Equality between men and women
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Equality between men and women
In this essay the myth of equality between men and women will be discussed and progress made by women so far, for the fight of equality will be examined. Two areas will be mainly looked at; equality of men and women in the workplace and equality of men and women in the home.
In the nineteenth century most women in Britain did not have many of the legal and political rights, which men had. Most women were dependant on men for money and support. They faced major discrimination at work and in education. A wide range of jobs and opportunities were not available to women. The main role of a womanīs life was expected to be that of a housewife and mother, having dinner ready on the table, looking after the children, cleaning the house and answering to her husband, while he went out to work to provide an income for his family. Women were seen as the weaker sex and men were seen as strong and the ruler. It was a strongly male dominated society.
However women were not going to stand for this much longer and in the twentieth century began to fight for equal rights hence the uprising of the feministīs movement. This was to be the start of a long hard upward struggle. During the twentieth century, there has been a gradual improvement in the status of women in Britain.
At the beginning of the century the suffragette movement won the right for women to vote in parliamentary elections. By nineteen nineteen, all women over thirty could vote, this was lowered to twenty-one in nineteen twenty-eight. For the first time this put women equal to men in relation to voting rights. The first step towards equality.
Women today have equal rights with men to education. It is now illegal to discriminate against either sex by denying them access to certain subjects and courses at school and in higher education because of their sex, for example women doing woodwork or men doing home economics.
Today women make up forty-three percent of the workforce in Britain, which gives them more financial independence. More types of jobs are available to women today and more and more women are going out to work in paid employment instead of staying at home to be the house makers. More women are seen nowadays to be in positions of power and management. Before women were seen as suitable for jobs such as a secretary, childminder, cleaner, hairdresser or shop assistant. A woman in a position of power such as manager if a large firm was totally unheard of. Men dominated professional positions in the medical, financial and law fields of employment. Today, however we are seeing more and more women in the mentioned sectors. Women have also won equal rights in property ownership. The married womenīs property actīs of eighteen eighty and eighteen eighty two gave married women the right to own their own property and the nineteen seventy matrimonial proceedings act established that all property was to be equally divided between husband wife in the event of a divorce.
Equal opportunity laws have helped women to get a better deal and overcome prejudice and discrimination, for example the equal pay act of nineteen seventy made it illegal for employers to offer different rates of pay to men and women doing the same or similar job. The sex discrimination act of nineteen seventy five made it illegal to distinguish between men and women in work, leisure and educational opportunities and the equal opportunities commission has been formed to help enforce the sex discrimination act and the equal pay act and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women.
Despite the progress made by women in the twentieth century, which has undoubtedly brought around a substantial amount of changes and has put a stop to inequality and discrimination between sexes in many areas. The question that needs to be addresses is, have women won the battle of equality between men and women? The answer is no which can be seen in work and in the home.
When talking about women at work, it can be assumed that this refers to paid employment. However it is important to remember there is one job which is performed full time almost
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Gender studies, Gender equality, Sexism, Women in the workforce, Equal pay for equal work, Womens history, Housewife, Woman, Gender role, Women in Asia, Women in the Americas
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