Women's rights movement

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The thesis investigates the history of women's rights by examining the rise and visibility of women's rights, advocacy, and people's perceptions of women's rights in contemporary society. A great deal of literature and academic study has been written on topics surrounding women's rights, such as socio-cultural challenges to women's activism, gender disparities and sexism, views of a lady in society, and feminism. According to studies, women have made great strides in reaching gender balance in today's culture (Radke et al. 2016). In a society that celebrates fragmentation and individualism, women have become more deeply interested in inequality issues. However, oppression and discrimination of women are still the order of the day despite having many women in the major areas of the society such as academia, management, and politics.

The issues at stake in the existing scholarly work are in tandem with the topic of this study. The convergence point of the subject and the ideas in the current literature is the right of women. However, the literature left knowledge gaps concerning whether the women’s rights are getting better or worse and its popularity among people.

Women’s Rights Today

According to Heffernan et al. (2011), modern information and communication technologies have opened up gender issues. The gender roles, women’s rights, and gender equality are today in many people’s minds as they are brought up and discussed all over the media. Every media of communication, be it magazines, television, radio or social media is full of women rights concerns. Compared to the past, women rights are now pressing issues of debate across the world thanks to the new technologies. The media has enhanced activism that has made women rights movement known to many. The frequency in which women affairs were represented in the press has drastically improved over the years. The way the society viewed women has also changed. The mass media depiction of women in the past was narrowly constructed to the role of childbearing and family caring. The information and messages passed through the media were less and taught that women have a different role from men in the society. A woman was expected to be clean, quiet, neat and nurturing while a man was seen as athletic, strong, mechanical and independent (Heffernan et al., 2011). Mass media has highlighted women in an entirely different perspective that has made women rights movement to be more visible. Today, women have more access to freedom and opportunities than ever.

Even though these changes are positive, the contemporary society has not observed gender equality thus affecting the gains made through the popularization of women rights movements. The motherhood ideology of women has refused to go amongst many people even after being aware of the need to protect women’s rights. For example, in advertisements of products such as baby diapers and soaps, women are used in selling such goods which portray them as babysitters. The men are still dominant in various significant sectors of the society such as government, academia, and business. Women’s rights have therefore been spread overtly and covertly in the mass media. The popularity of women issues has grown, but the implementation of women’s rights is secretly ignored. The society has created a scenario where there are many gains as far as women rights movement is concerned while at the same time there are drawbacks on the gains made (Heffernan et al., 2011).

Women are not yet represented fairly in the society. Postmodernism has not solved anything as far as women rights movement is concerned but has occluded gender equality issues (Wilson, 2004). The emergence of feminism ideology might have been a knee jack reaction to historical injustices for women during events such as World Wars. This means that maybe the women rights movements have been misdirected due to lack of a proper strategy to ensure gender equality. It is evident that even after the presence of women in the major areas of the society; the world still treats them as unequal to men. In the employment sector, women hold some of the highly profiled positions such as managerial positions but are not earning the same as they male equivalents. In government and politics, women occupy important positions, but their male counterparts who exercise lack of trust in women leadership still scrutinized their decisions. Wilson (2004), expresses concerns that even in the field of academia where equality is taught and believed to be practiced the trend is the same. For example, in the United Kingdom, female academics are paid only four-fifths of what their male colleagues earn (Wilson, 2004). Postmodernism has created a negative culture that lower women rights and violated them. There is too much use of women as sexual objects and their bodies as objects of enticement to purchasing in the western consumer customs. These scenarios depreciate the gains made towards the emancipation of the women that many feminists have worked to achieve. Cultural differences have also created room for the oppression of women’s rights. For example, Muslim women who wear long dresses as part of their culture have suffered intimidation from other people who think they are not enlightened.

Challenges Facing Movement of Women’s Rights

Women rights movements have been one of the ways in which the rights of women are championed through a collective action (Radke, 2016). Through the collective women movements, women have been able to draw attention various issues concerning women rights, for example, underrepresentation, discrimination, and oppression. Feminists continue to champion their rights that the society has denied them either directly or indirectly, for instance, ownership of property, voting, freedom of working, and safety from violence. Campaigns aimed at fighting for women’s rights have been the order of the day both online and in the traditional media. Women rights activists target societal inequality apologetics by ensuring the women voices are heard in every sector of the society. Coming together to call for action is one of the best methods women are using and should continue using to initiate the social change they require. However, such collective efforts are risky and already threaten the rights of women. The challenges and barriers that come with fighting for the rights of women are inevitable all over the world. Radke et al. (2016) say that despite the numerical superiority women have, they face a lot of challenges that hinder them from coming together as a movement to fight for their rights.

According to Radke (2016), women fear to associate with fellow women so as to get together and fight for their rights. Because women rights movements are already perceived as disadvantaged groups, many women would not become part of it because they feel they will be viewed as such. Women consider the fight for freedom as politically motivated hence fear to get involved in political struggles. They compare the women rights movements to the historical independence movements that were continuously involved in a violent power struggle. Naturally, women are emotionally attached to men thus they think coming together with their colleagues for the course of their rights is strange. Furthermore, the society has elevated men higher than women who commonly seek solace from them. Women mostly have a close relationship with the community such as their male partners, families, colleagues, friends, and neighbors. The women depend on that ‘society’ for various issues both socially and professionally. This kind of relationship tends to silence the women even when the same society becomes unfair to them. Women rights movements are therefore likely to have a reduced sense of identification and perception of rights infringement and the need to act when injustices occur. For example, women are unlikely to report when they are assaulted by their husbands or members of their family because they feel the perpetrators are close to them. Such instances put at risk the women’s rights and hinder their involvement in the women rights movement activities. Radke et al. (2016), argue that romantic contact between males and females work against women’s will of collective action and creates the barrier of the women coming together with other women. Romantic connection creates competition between women, who view men as possessing economic security, status, and power. This makes women to fight one another for such a golden opportunity rather than coming together to fight for their rights.

Women’s perception of women rights activism and sexism is a challenge for women rights movements (Chon, 2015). The successful fight for equality through suffrage and the representation of women in the major areas of the society has shifted people’s perception of the world to a post-feminist society where sexism is an issue in the past. Many people have a peculiar practice of fronting the minority groups so as to remove the notion that inequality exists. This behavior is typical in employment scenarios where a few minority groups are considered for individual positions for the rest to think the organization is fair. This is what the society has become, and women also feel that the world is fair and there is no need to involve themselves in the women rights movements. Ironically, the truth that there exist numerous acts of injustices for women in the society is hidden, and many women are blindfolded not to notice when their rights are infringed. The myth is that women are autonomous yet they are not. Beauvoir claims that it is hard for females to accept their womanly destiny and the fact that they are not independent (1974).

Conclusion

Women rights movements have made tremendous gains in fighting for the right of a woman. However, these gains are at stake due to postmodernism culture of the world. Women continue to be exploited and denied their rights either directly or indirectly. Women rights movements are essential to securing the rights of women. Barriers to the women coming together and fighting for their rights are difficult to overcome. Future studies should investigate how the challenges facing the collective action of women in addressing their issues can be addressed. For example, the balance between a relationship with men and recognizing when the people infringe on their rights should be a problem of concern.

References

Beauvoir, S. D. (1974). The Second Sex. New York: Vintage Books.

Chon, D. S. (2015). Gender Equality, Liberalism and Attitude Toward Prostitution: Variation in Cross-National Study. Journal of Family Violence, 30(7), 827-838. doi:10.1007/s10896-015-9713-y

Heffernan, K., Nicolson, P., & Fox, R. (2011). The next generation of pregnant women: more freedom in the public sphere or just an illusion? Journal of Gender Studies, 20(4), 321-332. doi:10.1080/09589236.2011.617602

Radke, H. R., Hornsey, M. J., & Barlow, F. K. (2016). Barriers to women engaging in collective action to overcome sexism. American Psychologist, 71(9), 863-874. doi:10.1037/a0040345

Wilson, E. A. (2004). Feminism Today. Psychosomatic, 212-221.

October 25, 2022
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Learning Biology

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Study Evolution Society

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