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From days of yore, women have stood behind men as unwaveringly staunch supporters and companions. Women have been conceived as if they were intellectually inferior much less capable of leading a political organization. Regardless of how women were perceived before, it cannot be denied that women’s standings in society now are not anywhere lower than men’s. This apparent contrasting reality was only tolerated by the world after women from early centuries began their fight for their rights despite many obstacles and oppressions withholding their endeavors in imaginably every way possible. In the past, women’s views were not openly expressed except to their husbands yet even then it was said to be dangerous to be confrontational. This all changed when female literary figures started to pen their thoughts in forms of literature and writings. Nonetheless, early feminist movements were met and faced with utter animosity. Still, many women found means to exhibit their courage, intelligence, and leadership. Inspirational female figures in the likes of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst and Sojourner Truth brought about major waves of feminism which continue until this very day.
Thesis Statement: Through feminism, progresses have been made in women’s current standings in terms of political, social and economic terms even though various forms of gender discrimination still exist today.
Topic Sentence 1- In politics, the long-fought battle for women’s suffrage began in the 19th century albeit not without resistance is still ongoing to this very day.
Before 1918 only men were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections (“Women and The”). Women who lived prior to the 20th century served for only one function: to be a slave and to work without questioning the place that they had been forced into (“A Recipe For”).
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton demanded political equality and voting rights for women (“Declarations of Sentiments”). She utilized prose and language similar to famous lines from the Declaration of Independence of United States of America (July 4, 1776) to bridge women’s rights directly to the equality and freedom that patriots fight for during the American Revolution.
Hard-earned efforts have paid off when former feminists’ demands were finally accepted.
Topic Sentence 2- Women were finally allowed to represent political power in the 19th century and to this very day, influential female politicians are prevalent everywhere.
Australia was the first country to let women to represent elections in the year 1903 thus becoming the underpinning nation for the others to follow step by allowing women to become political figures in the world today.
Examples: Margaret Thatcher made history by being the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, known as “The Iron Lady” because of placing a series of harsh fiscal measures aimed at reducing inflation in her country.
Women in government in the modern era are under-represented in most countries worldwide, in contrast to men. However, women are increasingly being politically elected to be heads of state and government. More than 20 countries currently have a woman holding office as the head of a national government (“Women in Government”).
Topic Sentence 3- Women are more politically aware nowadays and participate in national parliaments although they still face gender stigma from male members from political organizations.
Global participation rate of women in national-level parliaments is nearly 20%. A number of countries are exploring measures that may increase women’s participation in government at all levels, from the local to the national (“Women in Government”).
National Organization for Women (NOW) is a political organization that speaks out on behalf of women thus bringing forward global women issues regarding education and political rights.
Example: Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar valiantly joining the democracy movement in her nation resulting in her being placed under house arrest in 1989 and depriving herself of family visits.
Topic Sentence 1- In economic terms, most women deal with wage differences while working in the corporate world.
Although women work for longer hours compared to men, they still earn two thirds of the salaries men earn for the same jobs. Women earn an average of 77 cents on a man’s dollar (Lawson).
This is the 21st century, why are women still given unfair treatment in terms of pay?
Topic Sentence 2- Women are suffering from employment discrimination in terms of working positions in corporate companies.
In working industries, women are constantly subjected to subtle discrimination because they either are pregnant or they might become pregnant. Job offers go to less qualified men just because they’re males.
In 2012, three Tennessee women and long-time employees of Walmart filed lawsuits against this big time company in America because they were denied promotions due to their gender (Cavaliere).
Careers come to a standstill for women as they could not hold senior positions as a result of gender biases at their work places.
Topic Sentence 3- Women have more say in property rights now although they were denied of ownership titles during the 19th century.
Back in the 19th century, American women began challenging jurisdictions that stated that husbands will gain control of their wives’ real estates once they were married.
In some countries, women may lose land rights once there are changes in their marital status in terms of divorce or death of spouses.
In patrilineal communities, there are strong resistances by men towards endowing women, especially daughters, with rights to land access (“Patriarchal Property Rights”).
Topic Sentence 1- Socially, women have better access to education now compared to the olden days.
Back then, men were given education because they were the breadwinners of the house whilst women were good in doing household chores and nothing more.
Illiteracy in women nowadays is almost non-existent due to significant rise in awareness of women’s education level.
However, recent baffling news of Iranian women banned from 77 degree courses including accounting, engineering and English majors have caused uproars in Iran (Sahraei). These Iranian women have realized their importance in obtaining a higher tertiary education and demonstrated passionately for the sake of their futures.
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Topic Sentence 2- Albeit the fact that women are more educated than before now if not more educated than men themselves, there are still prejudices regarding the roles of women at home and in childcare.
Due to old and traditional customs, men were seen as hunters and women were regarded as gatherers in ancient times.
The importance of marriage in the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters in Jane Austen’s classic, “Pride and Prejudice” illustrated that British women in the 19th century must marry in order to gain a higher social status.
Notably, women are biasedly differentiated from men in regard to handling chores such as cooking and cleaning at home whereas men are instead responsible to work. Moms are also given primary roles in taking care of children.
Topic Sentence 3- Moving on to a more serious note, honor killings of females are occurring in certain parts of our world especially in the Middle East.
Women are killed because they dress modernly by wearing jeans and openly fraternized with the opposite sex. Shockingly, these killings are actually legal and justifiable under the outdated honor killing practice.
A sixteen-year-old Isma Mahmood was jailed and punished in a prison at Saudi Arabia. Her crime: being raped by a man (Sabbah). Recently, a burnt body of a pregnant lady whose throat had been slit and belly cut open showing her four-month-old foetus in an apparent “honor killing” was found in Jordan (“Jordan Woman’s Throat”).
Daughters and mothers from extremely conservative places were tortured and murdered because of being “overly” educated and associating themselves with Western civilizations.
In conclusion, women’s right has been developing far and wide in terms of political, social and economic standings and still is today. Successes of women empowerment stories are known throughout the course of history. Nevertheless, the battle and struggle through bloodshed, sacrifice and tears by former feminists to achieve such feats will be forever etched in our minds and memories. Without a doubt, they have left their marks on the world today and because of them, women today enjoy the privileges that were hard-fought and hard-earned. To say the least, there are still forms of gender inequality happening in nooks and crannies of the world. The real difficulty is now upon us to eradicate these existing forms of discrimination towards women. We will never be truly equal until the day arrives in which every single women be it a stay-at-home mom, a striving female politician or simply a young, female teen on Earth is rightfully allowed to stand as tall as men are in society’s platforms and arenas.
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