Tuesday, 1 May 2012

So I Am Female

Sure it’s a good feeling having a guy open the car door for you, spend dinner for you, gently hold your arm to support you, even being dominated in moments of intimacy, but does that make a woman the weaker gender?

That the female is the weaker sex, inferior, and in some parts of the world a commodity to be sold or bartered, has been a centuries-old issue. It eludes me how to this day, despite all the sophistication in science and technology, there are still stories of women being given as peace offering to settle tribal disputes for the men of the winning tribe to do with as they wish, girls deprived of education because the boys were better off educated and girls should stay home to tend to chores, or girls spewed with acid because they tried to stand up for their right, or so much worse, that they end up in prison for defending themselves from an abuser.

Does taking care of the family and keeping it intact make women weak in men’s eyes? Is it their physical structure that makes men feel the need to dominate and treat women with so much less respect than they deserve? Or is it the fear that women being intellectually and financially independent will lessen the capability of men to be the dominating gender and will make them feel “less of a man?”  

From statistics shown, culture is obviously a major factor in gender inequality. There are extremists that cannot accept the change in the times that women have a bigger role to play in society and can be just as effective or better. And it’s so disappointing when women themselves justify and accept the humiliating treatment afforded them by these men.

In a survey by the U.N., nearly one-third of women worldwide agreed that being hit by a husband in an argument is justifiable, and in Mali, 74% of women say they believe it’s acceptable to be punished for refusing sex.

In Egypt, a woman in parliament actually initiated the move to cancel the sexual harassment law saying the woman is to blame -  A WOMAN! Did she want the men’s support to be re-elected or re-appointed in parliament? Did she feel her male colleagues would  favor her in parliament because of this move? If women elected in government seats do not meet the expectation of supporting and lifting women’s rights, then they are better off staying home and leaving  the government post to women who can be of better service to their fellow women.  

In Afghanistan, young girls actually go underground for their schooling for fear of retaliation from the Talibans who believe girls should not be educated. Today, about 2 million girls in Afghanistan are uneducated.

Many countries still have to keep up with the times where laws on women are unfair, biased and humiliating. In Saudi Arabia, women driving a vehicle or engaging in sports can be a crime. In Morocco, the law justifies marriage of a girl to her rapist to “save her honor.” For years, female genital mutilation in many African countries has been an acceptable practice. These continue to happen in these modern times.
The U.N. however pointed out that “in the last 20 years, female genital mutilation is decreasing slightly among younger generations, literacy among adult women and men around the world has improved, albeit slowly, and enrollment of girls in schools in increasing across the world.” 

One’s gender should never make a difference on how society treats a person. A woman  (or for that matter, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender), can be as educated and earn as much or more as any gender. She may be weak in her own way but should never be deprived of the chance to develop her full potential as an individual. No law should ever be so biased as to support violence against anyone for being a victim of  an act of violence.

So I’m female – what about it?  

By Lylin Aguas

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