Point of View: Women Still Fight For Equality

The Navigator

For ages women in different societies have led their lives facing bias against them. For centuries they have been the ones who have had to sacrifice their dreams for men. Since times immemorial, women have had to ‘fight’ for every single thing that came to men as a God- given right.

Why is that it is always that women have to be the victims? Are they weak? No. They are not. They might bend, but they rarely break. Then why do they have to bear all the pain in silence?

Some say that times have changed and now women have been able to find their place in the society. Sure enough, we have come a long way from where we started, but are we there yet?  Even today, women face bias in all places, be it employment, household or academia.

The researchers of Sex Role: A Journal research, started with two versions of the resume of a real-life (female) psychologist: the “hiring” resume she used to get a tenure track job and the “tenure” resume that she used, to get tenure. For each resume they produced a version with a fictional female name and one with a fictional male name.

They sent one of the 4 resume versions to each of 238 participants, who were academic psychologists, asking in each case whether they thought the applicant was suitable for hiring and getting tenure. The participants were significantly more likely to recommend the hiring of the candidate if they saw a male name on the “hiring” resume than if they saw a female name. If this isn’t a sexual bias, than what is?

More women are starting businesses than men; more women are in the workforce than men, and the majority of degree-holders are now women. Yet according to the Department of Labor’s 2007 statistics, women are still only dominating fields and industries that are often seen as “female.”

Discrimination can clearly be seen if we look at the median weekly earnings of women as opposed to that of their male counterparts. The median weekly earning of women who were full-time wage and salary workers was $657, whereas that of men’s was $819 in 2009, according to US Department of Labor. What does it mean if women with the same skills as men, taking up same positions as men, earn less than them? This is discrimination wide and open.

At home, women continue to be victims of domestic violence as their screams for help go unheard. Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner, every 15 seconds, according to the UN study on the status of women, Year 2000.

According to now.org, in 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner. That’s an average of three women every day. Of all the women murdered in the U.S., about one-third were killed by an intimate partner.

It is a pity that even though women bear almost all responsibility for meeting the basic needs of a family, yet they are systematically denied the resources, information and action they need to fulfill this responsibility. It is high time that we realize that if we go on considering women to be the weaker ones, we are making a blunder.

Women have courage—to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends. If it were not for them, we might never even be here.  It seems to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give women.  The first are dreams, which I am sure each one of them already has.  The second are wings, and this is on us to provide them.