Oct 30, 2008, 6:56 AM
Though the ratios are still materially dis-proportionate, today’s woman has truly come a long way from the era where the only things a woman was deemed worthy of was marriage, childbearing and home keeping, all important but not her sole purpose. Most of the liberties we enjoy today are the result of hard fought battles by prior generations, driven by determination and hope of a change that was inevitably if illusive back then. And right up to this very moment, we still forge on, having still not quite gotten there, to the desired destination of complete equality.
"Women's Rights" are liberties claimed for the female of the specie. Quite a significant number if not all of us grew up hearing this term frequently mentioned and eventually when we were old enough to fully comprehend it explained to us. Even now, some of us are active and spirited advocates for this very cause, the total emancipation of the women. A cause for women by women and a lot of forward thinking men.
Take a moment and ponder, who really are women apart from being human beings? They are precious mothers, vessels of life though which the next and future generation of humanity are guaranteed, wives, partners in marriage and care givers and nurturers of little ones, daughters, sisters and professionals found in every field of expertise existing today. They are contributors to every sector. None of the above are easy feats or roles with each posing its various challenges and pitting its obstacles. Yet they endure, persevere and succeed.
Some of the rights that have legally been assigned to women include the right to autonomy and bodily integrity, the right to vote and hold public office and carry out its roles, the right to employment and fair pay, the right to education, serving one’s nation, ownership of properties and to engage and enter into legal contracts, most of which were quite unheard of a century and a half ago, really. These also include all basic human rights.
In the active business world, when surveys are done to gauge the level of penetration by women especially in top management roles, it has been noted that though there has been improvements worthy of mention over the years, there is still a fair yard to cover with men far out numbering women and intellectual discrimination stilt thriving and women being likely victims. It can also be argued that it is because some women are less driven to give all it takes to deliver and thus ascend the corporate ladder. Is it because they have so many different roles to play with not enough time to do everything to perfection?
"Women do wrong to complain of the inequality of man-made laws" (philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau). Such discriminatory thoughts and ideals were what made it so hard and the struggle so long for the emancipation of the woman. But up to this time and era, the fairer of the specie are still victims of violations so gruesome, it is heartbreaking. One of such is rape.
Every year, quite a number of women are violated in this manner, a lot of these crimes gone unpunished. The scars are both physical and emotion with the effects of the traumatic experience long lasting. This occurrence is most frequent in areas of war and unrest where women are often unprotected and exposed to circumstances where their bodies are forcefully violated. Also women are to this day in huge numbers traded in the illegal sex market, enslaved, abused treated as pawns and objects of canal satisfaction with price tags.
Another is physical abuse which could range from light to brutal beatings (sexual abuse inclusive). It could be from a husband, boyfriend, brother, father or other associate. The former is rampant in unhappy marriages and falls under spousal abuse.
Unbelievably, some women still don’t appreciate their value and this is soo sad and truly touching. There are women in abusive relationships who believe that they are "loved". They refuse any kind of intervention at all. What wouldn’t forcefully violated women, those who pray for relief which never materializes, give to have a choice, to be in a position to say 'no' or 'not anymore'. As with evolution and revolution, though some forge ahead, others are still trapped in self enforced prisons, jubilating in punishment, celebrating emotional enslavement. This is completely unhealthy.
So everyday, we forge on, work hard and persevere. The road traveled on and the journey to right now was indeed worth it. Women are worthy, precious, amazingly responsible. We are valuable, so let us how and claim it. We are awesome, I know it. Do you?