Women Rights Essay
The long battle ahead for women's rights
The core idea of the feminist movement is rooted in the concept of gender equality. This means that women should be entitled to the same things men are entitled to, without prejudice to their gender and without the imposition of limitations, conditions, or exceptions.
The fight for women's rights has deep historical context. For a long time, women have been confined within the domestic realm only, with no valid voice or representation to other aspects of their lives outside of the kitchen or the bedroom. Even control of their bodies, such as their choice of clothes or sexuality, were by and large dictated by the normative standards set by men. As a result, women in the olden days were less likely to have received education, voted for their preferred choice of leaders, owned property, or held jobs than their male counterparts.
At present, a lot of the restrictive limitations created for women in the past have been rendered ineffective. One of the significant milestones for the recognition of women's rights, for example, came when women were finally allowed to vote. The right to suffrage gained steam in the early 20th century when women all over the world demanded to have a say in the selection of public officials. In the US, women were allowed vote at a national level for the first time in 1920.
Similarly, more women are granted access to higher education -- a stark contrast in the past when women had a hard time securing a slot for college education. These days, it's a different ballgame altogether. Since the 1970s, women enrollees have consistently outnumbered their male counterparts in college even if the national male-female ratio for college-aged Americans tilt in favor of men.
But despite the fact that women are now entitled to more rights than they did years ago, there are still a lot of challenges that confront them in their exercise of their rights. One of the most significant of these challenges is uneven wages.
Even when they hold similar jobs and responsibilities, data shows that women are still paid less than their male counterparts. This anomaly, generally known as the gender pay gap, is not just present among rank and file employees, but is also particularly pronounced when it comes to the take home pay of CEOs and other top management post holders.
A recent study by the American Association of University Women, for instance, reveals that the median earnings of women in the past decade constitute only 77 percent of men's earnings. So while it may seem on the surface that women are granted equal opportunities to climb up the corporate ladder, much of it remains mere lip service as companies and organizations wilfully deny them equal perks and benefits as those offered to men.
Elsewhere in the world, women experience a variety of struggles that run contrary to their rights. Forced labor, sexual slavery, rape, and restrictions on bodily autonomy put many women at a disadvantageous position. In the ongoing civil war in Syria, for example, women are routinely subjected to harassment, physical abuse, torture, and arbitrary detention as per data collected by Human Rights Watch. Sadly, a lot more of these tales of horror remain untold in other places in the world.
Until women's rights are fully recognized and lent the appreciation they deserve, the fight for gender equality will remain a long drawn-out battle.
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