Wilhelmina, a sociologist, is into phenomena that affects the society and vice versa. Indeed, it is a two-way traffic.
What is Feminism?
Feminism is advocating for equal rights for both genders. An advocate of feminism or a person who practices feminism is known as a feminist. Generally, feminism goes hand in hand with equality. Equality is all about everyone receiving a fair treatment despite their gender.
Most people find it hard to differentiate between equity and equality. Why do i say so? This is because most people associate feminism with equity instead of equality.
Therefore, what is equity?
Equity has less to do with fairness but rather it treats people according to their needs. For instance, three individuals need money for different purposes. Individual A wants to buy books, while B, pens and C, a laptop.
Therefore, due to the individuals' different demands, they will be lent different amounts of money. Therefore, individual A might receive $20, B, $10 and lastly, C, $40.
On the other hand, equality would have prevailed if all the individuals received the same amount of money such as all receiving $40, $10 or even $20.
Prior years, society molded women in a manner that they failed to realize their rights. This is evident when women were forced to stay at home and create homes for their husbands and children.
The society has labelled women's roles to be in the kitchen only. We might as well say that the term 'house wife' came from there. Why do i say so? When we define the term 'house wife,' we realize that it shares the same features as the customary roles of women.
For men, it was a little bit different. Men were to work and provide for their families. They were not only leaders in the society but also in their homes. They also had the right to vote unlike women.
The main reason behind women not working, appearing in courtrooms, voting or even making decisions, is because they were perceived to be weak. Moreover, weak people have no say in the society. The society has labelled women to be very weak and so, were categorized as the minor group.
Thus, feminism was invented to come and do away with the existing stereotypes that society had formed about women. Moreover, giving women new rights while doing away with, as well as maintaining some other rights. As a result, enhancing equality among both women and men.
The Role of Feminism.
Basically, feminism emerged in 1848 at Seneca Falls Convention to fight for female gender equality. A woman known as Elizabeth Candy Stanton was behind the feminism wave. This wave was formed with the aim of giving women their right to participate in elections by voting in a leader of their choice. This was known as the suffrage movement.
Apart from the above agenda, the feminism wave was also to promote equality in the political, social and economic segments. This implies that both men and women were to receive equal rights in the political, social and economic segments.
Politically, if the male gender had the right to gain a seat in parliament or government, this was to be the same case for women. Additionally, women were also to be granted the right to vote.
Socially, women were to be given their reproductive rights whereby they were to decide when to be pregnant and also to apply birth control measures out of their free will such as family planning.
Lastly, economically, women were to gain the right to work, be paid salary and get promoted to higher job positions. Furthermore, these were some of the rights that feminism created a chance for women to gain access to.
Earlier, women were deprived of their many rights because of several stereotypes that the society had created. Ever since the feminism wave emerged, women have been empowered to an extent that they now realize their rights. Furthermore, they even want their rights to be put into consideration as well henceforth, be fully accepted by the society.
Women rights include:
- Right to vote
Elizabeth really fought for women rights particularly the right to vote under the suffrage movement. Initially, every woman aged eighteen years and above is allowed to vote. Currently, women have the right to vote in a leader of their choice.
- Right to own property
Women have the right to own property. In the past, women were not allowed to own properties at all. It was only men who had the right to do so. Initially, women are owning several properties. At some point, some women are owning more properties compared to men.
- Right to education
Customarily, society would not take a woman to school. Why? This is because taking a woman to school was seen as a waste of time and money. As i stated earlier, women's roles were strictly in the kitchen. In addition, they were to create homes and give birth. Education was only meant for men because they needed the relevant skills to work and rule in the society.
Times have really changed, women now go to school and study, get their degrees and work on the jobs of their choices.
- Right to be employed
Off late, women work in the same companies as men do. They get paid equal salaries to men. Lastly, job positions are no longer gender-oriented unlike before certain jobs were specifically meant for men. Nevertheless, women now also get promoted to higher positions in the company.
- Right to run for elections
A good example of such a right is the State of Liberia which was once run by a female president. In addition to that, women have currently become members of parliament in different states while others women representatives for different counties. This signifies that women can now be voted in for any government or parliamentary seat during elections.
- Reproductive rights
The main aim of this right is to protect women from unwanted pregnancies. For instance, a scenario whereby a man wants a child but the woman is against it, the reproductive right will be very effective. This right grants every woman the right to be against unprepared pregnancies and also practice preventive measures such as family planning.
The above-mentioned rights are the main rights of women but there are many more which still have to be implemented such as, a woman's right to divorce, right to be recognized and the right to be protected from sexual violence.
All in all, women rights are human rights!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Wilhelmina Annabel