This research paper is for my ENG 102 class that needs to be reviewed. Please provide 3 areas of weakness in which I can improve on. Thank you.
---------------------------------Women Around the World
Gender inequality is a serious global issue that has been accepted as the way of life by many of the world's inhabitants. It is severe issue that has been taken lightly, which is why it has not had the much-needed attention that it deserves. Gender discrimination currently affects our professional careers, our cultural upbringings, and our basic human rights.
Even though there are laws that have been implemented to protect us from inequality in the work place, the grave injustice issue still exists. Gender discrimination is present in many ways within our professional careers. Whether it affects our job roles, our pay, or our career advancement, the issue is still very real.
Equal pay for equal work has been a popular phrase used by individuals who performing the same work, but do not receive the same pay. In1963, President John F. Kennedy signed The Equal Pay Act in hopes of prohibiting discrimination against women's pay in the work place. At that time, the average female worker earned 60% of what the average man earned ("John F Kennedy"). Unfortunately, pay equality has not prevailed and is still affecting us. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2011 they reported that the average woman earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men ("Women's Earnings"). Even though progress towards equal pay has slightly improved since The Equal Pay Act passed, pay is still not equal.
Often times, certain obstacles within the workplace prevent women from advancing their careers within their own companies. Some women do not wish to initiate a promotion within, due to the fact that they are victims of abuse by a male co-worker or even a man in a higher job position. According to Einarsen, specific data regarding bullying in the workplace was collected on 53 random samples. These samples suggested that bullying in the workplace is more likely to occur to female victims. The results indicated that 62.5% of the victims were women and 37.5% were men (Einarsen 79). It is very common for a situation, like the one mentioned above, to be handled internally by the victim. Many are afraid to report the abuse because it did occur in the workplace and a lot of these women depend on their jobs. For example, another survey was done on 900 female attorneys at 56 large law firms. Out of those 900 women, 60% of them were victims of sexual harassment. These women rarely reported the incidents and 56% of the ones that did, received no help from their employer (Berring 33). Cases like these make women more vulnerable due to the fact that a complaint was filed and it was not taken seriously. In the end, the victim feels even more vulnerable.
Our modern society continues to discriminate based on gender-based roles and expectations in the workplace. Certain expectations are to be handled by certain genders. For instance, Jennifer Pierce studied two law firms and confirmed that gender inequality did in fact exist within that environment. Even though both male and female employees were paralegals, the females were placed in different roles than that of their coworkers. Female paralegals were placed in roles that consisted of supportive, mothering aide type roles, while men paralegals were cast as junior partners (Acker 451). Both genders are able to complete the same job functions and perform equally, however; female employees were not utilized for their professional contributions like the males were. In 2013, only 14.6% of women held executive officer positions listed in the Fortune 500 ("Women in the United States"). Why is it that this percentage is not higher? These statistics prove that it is difficult for a woman to advance towards a higher position. The reason being is that naturally, there are more obstacles that a woman has to overcome to be higher professional position.
Our cultures and traditions play a tremendous role in how gender inequality models our upbringing and attitude towards it. After all, as far as we know, tradition and culture is the way of life, as we know it.
First, these cultural traditions go as far as not even allowing women to marry how or whom they please. The popularity of arranged marriages have greatly diminished over time. It is more of a business deal, than acts of love. "Arranged marriage was defined as a marriage facilitated by family but which requires the consent of both partners, and a forced marriage as one to which either one or both parties do not give their consent, or do so only under duress" (Sundari 166). An arranged marriage has to be agreed upon by everyone, except the bride. She has no say in who she will most likely spend the rest of her life with. This is no different than forced marriage. In either situation, the bride to be has no opinion in whom she will marry. Indeed this level of insanity is perfect example of the violation of gender equality. While the husband can decide which wife he will marry, and how many. Islamic laws permit husbands to marry more than one woman, as long as the first wife grants permission and the husband is fair. A silent first wife is taken as granted permission and the definition of fair is based on the husband's perspective (Schröter 114). Being that the wives in this area of the world are not allowed to speak their minds, it will not be difficult to obtain her "permission".
Many cultures raise women in environments that make them believe that men are superior to them, just because they are men and we are women. Indeed there are anatomical differences between us; however, these differences should not shape the way we treat each other as human beings. Among certain Muslim groups, states still believe in the idea that cast women in the role of spouse and housewife and depended on her husband. The husband's main task it to support his family and hers is to support her husband's career and raise good children (Schröter 57). These roles are taken to an extreme in some places, such as Muslim groups. Women must tend to their expected duties, such as, mothers, caregivers, or wives. It is not an option, rather a requirement that should not be questioned by women. "One needs to respect each male's manliness, for not to do so via insensitivity or (worse yet) deliberate intent, would be to engage in a public humiliation or even insult of the highest order" (Karsten 22). In other parts of the world, should women not do as expected, they will unfortunately suffer in many ways. Shame to the family is considered to be one of the biggest embarrassments to them, which can result in severe consequences.
Women are constantly threatened by the pressure of not disappointing their cultural families, in fear of being harmed by them. Acts that are considered to be shameful are minute to some women but deadly to others. "In Jordan, a woman's life is at risk if she engages in "immoral or shameful" acts, such as talking with a man not her husband or a blood relative (even in a public place), or refusing to tell a close male relative where she has been and with whom, or marrying someone of whom her family does not approve: in short for doing or being imputed to have done anything that, in traditional terms, is perceived to bring sexual dishonor on herself and therefore on her family" ("Honoring the Killers" 1). The case mentioned above is one of many real examples that occur in Jordan. These women are people. People need to interact and be social towards others. It is unfortunate to know that these small acts can be considered shameful to the victim's families. It is ridiculous that even an uncontrollable situation can bring disappointment to the family. In Islam, if a woman gives birth to a male it is an honor, but giving birth to a female is seen as a burden to the family and a threat to their family honor (Beitler, Martinez 55). It is completely idiotic, for someone to believe that women have some type of control over what gender her child will be. These are very stressful situations that a woman here has to live with.
Basic human rights are something that everyone should have freely. Unfortunately, some locations around the world do not express the same opinion. Whether it's a law being enforced or a brutal family tradition, there are many inhumane inequalities against women.
One could say that the most basic god given right for a woman, is for her to be able to have control of her own body and her unborn children. Unfortunately, laws in China disagree. China has a one child per family law. Due to this law, families typically prefer a male child to a female. Many times when they find out it is a girl; they abort, kill them right after birth, or abandon them. This law is supposed to protect families when in reality; it is mass murder of females just because of their gender ("Statistics About Gendercide"). These laws prevent women to have children freely. Laws are preventing women from doing what their bodies are made to do. Also, in India, a vast majority of females are discriminated upon simply for being females. Females are seen as burdens, they are discriminated upon when it comes to food, health care, or even the killing of their female infants (Waheed). Women of India are not legally obliged to a certain number of children per household; however, they are equally pressured as the women of China. They must always live under the pressure of trying to have only male children because females are a huge burden. "This trend of sex selection is extremely unhealthy and can have disastrous consequences for society. Moreover, a society which denies the girl child even the basic right to existence cannot claim to be civilized" (Shrestha). Due to these ridiculous laws, gender ratios in China are dramatically different. There are many more males than there are females, which lead to global issues that involve us all.
Female trafficking is a global issue that uses women as economical gain, at the risk of their freedom and lives. Female's lives are not as important as the life of a male. The "The Chinese government's birth limitation policy and a cultural preference for sons, create a skewed sex ratio of 118 boys to 100 girls in China, which served as a key source of demand for the trafficking of foreign women as brides for Chinese men and for forced prostitution" ("U.S. State Department Trafficking" 129). In China, since females are not as valuable as males, it is easier for them to be kidnapped and sentenced to a miserable life of slavery and prostitution. They figure, since they are not wanted anyway, they are easier targets. Sexual exploitation not only occurs here, it is a popular black market business that is powered by greedy people everywhere. In 2005, it was estimated that 98% of the sexual exploitation victims were female (Belser, Mehran, and De Cock 6). These females were taken against their will to do things they did not want to do. They are treated as business deals and the people doing this have no care for human life whatsoever. Forced marriage can be another form of female trafficking, due to the fact that her family sold her with false marriage documentation. Often times, these so called husbands end up beating them, raping them, and even murdering them ("Other Forms of Trafficking"). Ultimately, the family sold their daughters for money, just so they can have a life of pain and suffering.
There are laws that are implemented to protect women of inhumane acts, however, these laws typically do not do anything towards the protection of women. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported a case where a man was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing his daughter. After the case was transferred to Lahore High Court, the sentence was reduced to five years. Their reason for justification being that the daughter most likely did something to justify her father's actions ("Crime or Custom?" 59). These laws prove that there are flawed justice systems that fail to protect those in need. With law enforcements such as the one listed above, there will always be loopholes for the perpetrators to not pay for what he did. Another example of an inhumane and corrupt justice system is Jordan. In Jordan, the government imprisons victims in which the families attempted "honor killing". The authorities imprison the females to keep them safe, while the males walk freely ("Jordan: Victims Jailed"). The government's way of protecting the survived victims is to imprison them, so the attacker will not be able to reach her. She is imprisoned for being a victim, for her safety. It seems like the woman here is being punished because the father did not actually kill her. Death for females is easily preferred for over males. China has a one child per family law. Due to this law, families typically prefer a male child to a female. Many times when they find out it is a girl; they abort, kill them right after birth, or abandon them. This law is supposed to protect families when in reality; it is mass murder of females just because of their gender ("Statistics About Gendercide"). Abortion is a very controversial subject. It should be optional, whether the fetus is a girl or boy. If the child is a girl, an abortion is one of the preferred routes. A girl is more expensive, a burden, or even shameful to the family. This is not a simple act of abortion because it wasn't the right time or the parents weren't ready, etc. They occur in the thousands and are the works mass murderers.
In the end, the phenomenal issue of global gender inequality is not going to get much better any time soon. Gender discrimination will continue to affect our professional careers by limiting us in equal pay rights, higher job roles or being abused. The way we are raised cultivates the way we act and feel towards the inequalities. Basic human rights are still going to be violated by the justice system and the people. It is a devastating truth that will worsen and obliterate the little progress that has been done over the years, if we do not take action now. It is up to us as victims and offenders to take do our due diligence and become familiar with these injustices.
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