HOWAND WHY THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS FEMALE WORK HAS EVOLVED
Womenempowerment and education have been a process that has takencenturies to achieve. In earlier times up to the 19th-century, womenin America were usually seen as the lesser gender and denied mostrights that were enjoyed by men. Instead, women were left at home toperform housewives chores, weaving, and childbearing. For centuriesthe women were content and proud of these roles. However, subsequentgenerations of women started to emerge that were more aggressive infighting for their rights and demanding autonomy. These women did notwant their abilities to be limited only to taking care of the houseand looking beautiful for their husbands they demanded to beeducated and be part of decision makers in the society. Subsequentopposition by men to their demands led to rising in female groups andmovements fighting for women rights and in the process educatingthem. Fighting for gender equity and forcing governments to altermale superiority policies also to favor them. Though the struggle forrights still continues to date, much has been achieved by the femalechild and much more will come. The study thus explores how womenempowerment has developed over the years and the the progressiveattainment of rights and power for women.
The1800s was characterized by women activism and demand for rightsusually enjoyed by men. Among the key activists in America was MariahStewart who tried to mobilize women to rebel against being limited tohousewives, smelting, and crafting by their men1.She challenged women to be educated and exploit their talents asintellects in the society. Women wanted to play more important rolesin the society and make their opinions count in the midst of menchauvinists’ .The activists advocated for women to unite, fundthemselves and educate themselves for the greater benefit of theirdaughters and next generations. Mariah Stewart advised them not to belimited to sex tools exploited by men only to sire their children.However, this activism was met with a lot of resistance from men bothwhite and black forcing and most of them to died out as quickly asthey sprang up. The hope for women autonomy and independence, toenjoy rights reserved for men like formal education continued,though, with the few women activist movements that remained active2.
Withthe attainment of education, women started tackling otherdiscriminatory issues that faced them. Key among them was widespreadrape usually driven by the inaction of the security agencies and thejudiciary. The law enforcements and judicial system instead saw rapeamong women as being provoked by the women themselves through theirdressing and behavior3.Furthermore, medical practitioners who were predominantly men treatedwomen rape cases more of as a psychological issue than physicalabuse. The shielding of rapists some of whom were husbands fromprosecution made many to women to choose not to report their casesbut instead to suffer silently with the hope that one day it wouldend. However, these issues did not go unnoticed by female liberationgroups. They mobilized themselves both educated and uneducated tofight this vice and force the judiciary, security and medical systemto take responsibility for the women woes and act.
Thefemale liberations groups wrote books on the female health and rightsto educate and empower their fellow women on their rights and whereto seek help4.They trained more women on midwifery skills and advised women todeliver at home rather than the hospital which was dominated by malechauvinist doctors who thought women deserved lesser treatment tomen. The female liberation groups also taught women safe abortionskills in early stages of pregnancy and anti-contraception methods toavoid unwanted babies, mostly in cases of rape. This was in a way togive women more control over their bodies. The rampant abortionsperformed at home forced the government to pass laws that legalizedthe service to be easily and safely administered in homes andhospitals at low cost5.Such a change of perception and women empowerment was a milestone inthe struggle for gender equality. Furthermore, the enrollment ofwomen in Universities and colleges of higher learning also gave thema platform to engage in extra curriculum activities like athleticsbringing pride to their countries at international levels6.Consequently, women attaining professions also meant that womenworkers join the male dominated work force for employment in thewhite collar jobs once reserved exclusively for men.
Thestruggle for gender equality and women’s right has been on for thepast 500 hundred years. Although initially women were perceived to behomemakers, through various feminism movements over the years womenhave made significant milestone in ending gender inequality andbreaking into the workforce. Through, the movements, women have beenable to reshape society’s stereotype on the kind of work and rolewomen can do because through education and empowerment they too haveproven to be deserving of the same rights and opportunities as men.
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Connell,Raewyn W. Genderand power: Society, the person and sexual politics.John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
DuBois,Ellen Carol, and Lynn Dumenil. 2009. Throughwomen`s eyes: an American history with documents.Boston: Bedford/St. Martin`s.
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Rowbotham,Sheila. Women,resistance and revolution: a history of women and revolution in themodern world.Verso Books, 2014.
Weitz,Rose, and R. Weitz. "A history of women’s bodies."(2015).
1 Rosen, Ruth. The world split open: How the modern women`s movement changed America. Tantor eBooks, 2013. 78
2 Weitz, Rose, and R. Weitz. "A history of women’s bodies." (2015). 48
3 DuBois, Ellen Carol, and Lynn Dumenil. 2009. Through women`s eyes: an American history with documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin`s. 699
4 Blau, Francine D., Marianne A. Ferber, and Anne E. Winkler. The economics of women, men and work. Pearson Higher Ed, 2013. 89
5 Rowbotham, Sheila. Women, resistance and revolution: a history of women and revolution in the modern world. Verso Books, 2014. 57
6 Connell, Raewyn W. Gender and power: Society, the person and sexual politics. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. 104