In today’s culture where individualism is emphasized and especially that women are encouraged to assume equal roles as men would normally take, two or three decades ago, it is very difficult to see eye to eye with how women are during biblical times. “Girl power” or women empowerment is the rule of the day for women nowadays.
Although, of course, all women as all men have the right to lead in the sense that they have the same intrinsic capacity to influence, the role of leadership has been blown out of proportion by feminist groups as they apply it to women.
The result of this over blown leadership role of women has been the constant battle between members of opposite sexes in many significant areas within society. It has affected the homes, government and non-government institutions, down to the smallest entity that has within its membership men and women.
Today, despite the liberty afforded to women since their right to suffrage had been granted, myriads of problems assails them as they exercise many of their freedoms.
These include sexual harassment and abuse, balancing family life and, still being debated to a degree is the issue on an equitable salary or pay.
Generally, the women today have double jobs not to mention the close attention they pay towards their children’s schooling. This is usually true in urbanized and highly educated centers in the mainland USA. Despite these changes of traditional roles of women in the cities, there are yet rural areas where women assume roles that are still traditional.
Women in these areas are still known to be subservient to their men; oftentimes abuses are the rule not the exception.
Abuses come in the form of incest, rape, lure of prostitution, cybernet prostitution, abortion, domestic violence, sex tourism, and mail order brides among others. However, without exception, more less educated women are abused than their more educated counterparts who also have more access to social services. In other words, the abuses mentioned characterized women, though the incidence and degree are comparatively higher in the less educated and misplaced/marginalized areas (Malveuax et al., 2002).
~ Salary Equity
Despite the provision by law that there should be equal remuneration standards for men and women, many firms and workplaces continue to abuse women of this right (Equal Employment Opportunity Act). This law precisely was originally intended for women to receive equal pay and be protected against anomalous employers who make whimsical decisions regarding their women employees.
It provides against employers who may lower wages from either sex or labor organizations that will attempt to influence employers against employees’ wages (Taber, 2008). The question is how prevalent is the discrimination or abuse on employee salaries? Basically, most occupations still show discrepancy with women versus men wages, although various explanations are put forth. However the factors may be explained, the fact still remains that women lose around 20 to 30 percent to that of men’s income (77cents to one dollar for men) as reported by The Washington Post (2007 July).
~Balancing Work and family (Work-Life Initiatives)
Work-life initiatives are strategies implemented by firms to reduce turnover and increase productivity and overall firm performance. Studies were made to examine the influence and effects of work-life initiatives on employees and the organization in general. Workplace diversity which incorporates the concepts of work-life initiatives does indicate that it is inevitable that when a company introduces work-life initiatives, there is a resulting increase in diversity. Substantial evidence point to the effectiveness of workplace diversity hence, many institutions encourage and promote this in their particular milieu (http://www.cmdronline.com/workshops.htm).
It is inevitable that juggling work and family life will be one of a person’s demanding experiences. The rationale for having a job is not only to have a livelihood, achieve personal satisfaction in the expression of his abilities and trainings, and receive his remuneration and perks on the side. Preparation for family stability to be able to provide and thus create an atmosphere of care, for bachelors/maidens, is also the foremost and logical reason for having a job.
However, the thin thread that separates between the two polarities becomes blurred, and there lies the tension that pulls a person in different directions. The Center for Mediation and Dispute Resolution opens its website with the following quote: “Our life is one giant balancing act (http://www.cmdronline.com/workshops.htm).” Perhaps, no person will ever disagree with that statement. The goal then is to know how to do the balancing act, to gain competencies in achieving a rewarding, flourishing kind of life that holds work in one hand, while maintaining a well-nurtured and healthy family on the other hand.
What is perhaps most important to women’s well-being is their security against abuse of any form from employers, fellow employees and other people as they conduct their day-to-day affairs. Sex harassment is defined by the Women’s Justice Network as “Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Whether sexual harassment is from a supervisor, co-workers or customers, it is an attempt to assert power over another person. The harassment may take place in your work setting, outside of your work setting, in your home, while traveling on business or at business functions” (20002).
While at the moment, the common cry of women is equality to both genders as it is reflected in women’s roles in the family, in public places, and the obliteration of the stereotyped designation of females in past decades which until now has its bearing in the minds of the general public the consequent outcome of this campaign is prevalent in almost every area where function is concerned. In the late 1960s, women’s movement began to blossom. It was stirred by the then sentiment of repulsion to the tasks being typecasted among women. Women’s movement of the 60s aimed to question the menial duties relegated to women such as getting married, becoming a housewife and afterwards attending to household chores (including raising children), and when outside opportunity comes for them to work, they’re consigned to answering phones, photocopying, etc (Encarta, 2006).
The scenery has been changed and is no longer the same as in the past 30 or 40 years. The typical woman today is one that is among the working class – no longer confined to house premises, but working and providing as much as her male counterparts. She can be the manager or an executive of an established firm where most of the male employees are under her command. Equality in roles has now been achieved. Whereas this status and depiction of women in itself is not outright negative, the undercurrent force that it has created is the programming of the minds of today’s women to be resistant to the biblical description of their role as they are teamed with men.
Instead of seeing male and female partnership as complimentary to both sexes, the danger of too much emphasis on equality especially when it is defined merely in domestic and public functions is the threat that masculinity poses to womanhood. It is good for women to fight for their basic equal rights with men as members of this global community, but if it results in certain imbalances because the aim has become the dethronement of the opposite gender, then the battle for equality has now turned into fight for superiority of the female sex.
1. Encarta Dictionary 2006. (DVD).
2. Malveaux, Julianne, Deborah Perry, Deborah L. Perry. 2002. Unfinished Business: A Democrat and a Republican Take on the 10 Most Important Issues Women Face. Penguin Group USA.
3. Halonen, JS and JW Santrock, 1996. Psychology: Contexts of Behavior, Dubuque, IA: Brown and Benchmark, p.810.
4. __________ “Values: what are they?”2007. Family Works : University of Illinois extension. Accessed November 10. 2007. http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/familyworks/values-01.html
5. _________Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution, accessed in http://www.cmdronline.com/workshops.htm
6. Taber, Loren. The Law in the Workplace. Accessed February 28, 2008. http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:2K4rLBDHP90J:www.cbi-cc.org/PowerPoints/The%2520Law%2520in%2520the%2520Workplace.ppt+women+issues+on+discrimination+in+salary/wages&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1
7. _________ “Men vs Women: Asking for more Money. The Washington Post. July 30, 2007. Accessed February 28, 2008 http://ocouha.com/weblog/tags/earnings-income-salary-wages-wealth/
8. _________ “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. Toronto Harassment support Group. Retrieved February 28, 2008. <http://www.owjn.org/issues/s-harass/work.htm>