The modern society is only starting to inquire into the real difference amidst men and women. There is no doubt that in addition to visible physiological dissimilarity, there exist also dissimilarities in the manner men and women speak, think and act. Some people have already accepted the gender equality and this issue is no longer in use for them. Notwithstanding, the vast majority still believes that this problem is urgent, which is why this topic became an inevitable element of the social interactions. Moreover, the subject has been disputed so many times within the recent years, that nowadays it is only a question of principle, which became a topic for a lot of conversations among those who believe this question to be pivotal.
Women tend to have fewer rights, lower education and health status, smaller income, and less opinion in decision-making. In spite of these facts, women still lead such spheres as food industry, domestic responsibilities, and community organization. In order to comprehend the fundamental role and to compare the situation between the men and women equality a survey was performed. Its data shows that 45 % of those questioned say that men and women are equal; however, the vast majority of people, which is 55 %, are confident that they are not equal. This essay is going to present the gender equality concerning several spheres, such as education, job and income, human rights, social behavior and others (Kanbur, 2002).
Throughout the American history, women were dissuaded from receiving higher education, since it seemed abnormal for a woman to be well-educated. Those women who still achieved a certain degree and advanced their level of intelligence were considered “unsexed”. That is why those women with a higher education were degraded by involving into domestic duties, such as sewing or embroidering. Luckily, in the last few centuries the role of woman in education has dramatically increased and upgraded. According to the data of U.S. Census Bureau from 2000, women have almost reached coequality in education (Kanbur, 2002). In 1999, the same rate of men and women in the USA completed their studies in high school. 23.7 % of women received a bachelor’s diploma while the percentage of men ranged from 27.5 % to 28.5 %. This data appeared to be an ascending tendency for women comparing with data from 1970, where the percentage of women who obtained a bachelor’s degree was only 8.2 % and the percentage of men – 14.2 % (USAID, 2008).
From the first look, the issue of gender inequality in the contemporary education does not exist. It seems that boys and girls have the same equal opportunities: they are not divided into distinct schools or classrooms and, moreover, they have almost identical level of educational achievements. Nevertheless, there are certain points that discriminate between male and female. Here are some of them:
- Generally, boys operate better than girls in physics, informatics, mathematics and engineering when girls succeed in history, art, languages and literature. Subsequently, this division becomes a source for choosing the further sphere of education: the boys proceed their studying in technical or natural spheres, and the girls select art, pedagogical or humanitarian fields.
- During the lessons teachers and professors tend to pay unequal amount of attention to male and female. The thing is that boys are usually more disobedient and aggressive than girls are. Boys break the discipline more often than girls, which is why teachers spend more time keeping them quiet and also trying to foster, educate and interact with them. At the same time, girls are sitting tamely and working on their assignments.
- Girls tend to sit in the front or centre of the classroom in order to be closer to the teacher. At the same time, boys take edges and perimeter of the classroom. This way of disposition makes teachers to pay more attention to boys in order to control all of them (USAID, 2008).
The above mentioned example of educational system among male and female gives a possibility to analyze the following aspect, which is job and income. Being qualified in economics, engineering or informational technologies men tend to be more employed and prestigious and well-paid jobs. At the same time, women with specialization in humanitarian studies held less profitable and prosperous jobs. Moreover, women in the USA have a higher likelihood of being in the state of indigence than men. It is statistically approved that 29 % of families managed by single women are below the poverty level, while juxtaposed with only 12 % of families managed by single men. This statistics seems quite believable since women still occupy usual female jobs with low income (Kanbur, 2002).
Another statistics represents the status of women in the U.S. society, namely, it demonstrates the power they have in the government comparing to other countries. For example, in 2004 only 14 % of the elected legislative positions were held by women. Great Britain manifested a little bit higher rate, which is 18 %. Mexico had 23 %, and the highest percentage was in Sweden – 45 %. Talking about the USA, it is important to mention that women form over 50 % of the whole population. That is why the situation concerning the political representation of women is quite shocking (USAID, 2008).
Taking into consideration the history, even then women were suffering from the lack of the rights comparing to men. For instance, women used to live in the private sphere of the home, while men were taking control under business, commerce and sociability. Additionally, women’s outfit was a kind of resemblance of their social function: mother, wife or housewife. Moreover, while having a baby, women were strictly forbidden to have a paid job, since they cannot mix social duty with a full-time paid job (England, Gornick, Shafer, 2012).
100 years have passed since women finally got the right to vote. This happened in New Zealand. In the USA instead, it took 70 years to maintain this aim. The general reason why women could not vote back at that time was that they were not capable of apprehending the sense of politics, hence, they could not choose an appropriate candidate intelligently.
Furthermore, men and women are apprehended differently in the society. With years people start believing in gender stereotypes: everybody thinks that all men are strong, insensitive, aggressive and smart. Instead, all women are weak, vulnerable, sensitive, irrational and tearful. Men are believed to be created in this world for protecting and earning money for the family, while women’s role is simply to serve the men and to take care of the household, children and husband. According to scholars who dealing with gender issues, such as Robin Lakoff, men are treated better in society than women. Moreover they are taken more seriously and people tend to consider their advice more often than women’s (England, Gornick, Shafer, 2012).
All in all, men and women must understand their equal roles and struggle to complete each other in order to improve their lives. Men should learn how to use their dominance over women for the good. They need to use their power and strength to defend and preserve women. Female instead, need to realize that they are inevitable part of life of the men, whom they need to take care of. Women are weaker than men, nevertheless, their weakness must be only in actions, not in the character, or otherwise, men will feel all the power and dominance over the women.