Girls with Dreams Become Women with Vision
We have come a long way since the pursuit for women’s right to vote and emancipation from their subordination to the testosterone-filled species. Or have we not? The opening statement is argued to be debatable when considering the cultural and traditional differences between first world and third world countries.
In Britain, advocates for women’s suffrage were granted their wish in 1928. Members of the British suffrage movement expected women’s liberation, from their inferior status in the private and public sphere, to gradually increase following the grant of women’s right to vote. Since 1928, Britain has, to some extent, fulfilled these expectations. Women in Britain have been given more opportunities than they had pre-20th century; they are not restricted to their traditional, domestic role. Women can now compete against men in the labour market, and they have been given the freedom to express themselves. It can be argued however that, even in a first world country, inequality among the sexes still exists. This can be observed in the labour market for example. Rumours have it that women are less likely to attain positions of high value in the workplace because they have ovaries. If women have ovaries that means babies….and that means maternity leave – apparently, this undermines women’s reliability to prospective employers.
One can infer from this stereotypical assumption that even though there have been huge improvements over the past century, inequality between men and women can come to light merely by the biological anatomy of a woman, leading to predictions of female characteristics. On the other hand, countries like Africa and Saudi Arabia reveal that inequality among the sexes is rife, as these two countries are deemed to be rooted in their culture and tradition.
An example of male and female segregation is the driving ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which has this ban on women drivers. Sources such as The Independent claim that there has been talk of lifting the ban; however, they also go on to say that there will still be restrictions on women drivers if the ban is to be lifted. As mentioned in the Independent article, for example: ‘‘They would only be allowed to drive between 7am and 8pm from Saturday to Wednesday and from midday to 8pm on Thursday and Friday, the weekend in the oil rich kingdom.’’ (Mayhew, 2014). This suggests that although there has been a shift towards women’s emancipation by the idea of lifting the ban, their freedom is still constrained by time restrictions. But why? If Saudi Arabian women drive after 8pm, are they more likely to get themselves in danger? Are they not capable of looking after themselves if they do get into trouble? It’s complete idiocy if you ask me. It’s the 21st century, just let the women drive. Women drive in every other country so, it cannot be as difficult, dangerous or masculine as the officials of Saudi Arabia fear it to be. This driving ban postulates inequality among men and women is strong in Saudi Arabia in comparison to countries like Britain where driving for women is not considered to be taboo at all. Hence, the gender inequality gap is still open in some countries more than others. Nonetheless, the point is: inequality among the sexes still exists.
Today’s generation need to continue the quest for equality. Forget the science. Boys and girls. Men and women. We are all human. We are all equals. So when will society reflect this? Girls and women all around the world will forever be fighting for equality. We are not worth living in the shadows; we should be allowed to be in the same limelight men are in. We should be allowed to express our own opinions without being labelled: ‘bitches’. The girls of today need to be brought up in this world knowing that – cue the cliché – dreaming is believing. They should have confidence in achieving to the highest of their ability without any qualms of testosterone dominating social, political and economic spheres of society. Boys need to be educated on equality and they need to learn to respect their female counterparts. Boys need to understand that it is not acceptable to sexually harass girls or subject them to domestic violence. In the future, once they both enter the labour market, boys should want girls, of equal or higher intellectual capability, to get paid fairly. The day the gender inequality gap between females and males closes, will be the day of mutual peace among the sexes. This is certainly no man-hating rant – as Emma Watson famously said, ”[Men,] gender equality is your issue, too”; this is my way of expressing the desire of gender equality to exist in both the public and private sphere.