Caribbean Studies

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Education Pages: 6 (2371 words) Published: March 26, 2014
In the Caribbean there has been a drastic shift in the relationship between men and women. Men, who were traditionally seen to be the head of the household, now have their roles taken over by the women in Caribbean society. Due to men failing to live up to their responsibilities, especially in the economic sense, the women are forced to take advantage of education, not only to better themselves but to also prove their indispensability in the social and economic framework of the society. These newly found duties are coupled with their own traditional roles as mother, nurturers and care. Women are now major contributors to their society. Women these days are more independent than in the past. There is a greater demand more from their lives and they now choose how they want to live. This could be a reason for the increase in divorces over the last half a century. This independence has also meant more single women. This shift in the relationship between men and women in the Caribbean could also be as a result of women’s movements where the view of the hegemonic femininity has affected the way in which most women are viewing their life and are becoming more like men. Women were now doing male oriented subjects such as physics, technical drawing etc., which might increase the job opportunities for these women and more women have taken advantage equal rights policies which would allow them to be treated equal to males. This paper will research how, due to educational opportunities and the development of equal rights for women, there is a radical change in the male-female relationships. In this research paper, I will try to address problems relating to my topics and seek to answer questions that would enhance the understanding of this topic. Such questions include: How have educational opportunities for women led to the increase of their independence and equal rights? Why there are more single parent household and why women are the head, and if this is as result of their independence. Has equal rights for women contributed to the change in the male/female relationship in the Caribbean? Has there been any improvement in the lives of the Caribbean women through education, but at the cost of deteriorating relationships between men and women in the Caribbean society? Caribbean women have been known to be passive person and have been known to drift away from the European and traditions that were brought to the Caribbean. During the period of slavery Caribbean women worked alongside with slave men and did the same hard labour has them. Caribbean women during this period were not considered feminine, so when did all this change and how did Caribbean women become constrained to the norm of an ideal women? This all began after slavery was abolished and the European ideas were being enposted in the Caribbean however there was a recognized shift in Caribbean women gender role from the period of rebellion. Verene Shepherd, notes that women played a essential role in the fight for freedom that lead to emancipation, she states that not only did the fight alongside with men but also they were involved in the stratifying of the rebellion (2002, pg. 171). This shows that women are not now deciding to move from the ideal of characteristic of what a woman should or should not do but rather this has been happening for a long time. These facts of women empowerment and support during the period of rebellion are not very often brought to light but rather they are remain hidden in order to maintain the socially constructed norm of the Caribbean society, however those norm are not their own but the norm that are distilled upon the Caribbean society that has been abide with for years until more and more women decide to uplift themselves. Caribbean women were not seen to be productive by the men and many women changed this when they became active and independent by changing what was acceptable role for a woman. This mentality tickled down in the Caribbean...
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