Where Are Women’s Ethical Rights to Equality?
Where Are Women’s Ethical Rights to Equality?
Women earn 77 percent of what men earn for the same job (Edmonds, 2014). That equals about .77 cents of every dollar that a man earns. We as women are losing 23 cents just because we are women. I have chosen to write about women’s equality using the utilitarian and deontology ethical theories. The world today is a much different world to live in for women, yet it is much the same in other countries as it has been for centuries. Even if they have so many other obstacles to overcome, woman still find a way to prevail. Woman still get the short end of the stick most days with lower income than men, inadequate training for jobs, losing their jobs because of family obligations and in some instances not even a choice on the size of their families. There are so many unethical practices that are used in some woman’s lives. If a woman is to say she was raped, the questions the authorities may ask do not always support the woman’s claims. The authorities will question her, they may ask her questions based on the type of life she leads, the type of clothes she wears or what type of job she has.
This is not an example of the utilitarian theory but the complete opposite, the authorities should not judge the woman by any of these things, instead they should be looking into the person that committed the crime and help catch this person so that other people are safe. They reply to the cry of rape with what I believe to be the emotivism ethical perspective. It’s a moral issue, if this woman that was raped is a stripper that wears revealing clothing some might say she was asking for the action of rape. However, if a woman that is dressed in a suit and works in a high end job, the first impression of the rape victim is completely different. In most uncivilized countries rape is a natural thing that happens daily. In a war zone, the opposing side will rape women and children for fun and spite (Edmond, 2014). If you are married marital rape is excused, a common practice mostly because women in these countries are trapped in loveless, abusive relationships, due to poverty, where the man forces his wife who despises him to copulate. In other places, rape is only considered rape if you have several male witnesses.
The inequality that society sets upon women is deplorable in many similar situations. Author, Molly Edmonds writes about women in different countries in her article Gender and Sexuality (2014). She states that in Saudi Arabia, women cannot even leave their homes without a man’s permission, drive a car or a bike on public roads or even give birth in a hospital environment. All because they are women and the world would see them without their veils and other men could see their exposed skin. In China and India, through testing parents can choose to abort a girl child or murder it after she is born if a test came back inconclusive or the family could not have the test done, all because males are considered more valuable. It is so common that society has a name for this lost fetuses and infants called “missing woman”. In Chile and Lesotho, women cannot own land without a male family members name on the deed. It has to be a father, brother or husband.
If that male family member dies or leaves the land is lost to the woman and she is considered homeless. All of this inequality has led to a term Feminization of Poverty, when a woman is left without any land, monies or any way of getting a loan to help her family survive. Eventually the woman and her family must sell or move away after they can no longer keep things afloat. In most everyday living situations that Americans are used to things are not this tough for women, however, it is different for woman than men even in our civilized nation. Woman have a strong sense of duty. Whether it be to family, friends or jobs, most women have to or are expected to take care of things. If you are a mother and/or a wife, you have many daily duties to take care of throughout the day. It usually has no bearing on her duties if this woman is a working mom or a stay at home mom. It is normally an expected list of things to be completed. This is an example of the deontology theory.
The expectation of duty and obligation to her family. In return she receives or should receive respect and high dignity in herself and from others. Being a wife and mother you feel responsible for all your child’s keeping and your own house keeping. I think that this is a utilitarian theory example. We do the best for all of those around us, even if it is not the best for ourselves. Edmond also states that girls are the majority of children that miss or quit school. Fathers of these girls believe it is their duty to help out with household chores, help with younger siblings, and even work the fields instead of a boy because the boy receiving an education is more important. Sometimes the father’s will marry off their daughters to improve his family’s situation, so in turn the daughter would not be attending school any longer. Lastly the family may only have enough money to send one child to school and it would always be the boy if there was a boy in the family.
Although women’s equality is important here in the United States, women not men are expected to take care of their children no matter what. According to Paulette Light, co-founder of MomStamp (2013), 43 percent of woman who are highly educated and qualified for amazing careers leave there jobs to raise children. Where are the men in this responsibility? According to several articles I have read through research many men do not feel the obligation to home and children is their obligation. Many of them leave the mother of their children resulting in a high poverty level in woman because they are woman. Stated in an article by Barbara and Shannon Kelley (2011), households that are led by single woman or separated women have a poverty rate of 31.6 percent, compared to a household led by a single or separated male having a poverty level of 15.8 percent.
The United States government needs to follow the ethical theory of utilitarianism and look into equality among men and women. They need to look into how this can benefit everyone and make it about the people. I realize it is a long battle that continues to draw attention from all reporters and government officials, this topic is all over the internet in articles and statistic findings. Woman should not be in such poverty just because they are woman. The controversy that is caused by people saying that woman make less than men is stated as a bogus theory. According to an article in the U.S News by Christina Hoff Sommers, (2014), the president in his Union address stated that woman make “77 cents less for every dollar a man earns”. Ms. Sommers states that this is bogus and “discredited factoid”. In her article she says that it is in fact a lot less of a wage gap at only approximately a 5 cent gap between what men make and what women make.
Why should this even be a matter to discuss, why should woman have any different amount of wage than a man? Another ethical perspective is relativism and with the inequality of woman’s wages to men’s wages personal value should come into play. A woman and a man should be paid for their job based on what the job is. They should also be paid based on their education, experience and time on the job. Gender should not be an issue. If you are a cashier at a grocery store that job should have a base pay, for that job, the same if you are an executive secretary or a chief executive officer of a huge company. The job should have a base pay and your experience should be what you are paid for, not your gender. Woman’s equality is a near and dear topic to every woman. We need to continue the fight that has been ongoing for years. We need to end the 500,000 deaths a year that happen because women are not allowed to leave their homes for childbirth (Edmonds, 2014).
We need to get more women in politics, woman only make up 15.6 percent of parliamentary seats (Edmonds, 2014). Most importantly, we need to make society see that we are just as important to the world in which we live as men are. We can have families that are well taken care of and provide them at the same time. Women should keep raising awareness in their work environment to be able to be moms and working women. There should not have to be a choice whether we be a good mom or a good worker we can do both. Also, we should be asking our spouses for more help, why can’t they stay home with the children if they are sick? Too much responsibility is befallen on women and we hear none of the accolades that we should hear. Questions need to be asked to our current politicians about why we are not paid the same as men, what makes them so much more deserving than woman? If we were to get a woman somewhere in a higher seat of politics would the pay scale change?
On a grim topic, why have the proper authorities investigated the murders of these poor innocent babies in China and India? United Nations state that over 200 million girls are missing from the world because of what they call gendercide (Hatten, 2012). Who has the say in this atrocity of a law that girl babies can be murdered? Thrown in garbage cans, stuffed in pillowcases and thrown in rivers. Hatten states that a woman in India killed eight of her babies all because they were girls. Eight babies! If someone in the United States did that they would be in jail rotting, but this lady is free to roam, have more babies and free to make the choice that their life should end if she deems fit. Seems like they would just have an easier adoption plan in place to get rid of them if they did not want them. There are plenty of people around the world that would love a baby.
In my research I have found one good thing in China to help these children and it is the “baby hatch” program. This program is where families can leave their sick child if they cannot afford medical bills or any other child that they cannot keep, because of another policy in China where families can only have one child. Most of the children left are severely sick, disabled or girls. This brings hope to China to have a place to bring your child if you have no other way. There are 576,000 orphans in the Chinese welfare system. We would not have the liberties that we have if the wonderful women before us had not forged a path for us to learn, grow and continue to fight through. Being a mom, wife, working woman or stay at home mom should be a joy, we should be proud and love what we do. It should not be expected or feel like an obligation.
Unfortunately, society has made this the norm in our lives. For years we have been fighting for our equal rights and I believe that we will be fighting for years to come. It is sad that we will be continuing to earn equality for the rest of our lives and leaving work to still be completed for our daughters and probably granddaughters as well. In my opinion our country would benefit greatly if we were to have a woman president. I think that a woman president would help women in all walks of life, in all cities and in all levels of poverty or well off situations have more equal rights to men. I hope that in my lifetime I will be able to see more severe stance of equality with women it would be a great joy to me to make sure my daughters are allowed more in their lives without having to fight too hard to get there.
Edmonds, M. (2014). Gender and Sexuality. Discovery Communications, LLC Retrieved from http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/examples-gender-inequality-around-world.htm on May 14, 2014
Hatten, K. W. (2012). 200 Million Girls Killed in China, Where are the Feminists? Life New.com Retrieved from http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/02/200-million-girls-killed-in-china-where-are-the-feminists/ on May 14, 2014
Kelly, B & S. (2011, Sept). If the End of Men is Here Why is Female Poverty Up? The Blog, The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-kelley/hanna-rosin-end-of-men_b_963455.html on April 30, 2014
Light, P. (2013, Apr). Why 43% of Women with Children leave their Jobs and how to get them Back. The Atlantic, Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/why-43-of-women-with-children-leave-their-jobs-and-how-to-get-them-back/275134/ on April 30, 2014 Reilly, J. (2014, Apr). Anguish of the Mother’s forced to handover their children. Mail Online, Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2595184/Heartbreaking-moments-parents-say-goodbye-sons-daughters.html on May 14, 2014
Sommers, C.H. (2014, Feb). No, Women Don’t Make Less Money than Men. The Daily Beast Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/01/no-women-don-t-make-less-money-than-men.html on April 30, 2014