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Equality between men and women
Transcript of Equality between men and women
Causes and factors of discrimination against women
The struggle for equal rights for women
Feminism is a social, political and philosophical movement which aims at achieving equal rights between men and women. This movement emerged in the eighteenth century, when Illustration ideas about equality among all human beings permeated the minds of some women, who began to claim their rights.
The issue of violence against women
Good practice for gender equality
In order to make our society more equal, establishing relationships between men and women based on mutual respect and collaboration, a number of measures that favor is recommended:
men and women
The human being is composed by two genders: male and female. Both have the same dignity and deserve the same respect.
However, in the past, women have not always been considered human of right, i.e., their value has not been recognized as equivalent to that of men.
Traditionally men and women were associated to different stereotypes. Thus, it was considered that every human being born male had to be courageous, intelligent, and strong and make money to support his family.
Similarly, every woman should be beautiful, weak, and innocent and have a vital objective marry and have children.
It is true that there are some biological characteristics that differentiate men from women, such as height or flexibility.
However these are not so pronounced as to justify the repeated discrimination against a person because of their gender differences.
The ethical point of view is that each person is unique and has individual characteristics that distinguish it from the rest, regardless the fact of being a man or a woman. Therefore, its value must be recognized by examining the strengths and capabilities of its own.
The problem of discrimination against women has several causes. The main factors that have led to discrimination against this group are the following:
Throughout history, most human societies have been organized in patriarchal structures, so that the authority, leadership and power were exercised by men, while women and children were subordinated to them.
b) Economic circumstances:
Patriarchal societies are characterized by the sexual division of labour, so that men went out outside the home to earn an income while women were engaged in housework and care of children and sick people.
The benevolence of female
labour has meant their total
on the "father of family".
c) Androcentric thinking:
Since males possessed the means to study, training and research; scientific, philosophical and political theories taught a way of understanding reality in which men were more relevant than women, being discarded them of their studies or stereotypically considered.
d) Conflict of interests:
Once men were in power, most of them opposed to women's claims arising out of the Enlightenment, as they were reluctant to lose their traditional privileges. However, other men like Condorcet and Mill supported the need for women to reach equal rights.
In 1791, the French writer Olympe de Gouges wrote the “Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen”, considering that the “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen” proclaimed by the French Revolution did not cover half of humanity, i.e., women.
In 1792, the philosopher and English writer Mary Wollstonecraft published her “Vindication of the Rights of Women”, in response to the writings in which Rousseau argued that women should receive a different education, because they were made for please.
In her work Wollstonecraft argued that women receive an education of the same quality and extent than men.
In general, women in the eighteenth century claimed the right to education, the right to work, marriage rights and the right to vote. However, with the advent of the “Code of Napoleon”, women were again forced to obey their husbands and many of them were unable to exercise a profession. In the eighteenth century it was called the "first wave" of feminism.
Second wave of feminism
The second wave of feminism began in the nineteenth century and ended in the mid-twentieth century. One of its main objectives was to claim the right to vote, conducted by the suffragists.
The suffragists were few American women who already had political experience as they had advocated the abolition of slavery. Following this they vindicated women's suffrage. In 1848 sixty-eight women and thirty men signed the “Declaration of Seneca Falls” which women's rights are claimed.
Thanks to him, Wyoming became the first US state to recognize the vote to women. It was in 1869, twenty one years after the declaration of Seneca Falls.
Another objective of the second wave feminism was labour rights. The women were paid a lower salary than men and it wasn´t well considered they worked outside the home.
Among the authors who defended labor rights of women include Flora Tristan and Rosa Luxemburg. However, the socialist women found some resistance in male workers, which advocated equal rights as workers but hadn´t understood the necessary equality of women.
Third wave of feminism
Between the end of the second wave of feminism and the beginning of the third wave, a philosophical work that marked a revolution in the way that women regarded themselves was published.
This book is “The Second Sex” and was written by the existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir in 1950.
In his work, Beauvoir analyzed in detail what life was like for women. It concluded that much of the traits that society considered female were merely a social convention, so that subordination to men did not have a biological cause but a cultural cause.
This thesis is summarized in his famous phrase “No one is born woman, but becomes one”.
Translated into many languages, Beauvoir's book inspired the third wave of feminism, which extends to the present.
The third wave of feminism is characterized by research, reflection and publication of emblematic works as “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan and “Sexual Policy” by Kate Millet From the 70s, feminism has diversified into different schools of thinking.
In conclusion, there is currently no single "feminism" but there are different "feminisms" whose views do not coincide, but they all have one goal in common: to achieve equality between men and women.
Gender violence is any act of physical or psychological violence carried out by a man who is linked sentimentally to a woman as a manifestation of discrimination and inequality in which she is immersed.
To prevent this, it is important men to be aware that to feel extreme jealousy, control, abuse, threaten or even hit your partner is not at any way signal that he loves her more nor a healthy or ethical way of establishing affective relationships.
Secondly, it is necessary that women are aware that abuse is not tolerable in a relationship, even if there are problems or conflicts to resolve.
It is extremely risky to believe that the abuser is immoral just because he is having a hard time and that he will change because he is sorry. Many abusers that become violent, and increasingly are more dangerous form, even to murder his partner.
The European Parliament made a resolution in 1997, that it was necessary to change attitudes of society so that there was zero tolerance for abuse of women.
Abuse is ethically reprehensible and reportable to the authorities. Following this, several governments have articulated a legal framework to combat this social problem.
In Spain, since 2004, there is the “Comprehensive Law against gender violence”.
Consequently, in a situation of abuse, women victims of gender violence are entitled to receive full information and advice as well as counseling and social support for their full recovery.
Gender violence left its mark in women who can suffer from anxiety, chronic stress, depression and low self-esteem. Hence the importance of services and institutions, such as foster homes or the Institute of Women, working together to ensure that victims can recover and reintegrate into society normally.
Co-education: at home and at school, it is important that children be taught to value and respect in equality. Therefore it is important that contributions of women are taught in school, that playground can be shared and language doesn´t be sexist language.
Working conditions: both men and women must be paid the same salary if the task they perform is the same. Both should have the same opportunities for promotion and advancement. Avoid and report sexual harassment at work. Women must have access to the professions of equal status with men.
Domestic responsibility: all people who occupy a home must learn to organize a fair division of household chores, so that each contribute their efforts to the welfare of the group.
Household chores are not limited to cooking or washing but include administrative tasks, home economics and care both of the other inhabitants of the home as animals and plants that are in it.
Reconciling work and family life
Reconciling work and family life: companies and organizations that employ professionals, of both sexes, should ensure the implementation of measures to promote the reconciliation of work and family life. For example, maternity and paternity leave, teleworking, flexitime and playgrounds or daycare service.
With proper implementation of these measures a society in which men and women can work together in all areas will be achieved, sharing spaces, responsibilities and projects.
This objective will be beneficial to everyone because we can construct a more equitable and fair society based on exchange, cooperation and the search of common goals.