Week #14: Women’s Struggles and Successes

USAID-DCA-Kalangala-Business-Owner-Portraits-_MG_3872

Gender equality is something that is very important to a society, as no one should be seen as less-than because of his or her gender. Even in very developed countries the inequality that is seen is too much even if it is light years ahead of developing countries especially in Africa. “In some countries, women are still not equal in law. Even where they are legally equal to men, it is common for decisions to be taken by male heads of households or male local chiefs and leaders.”(Our Africa). Shows that more needs to be done to change hundreds of years of women’s oppression. One of the first and most important steps to gaining equality for women is legally making them equal. If there is a legal precedent in place to protect women’s rights then the country is on the right path. Even if there is not a immediate change there will be change over time as past cultural norms are now slowly being eroded by having a legal protection for women. Even in country’s that now make it illegal to prevent girls from going to school the rates of girls dropping out is much higher than boys. One reason is family’s do not see any value in educating their daughters as they will end up doing domestic work throughout their lives and education will slow them from learning these skills. Also girls in Africa are married off at a very young age and their new husband does not find it necessary to send their new wives to work. This has helped some girls whose families are financially stable and willing to spend the money on their daughters helping them rise above their current standing. An important policy that could have a big impact would be to have governments stop charging a fee on education to make it available to everyone and to require every child to go to school until they have completed primary education. If this was put in place it would immediately have a positive effect educating the public and it would also change options on girls duty and worth if they had to go to school. Changing people long held opinions on girls place in the world and their value is the most important struggle to insure girl’s rights are taken care of.

Economic opportunity is important to getting women equality because they would be able to take care of themselves and not be dependent on a caregiver. With this independence women can show others struggling and hire other women to help advance as many women as possible. “Women’s ability to participate in the labor market is constrained by their higher allocation of time to unpaid work. On average, women spend twice as much time on household work as men and four times as much time on childcare (Duflo, 2012), thereby freeing up time for male household members to participate in the formal labor force.”(IMF). Women need to break the stereotype that they can only be proficient at certain types of work, mainly unpaid housework. When women are realize their full economic potential they change the cycle of oppression as they teach their sons and daughters the value of women and show them with the right tools they can too be successful business owners and workers. If this new generation can be taught the value of women in the word they will help the country rise out of poverty. Like in the video when the women were able to get help to get the equipment to effectively produce and mill products if helped the whole community. With the extra profits of the grain they were able to buy a goat for every member involved. The beauty of giving women help with a business idea is it will not only help that one woman but possibly hundreds more as she will employ other women creating a whole society of women who are economically stable and successful.

wanjiru-with-scholars

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