How Feminism Has Affected our Society

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High School ・Philosophy ・MLA ・2 Sources

The traditional patriarchy characterizes many social, political and economic structures and institutions. Feminism has been an ideology which opposes the belief that women have no authority in these institutions. Women have a long tradition of struggling to achieve suffrage. However, in the 19th century the rise of feminism as a philosophy began. In contrast to the common belief that feminism is owned and supported by women, many men have played important roles to assist society in the realization of women's vote. The role of feminism in culture was overwhelmingly positive. However, there are cases where it has been misrepresented or misinterpreted either by the individuals championing for it or by the rest of the society. This essay will analyse the achievements that the feminist movement has gained and the issues around the ideology and the realisation of its goals.

Feminism has pushed for the realization of social, political, economic and personal rights of women across the world. In Britain, the rise of the movement has been attributed to the Labour Party. The party felt that by undermining women, the society foregoes the ability to realise its full potential. It therefore advocated that women be brought into social, economic and political institutions to help them explore their abilities (Öhberg and Wängnerud 63).

Feminism has made positive impact on the whole society. Unlike what most people are likely to believe, feminism has had benefits to even the male gender. Feminism has been advocating for equal rights in access to education and employment opportunities. Today, a woman in the United States has almost the same chances of obtaining education, training and employment as a man. The elevation of women at the workplace has helped developed countries realize their potential, especially in the service sector where mental input is more significant than physical energy. Countries that have side-lined women from their education systems and economic sectors have failed to achieve their full potential. These countries lack enough manpower and skills to produce goods, services and income that can facilitate economic growth and meet the local demand.

One of the key agenda pushed forward by the feminist suffragettes was participation of women in the political system. This has seen women get integrated into the political system. Many countries have put strategies in place to ensure that women overcome the challenges that bar them from elective political positions. The impact of the suffragettes has been universal. Rwanda, a developing country in East Africa has women forming the majority of its parliamentarians. According to the World Bank (n.p), the country is experiencing record economic growth percentage of 7%.  This rate is higher than that of its neighbours that have achieved less in regard to incorporating women into their institutions. Generally, countries that have elevated the position of women in response to the call by feminists have benefited through an enhanced workforce and leadership.

Feminism has achieved a lot in regard to welfare. The push by suffrages to have women incorporated in the economic system through ownership of property and freedom to choose careers and employees has worked towards fairer wealth distribution. Currently, a significant number of capital owners and entrepreneurs are women. Through education and training, women have gained skills and knowledge that has helped them secure employment and generate income. This income has been used to support the women themselves and their dependents. Before the achievement of this status. Men used to be sole breadwinners and households had limited income. This meant that families had to struggle in meeting their needs. Feminism has been calling for economic empowerment of women. Therefore, fair income distribution and alleviation of poverty are two developments that are partly credited to feminism.

Before the wave of feminism, the society seemed oblivious of the special roles and needs that are tied to the female gender. For instance, women play a distinctive role in parenthood and human reproduction. Women bear most of the financial, physical and emotional burdens of parenthood and the general family. Suffrages attracted the attention of the society towards the issue. They called for the empowerment of the woman as a way of promoting the wellbeing of the family. Today, governments give special consideration to maternity health. Individuals, communities and NGOs have given wide attention to issues affecting women such as domestic violence, sexual harassment and property entitlement at separation.

Other key issues that feminism has highlighted with success include language. Many institutions, employers and professional bodies have worked towards eliminating language bias and enhancing gender sensitivity among their constituents. At the individual and family level, feminists have sensitized the populations on the issue of family labour and the importance of sharing out domestic chores.

Most religions traditionally undermine women. Feminism drew the attention of the denominations to traditions, practices and texts contributed by women. Feminist theology came as a result of the efforts of the suffragettes. Although women do not hold the same position as men in many religions, their position has been elevated.

Feminist suffragette struggles exist to date. Though the position of men and women is not equal in many societies, feminists are still hopeful that equity will be achieved in all social, economic and political institutions. However, it can generally be said that the position of the woman has been elevated. This has not only benefited the women themselves but also helped the general society to attain its full potential. 

Works Cited

Öhberg, Patrik, and Lena Wängnerud. "Testing the Impact of Political Generations: The Class of 94 and Pro‐feminist Ideas in the Swedish Riksdag." Scandinavian Political Studies 37.1 (2014): 61-81.

World Bank. Rwanda Overview. The World Bank, 2017. Web. May 14, 2017.

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