It’s the 21st century, and women are still fighting for their basic rights. Bizarre!
The feminism discourse revolves around the provision of equal rights for men and women, as much as the school of thought is literally unarguable, the term is still considered controversial. Women’s fight for equality began as early as the 20th century, when women were first given the right to vote.
There is nothing that a man can do and a woman can’t. Keeping biological differences aside, the fight for equality and feminism emphasizes on basic rights being given to women who are equally capable and qualified as men. The fight has continued for centuries, and even today, in this modern world, we still see women protesting and coming out on streets with rage because their fundamental needs are not met.
All through history, women and men have been fighting over gender issues. Why is it that the basic opportunities are given to one gender and completely denied to the other? Here are some of the basic gender issues that have fueled women, activists and NORMAL people across the country.
Let’s talk about statistics first to show how and in what aspects of authority have women been denied a seat and voice.
- Less than 24% women are parliamentarians and 5% mayors in the world.
- Women are paid 24% less than men for the same amount of work and qualification.
- Nearly two thirds of the world’s 781 million illiterate adults are women, a proportion that has remained unchanged for nearly two decades.
- 153 countries have laws which discriminate against women economically, including 18 countries where husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.
- Almost 1 in 3 girls and women face domestic and sexual violence at least once in their lives, globally.
Women will retaliate if there is gender inequality. Here are some of the most common issues where men are given the upper hand.
Women denied access to education: Almost 58% of women do NOT complete their primary education and two-thirds of the illiterate population are women.
Unequal pay: Most women in workplaces are paid less for the same job description and criteria as men. There are only six countries in the world today that practice giving basic legal rights to men and women in the workplace. Even more so, women are denied positions of leadership and high-paying designations based on their gender!
Lack of legal protection: According to the data recorded by the World Bank, there are almost one billion women around the globe who have no legal protection from domestic violence and sexual abuse. Moreover, in many countries there is no action taken against women harassment in the workplace, public places or even in closed spaces.
Bodily autonomy: Imagine being educated and perfectly capable of dealing with the world, only to find out you don’t have any authority and autonomy over your own body? Women are not allowed to get pregnant or abort without the consent of men. This lack of bodily autonomy is not only a violation of basic human rights but also a major cause of women revolting.
Societal mindset: The most bizarre mindset that women have been trying to change is viewing women as inferior beings who are not capable to lead, to be in business, to have a voice, to be in politics or know anything about the economy and world matters. This mindset places women in the walls of her house, living like a robot on the command of their men: fathers, brothers and husbands. This sort of misogyny is embedded into the minds of the society, often very hard to break.
Men’s Rights Movement- MRM was founded to talk about men’s rights and how they were often denied and were part of violence.
One thing that needs to be put out there is that men are denied basic rights by men, men are raped and abused by men, gay men are bullied and violated by men- just how women spaces are violated BY MEN. The fight is against patriarchy and against such men. Critics often point out the men’s movement as a backlash to the feminist movement, and sometimes, the placards and slogans that are chanted are against women, not against patriarchy- so this critique is not entirely wrong.
The MRM points out issues like:
- Anti-dowry laws
- Child custody
- Criminal justice
- Female privilege
- Paternity fraud
- Rape and sexual violence
List Of Women’s Rights
Ever since 1839 when women were first allowed to hold properties in their names, till today women have been leading movements and peace protests influencing decisions of lawmakers. The list of the women rights movement is long, but wholesome. After years of fighting, this is how the revolution was formed.
1872 – Victoria Claflin Woodhull became the first female presidential candidate in the United States, nominated by the National Radical Reformers.
1890 – The first state (Wyoming) grants women the right to vote in all elections.
1923 – The first version of an Equal Rights Amendment is introduced. It says, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”
1963 – The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.
1978 – The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women.
1983 – Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.
2013 – The ban against women in military combat positions is removed, overturning a 1994 Pentagon decision restricting women from combat roles.
2016 – Hillary Rodham Clinton secures the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first U.S. woman to lead the ticket of a major party. She loses to Republican Donald Trump in the fall. The Supreme Court strikes down onerous abortion clinic regulations that were forcing women’s clinics to close.
2017 – Congress has a record number of women, with 104 female House members and 21 female Senators, including the chamber’s first Latina, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
Women’s Rights Issues Today
A lot of issues have been solved but there are still so many that have yet to see the light of day. Thousands of women marched on the streets decades ago, and as a result women of today have been given a fraction of what they demanded. Thousands of women march today, so decades later some women are given more of their basic rights.
Women still face all of the gender inequality issues today; what starts with catcalling on the streets, ends with rape. What starts with a joke about divorce, ends with domestic violence. What starts as a few sexist remarks, ends with unequal pay and discrimination in the workplace.
This is where men’s rights differ from women’s rights- men never have to demand the basic right of education or the basic right to roam around freely. What women are asking for are basic human rights that are denied to them because of their gender. Even today women are revolting against men raping women and trying to assert their sexual power over them because they think women are inferior to them? Who made the rules? Who gave men that sort of power over women? The people who have made laws and made these rules are the biggest enemies of the feminist and human rights movement- and that is where the fight starts from.
The solutions to women’s rights issues will begin at home, in communities and in public spaces. Why are a few women marching on streets so intimidating to men? Let women claim their OWN spaces, let them claim their basic rights to bodily autonomy, the right to walk the streets at night and not get harassed, the right of representation in spaces of leadership and authority.
The fight is, and has always been against patriarchy. Against men who are misogynists. Against women who have patriarchal mindsets. Against cis men who demean gay men in the name of toxic masculinity. Against child marriage, crimes like rape and murder of minorities.
It is OUR fight. And if we’re not given OUR space, we will revolt. And if you stand in our way, we will take you down when the revolution comes. One right at a time, in one street at a time.