Feminism Is Not Really a Third World Issue Essay | CSS 2016 Solved Essays | CSS Solved Essays | Essays by Sir Syed Kazim Ali | CSS Essays | PMS Essays | Essays by Sir Syed Kazim Ali
Bushra Arooj has attempted this essay on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students, who have consistently been qualifying their CSS and PMS essays. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice how to write a comprehensive outline; how to write bullets in an outline; how to write the introductory paragraph; how to connect sentences and paragraphs; how to write a topic sentence; how to put evidence within the paragraphs.
No country in the world has succeeded in closing the gender gap in all aspects of social, political, and economic life, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world problem.
2- Debunking the term feminism
3- How is feminism a global issue, not a third-world one?
✓ Due to political discrimination against women
- ✓ Underrepresentation in political parties
- ✓ Low participation in the electoral process
- ✓ Underrepresentation in the decision-making process
- ✓ Very few women as heads of states
✓ Due to economic inequalities faced by women
- ✓ Wage disparity
- ✓ Glass ceiling and hurdles in their promotion to top hierarchies
- ✓ Unequal access to resources
- ✓ Lack of job opportunities
✓ Due to social injustice towards women
- ✓ Social expectations and fixed roles assigned to women
- ✓ Violence against women
- ✓ Early marriages
- ✓ Discriminatory social norms and customs
4- Critical analysis
The dawn of the 21st century has witnessed many feminist movements to improve the status of women worldwide. The developed world has remained the champion of all such movements and urged the third world to follow suit. Yet, no country in the world has succeeded in closing the gender gap in all aspects of social, political, and economic life, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world problem. Even the USA, the world power, has never elected a female president since its independence. That reflects that political discrimination, social injustice, and economic oppression against women exist everywhere in the world regardless of the level of development attained by the state. Women face political discrimination worldwide as they are underrepresented in political parties and are not given their due share in the decision-making process. It is evident that a few women act as Heads of state, even though they constitute half of the world’s population.
To begin with, it is pertinent to discuss what feminism is. Feminism is the belief that men and women should be treated equally in life’s political, social, and economic aspects. It advocates that women should have access to the same opportunities and space that men enjoy. It also strives to empower them by eliminating all forms of gender discrimination and inequality that are manifested at all stages of women’s life cycle. According to Mary Wollstonecraft, feminism aims at emancipating women of gender biases, dependence on husbands, and sexual division of labour and enables them to gain control of their lives by challenging patriarchal norms and values prevalent in society.
Women are facing political discrimination as they are underrepresented in political parties worldwide. Women face both formal and informal barriers to participation in politics, including problems in the nomination, and these are even worse in parties with hypermasculine cultures. Not to speak of the third world, even the most advanced states cannot bridge that gender gap within the structure of their political parties. For example, according to the Center for American Women And Politics report, only 29% of women candidates were nominated by both the Democratic and Republican parties for the US House of Representatives in the 2020 elections. This reflects the political marginalization of women even in the most advanced states of the world, thereby making feminism a global issue and not merely a third-world problem. Thus, women are underrepresented in political parties worldwide, and their worldwide political marginalization highlights the fact that feminism is a global problem.
Moreover, women’s voter turnout ratio is lower as compared to men in many developed states, along with the developing ones. This is due to the fact that women are considered less politically literate and active as compared to men. Such thought reduces the importance of voting for women, which decreases their participation in the electoral process. In the developing world, the turnout ratio of female voters is disturbing, as in some constituencies of Pakistan, it was even less than 10 per cent of the total polled votes. Even in developed states like the UK, women are given less importance in the electoral process, which is reflected in the fact that their votes are termed as ‘women’s votes’ as if they are distinct from the ‘normal’ votes cast. Not only this, the women turnout ratio significantly decreased during the USA Presidential Elections in 2018, according to PEW Research Institute. This highlights the fact that women are considered less politically aware worldwide, due to which their participation in the electoral process is not encouraged in the developing as well as the developed world, thereby, strengthening the fact that feminism is a global issue, not merely a third world problem.
Furthermore, women are underrepresented in the decision-making process and are not given their due share in positions of power across the world. Due to this, women’s problems are not appropriately addressed, and women-related policies are also made by men sitting in the corridors of power. As a result, men get the opportunity to decide the fate of half of the world’s population, which results in the further marginalization of women from the decision-making process. This phenomenon is prevalent in both the third world and the developed world. For example, in Myanmar, the Aung Sang Su ki government was toppled by the military dictator to keep her from the decision-making process and the male chauvinist society intact. In the third world and the developed world, women are less visible in decision-making processes. Even the most developed state, like the USA, has never elected a female president since its independence. In addition, in many developed states, like Spain, women are given low-profile ministries to keep them away from politics and decision-making, thereby making feminism a global issue. Thus, women are underrepresented in the decision-making process and less visible in the corridors of power. Thus, women are unrepresented in decision-making structures worldwide, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world issue.
In addition, only a few countries of the world have women as Heads of state. The third world and the developed world are giving fewer leadership opportunities to women. According to UN Women, only 13 women are acting as Heads of State worldwide. This reflects the glaring gender bias as women are denied the right to rule just for being women and are considered less politically active than men. Such stereotypes are prevalent not only in the third world but also in the developed states. Even the USA, the world’s champion of women’s rights, has not witnessed a female president since it came into being. Also, Hillary Clinton faced character assassination and abusive language from her opponent Donald Trump while running for the presidential elections in 2018. This reflects that women face political discrimination throughout the world, irrespective of the level of development attained by the state, and doors of leadership barely open for them because they are not considered capable enough to carry the burdensome leadership responsibilities on their fragile shoulders. Thus, the world has a few women as Heads of state, reflecting the fact that women face political discrimination across the globe, thereby making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world problem.
In the political sphere and economic domain, women face discrimination, inequality, and marginalization throughout the world. Women are denied their economic rights and paid less in the third world; however, the situation is no better in the developed world. According to UN Women, women make 77 cents for every dollar made by men around the globe and even in the USA women make 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. This wage disparity results in income inequality between men and women worldwide, giving birth to the feminization of poverty. This gender-based wage gap arises because women’s work is undervalued and considered less worthy than their male counterparts, even though they both perform the same job. According to the USA Labour Department, women in the USA are paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Many female workers face the motherhood penalty of getting sacked after becoming pregnant. Thus, wage disparity exists everywhere across the world, even in the states that are the champions of women’s rights, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world concern.
Moreover, women face a structural barrier in the form of the glass ceiling that hinders their upward mobility to senior-level positions in an organization. Apart from the glass ceiling, women also face inflexible working hours and work 15% more hours than their male counterparts. These structural barriers arise due to gender stereotyping that women are not good decision-makers but are hardworking, docile labour force. This increases inequality and limits growth by preventing women from reaching their full labour market potential. According to an OECD report, women hold only 5.9 per cent of CEO positions in companies worldwide. In developing states like Pakistan, many companies have admitted to having pushed women to the wall, as 95% of the managerial cadres are occupied by men. Not to ask of the developing states, even the most developed state like the USA and the European states also face this phenomenon. According to the USA Labour Department, only 5% of women become CEO of companies, and only 19.9% hold corporate board seats. This reflects the glaring inequalities and structural barriers faced by women worldwide. Thus, women face structural barriers in organizations worldwide that hinder their upward mobility and stick them to lower cadre jobs, thereby making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world problem.
In addition, economic inequalities between men and women manifest themselves in terms of assets owned, as the latter do not have equal access to economic and financial resources compared to their male counterparts. Women worldwide lack land ownership as most of the land and property is owned by men. This gives control and power to the hands of males and gives them the authority to decide the fate of women. In developing states like South Africa, only 25% of the rural women own land and have control over their income while the remaining ones work on the farms owned by their male family members, thus, having no control over the economic and financial resources. Not only in the developing states but also in the developed ones, women are not given equal property rights and equal access to economic resources. According to UN Women, women in the USA face difficulty in divorce as most men control family finances and resources. Apart from that, the USA Roma community does not give women any property rights at all. This reflects that women are discriminated against everywhere in the world in terms of access to economic and financial resources, thus, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world issue.
Further, women face discrimination in the job market across the world. They are either concentrated in low-paying, low-skilled and precarious jobs or completely excluded from the marketplace, which reflects the lack of job opportunities available to women. It is due to the gender stereotyping that considers women unreliable and inconsistent workforce. Apart from that, many pregnant women are fired from their jobs as a motherhood penalty across the world. According to a World Bank report, only 10% of women are working in the formal sector in Pakistan while the majority is concentrated in the informal sector, and nearly all women in the developing states share the same fate. Not only in the developing states but also in the developed ones, women are not given due share in the job market. According to ILO, women’s workforce is not considered worthy even in the developed world, giving them fewer job opportunities than their male counterparts. It is evident that when Covid-19 hard-hit companies in the USA, they preferred lying off the women workforce. This reflects that women are not given their share in the world’s job market, hence proving that feminism is a global issue, not merely a third-world problem.
Besides political and economic inequalities, women also face social discrimination worldwide. The gendered dimension of the world has resulted in social expectations and has fixed roles assigned to women. These gender roles and social expectations have robbed millions of girls of their bright futures. They have confined women within the four walls of the houses by limiting them to unpaid household chores. This results in very few career opportunities for women due to social expectations attached to them. According to the Save the Children report, fixed gender roles and social expectations have affected the lives of around 575 million girls in developing states, deprived them of their right to education, and limited their career opportunities. Not to speak of the third world, women face social discrimination even in the most developed states due to fixed gender roles and social expectations. According to The Economist report, women in Europe face a double burden due to fixed gender roles and societal expectations which decrease their efficiency at the workplace as they are expected to perform household and office work. This creates work-family conflict and leads to women sacrificing their careers for the sake of their families. This reflects that women face social inequalities due to discriminatory social expectations and fixed gender roles, making feminism a global issue, not merely a third-world problem.
Apart from this, women face gender-based violence everywhere in the world, irrespective of the level of development attained by the state. Even the most developed states appear helpless to curb this menace. Gender-based violence, including harassment, domestic violence, sexual molestation, and emotional abuse, which is directed against women, undermines women’s capacity and lowers their confidence and self-esteem making them internalize patriarchal norms and values. Women even face online violence and cyber-harassment through trolling, cyberstalking, cat-fishing, and doing, highlighting that women are not safe anywhere, whether in the real world or the virtual world. According to UNFPA, roughly every one-in-three women have experienced violence and abuse in the developing world. The Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case of Dehli is a glaring example that women face the worst form of violence that even cost them their lives. Furthermore, the developed world also witnesses heinous crimes against women. According to Amnesty International, more than 35% of women in the USA have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. In addition to this, Sarah Everhard’s rape and brutal murder at the hands of the British Police Officer have shaken the trust of women in the Criminal Justice System of England and highlighted the fact that women are in danger even from those appointed for their safety. This reflects that violence against women knows no national boundaries, thereby making feminism a global concern, not merely a third-world issue.
Moreover, early marriages of girls dash their hopes of getting an education and having an independent life. It hypnotizes them in the deep ditch of patriarchy and inequality, where freedom is complicated and sometimes impossible to achieve. This social injustice against women is prevalent worldwide and knows no national boundaries. According to Human Rights Watch report, the underage marriage of girls ends their education, exposes them to domestic violence and grave health-related issues due to early pregnancies, and traps them in the vicious cycle of poverty in developing countries. It is because most families in developing countries marry out their daughters to get bride money and alleviate the extra burden on the family in the form of their daughters’ expenses and divert those resources towards the education and costs of their sons that are considered as family assets. This social injustice against women is prevalent not only in developing states but also in developed ones. According to the report published in Unchained At Last, nearly 300,000 teen girls, with a few as young as ten, were married legally in the USA between 2015 and 2020. It is disturbing that the so-called champion of women’s rights has child marriage lawful in 46 of its states. This reflects that gender inequality and patriarchy are deeply rooted in global societies, thereby making feminism a global issue, not merely a concern of the third world.
Having discussed the oppression, suppression, and discrimination women face in all aspects of social, political, and economic life, it has become evident that no state in the world has succeeded in curbing the scourge of discrimination against women and attaining gender equality in all domains of life. It has highlighted that feminism, a struggle for women’s rights and equality, is a global concern and is not related to the level of development attained by the states. Even in the developed states, women suffer from the worst of gender-based violence and discrimination. Even state laws sometimes provide legal cover to the perpetrators, making women more vulnerable to abuse. This reflects that gender inequality rooted in patriarchy is prevalent worldwide, making feminism a global concern, not merely a third-world issue.
In a nutshell, women face inequalities and discrimination in all social, political, and economic aspects. They face political discrimination as they are underrepresented in the political parties and underrepresented in the decision-making structures throughout the world. Also, their participation is discouraged in the electoral process as their votes are considered less valuable. Additionally, women face wage disparity, a glass ceiling that hurdles their mobility to upper hierarchies, unequal access to economic resources, and a lack of job opportunities available to women. Furthermore, women experience social injustice due to fixed gender roles and societal expectations, gender-based violence, and underage girls’ marriages. All these factors reflect that the scourge of inequality and discrimination against women is ravaging the entire world, making feminism a global concern, not merely a third-world issue.
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