Throughout this century, the role of women within society has changed, and the majority of people feel that this change is for the better. More women work than ever before, and it is accepted in Western culture that many women now have careers. Nonetheless, in my opinion there is still a great deal of sexual discrimination against women within society, and the belief that sexual equality has been achieved is not altogether accurate.
To begin with, many women find it very difficult to return to work after having children. The main reason for this is that there are rarely any provisions made for childcare in the workplace and, in these cases, women are forced to find someone to look after the children while they are at work. Obviously, this can prove to be a time-consuming and expensive process, yet it must be done it mothers are to be able to resume their careers.
Secondly, the traditional views of the position of women within society are so deeply ingrained that they have not really changed. For instance, not only is the view that women should stay at home and look after their family still widely held, but it is reinforced through images seen on television programs and advertisements. An example of this is that few men are ever seen doing housework on television, since this is traditionally thought of as “a woman’s job”.
Thirdly, since families often need two incomes in order to enjoy a good standard of living, a woman finds herself doing two jobs: one at home and one at the office. So, it could be said that a woman’s position has, in fact, deteriorated rather than improved, with the result that women carry the burdens of equality but get none of the benefits.
In contrast, there are some people who claim that the problem of sexual discrimination no longer exists. They point out that women do, after all, have legal rights intended to protect them from discrimination. In addition, a few women are now beginning to reach top positions as judges, business leaders and politicians, while a number of other previously all-male professions are opening their ranks to women. Nonetheless, these examples are not the norm and discrimination is still very much with us.
Taking these points into consideration, I would say that the position of women has improved only slightly. While rules and laws have changed, it is the deep-rooted opinions of people within society which are taking a longer time to evolve. Needless to say, until these attitudes have changed, sexual discrimination will remain a problem which we all need to face and fight against.