Struggle for Economic Justice by women in Australia
Struggle for Economic Justice by women in Australia
This is a term that has been used in reference to movements that have had the aim of politics, culture as well as economy. These movements have the motive of superior rights as well as chance of participation in matters of the society for women and girls within the region in target. These are rights and chances of participation that are aimed at making sure that those of the female gender share a rather equal platform in various fields of life as with their male counterparts (Ellen, 2007).
These fields include legal protection, politics, businesses, scholarships as well as the recognition and eventual building of a culture and power for women. These movements have been sparked by the fact that since traditional times the position of the woman in the society has been in the house where she is expected to raise the family. This is the bond of contention that feminist movements disagree with and are fighting to change. Most people view feminism being controversial based on the fact that it has challenged the values held by tradition.
This has highly been witnessed in the political scenes where women never had a chance but have fought their way through (Gilligan, 1977). Feminism in Australia Feminism can be considered to have revolved on the basis of the fact that the history of feminism can be divided into three based on the reforms that each group was pushing for during its time. The second wave of the movements which run between 1960 to the 1980’s was much concerned with inequality that women faced in the face of the law as well as culture.
This was a vital time frame for the feminist movement based on the fact they were fighting against something that they had lived with and had been seen as part of life. The third wave in the groping of the feminist movements reigned as from the 1980’s to the early 2000’s. This wave might not have a distinct task that it can be linked with but can rather be viewed as a continuation of the second wave and might as well be viewed as a response to the failure that the other waves might have made (Anita & Dorota, 1998).
Feminism in Australia as from the 1980’s can be deemed as radical based on the fact that it has focused on a eliminating a system of power that arises from the theory of patriarchy. In their view, this has been used to organize the society such that it is more complex of relationships on the basis of an assumption of male supremacy that has been used as a tool to oppress women. This radical movement has had the intention of challenging and overthrowing the patriarchy.
This has been by means of opposing standard gender roles, opposition of the oppression of women as well as making calls that perpetuate a reordering of the society which is expected to be radical. In the onset of the radical feminist the movement at the time viewed patriarchy as a phenomenon that was transhistorical and deeper as compared to other sources of oppression towards women. In this case it was viewed as an old universal source of oppression that acted as the model for the structure of other forms.
Within a near future the group witnessed a change in their politics over a range of cultural feminism to more vibrant politics that brought about issues of class as well as economics to a level that was at par with patriarchy as sources of women’s oppression (Alcoff, 1998). In Australia in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the radical feminist movements took part in a number of squats with their underlying aim being the establishment of a range of women’s centres. Time was dawning and by mid 1980’s many of the consciousness riding groups that had formed the original movement had dissolved.
This was in a systematic way as they got associated in universities that were loosely organized. This paved way to modern feminism which can be witnessed in a more precise way with student activism as well as with women who form the working class population of the nation. Over the period in the 1980’s, the government of Australia came up in support of feminism. This was expressed through funds that that the government offered to the feminist social organization of which most accepted.
This was an aid that did not last for long based on the fact the election that preceded this event resulted in the election of a new government that abolished the fund (Reina & Sara, 2003). Feminism, after the year 1980 has faced many obstacles some of which are as a result of its achievements. These include the rights of the woman to work which was seen as a means of economically empowering the women (Ellen, 2007). The idea was brilliant based on the fact that it has economically empowered the woman but has as well created a burden for the women.
This is based on the fact that the job opportunities have created added responsibility to the women bearing in mind the role that they play in the homes. Though feminism might have made a significant growth in Australia the benefits of the growth can not be said to have been equally distributed between the women. This is in line with the Aboriginal women who form part of Australia’s indigenous population. This is a population that can not be said to share the light of the developments made in the country based on the fact their livelihood depends on survival.
The Aboriginal women who form part of this population suffer great violence, proportions that have been said to violate human rights. This is a situation that has been created by factors of race, gender, post-colonial effects, unequal access to resources of the society as well as the unequal development of the community. Indications from both social and economic perspective prove that Aborigines are most disadvantaged in Australia while their women fare worst. The violence against these women is an indication that feminism has not yet accomplished its aim of eradicating women oppression in the country.
Though we might say that the movement has had significant achievements this has been in varied areas and especially the urban centers where the movement has been able to draw its message. The case with the women of Aboriginal is an indication that the economic battle that feminism is fighting has not yet been accomplished (Heather & Jackie, 1998). The Equal Pay Act of 1970 The equal pay act of 1970 was made with the purpose of addressing the inequality that existed between men and women over their pay.
This was prompted by the fact that the women through feminist movement had resented over the poor pay that they earned at their work places. This was despite the fact that in most cases the women worked more that the men did. This was an issue that needed urgent address leading to the formulation of the act. The act might have been made but the country has not yet fully witnessed the success of this act. This is based on the fact that women in Australia still earn less than men in the region.
This is despite the fact that the act was made in which women were expected to be paid equal amounts when they did the same job. However, the act stipulated instances when the pay might not be equaled based on the fact one employee might have higher credential than the other thus the imbalance in the pay rates. Despite this aspect of the act the pay towards women has been poor as compared to that of men with the difference between today and in the eighties being that the pay has been raised (Socialistworld. net, 2007).
The underlying factor is the fact that despite the fact that the act was made it did not meet its intended target. From a point of view this can be seen a way through which the oppression of women continues even in today’s society based on the fact that women are viewed as inferior to men. The act can not be ignored on the basis that the pay has not been equalized but is to be applauded based on the fact that it had a significant impact in leading the pay of women to where they are today (Coote & Beatrix, 1987).
Though it may not be the target that was intended half a loaf is better than none. The economic progress that feminism wished to realize has not yet been achieved and the journey to its realization has as well proved hard. This can be attributed to the traditional aspect that never gave opportunity to women. These are the opportunities that women through the feminist movement are seeking to earn but it has proved difficult based on the fact that people are not yet ready to abandon this culture and offer women the demands that they are making. Conclusion
Feminism is a movement that has aimed to advocate for equal treatment of women in all aspect of the society in the same way as men. This has been a battle based on the fact that the inferiority aspect of women originates from tradition which has proved hard to eradicate completely. The movement has had significant success in the uplifting of the economy of women though these are fruits that have been witnessed in the urban centers. This is a major limitation of the movement based on the fact women in the rural areas continue to suffer with little attempt being made to liberate them.
The journey of the movement over the years has not been smooth based on the fact that the movement has encountered denial in its operations that have proved the women liberation task an uphill one. The success that the movement has achieved needs to be moved to the rural areas as well for the movement to have full achieved its goal. The economic liberation of women has witnessed significant success though more needs to be done. This is in account of the fact that women are still being oppressed economically.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 25 September 2016
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