbers (Kay 2000). They have also seen astounding progress in the field of politics in the last few decades.
In recent years, the influence of women in politics and important decision making has been significant and they are now playing major roles as world leaders and important members of a country’s political system. In 1920, women in America were given the right to vote for the first time (Jone Johnson Lewis 2010). This was pretty late considering that elections in America were being held since the...