Thesis Statement: Women have struggled for many years because 1) they are not considered as being equal to men 2) they are prohibited from engaging in some activities 3) they are not allowed to take part in the decision-making process.
The debate on whether women have been oppressed has been there for many years now. While some people believe that women have not been accorded equal treatments as men, there are other people who believe that women have been treated equally. For many years now, many women feel that they have not been treated equally to their male counterpart. In most cases, women are not allowed to engage in some activities-that they should be subjective to men. However, most of the laws that make women not to be equal to men are mainly due to traditions and cultural believes. For instance, the judicial system of Saudi Arabia is governed by Sharia laws whose basis is derived from the Quran. Islamic Sharia laws are not only very strict on women, but also give men a lot of privilege over women. These laws make men supreme and according to them, men should be guardians of women. However, some people are of the idea that women are treated equally as men, and that it is only the division of labor that differentiates both genders (Auster, 2013).
For many years, women have struggled to have equal right as the male counterparts. In the US, women began advocating for equality in the early years of the 19th century. Particularly, women in California organized themselves into groups and took to the streets to fight the oppressive laws that were against them. During the early 19th century, women were not allowed to hold high offices. Men were the only ones who were allowed to head offices, government agencies and even institutions. Most women believed that both men and women were created equally and therefore no one should be discriminated based on his or her gender and as a result of this belief, women organized rallies in order to fight for equality (Boyle et al., 2015).
Additionally, women in Saudi Arabia started fighting for their rights in 1970s. They were particularly influenced by American women who were driving military vehicles, while they were not allowed to engage in any military activities. Although the state is guarded by strong Islamic sharia laws that are derived from the Quran, Saudi Arabia women were not convinced that they should not engage in some activities (Ross, 2011). According to the Islamic clergy, women were not supposed to drive vehicles because that could uncover their faces, contrary to their Prophet, Mohammed, who was of the idea that women should always cover their faces while in public. On top of that, the clergy felt that women driving could make them interact with men working as traffic police in case the vehicle experienced any mechanical problem. What motivated women to accelerate the fight for their rights is the fact the Quran does not prohibit them from driving, but the Islamic culture and traditions that they felt were archaic and retrogressive (Brown, 2016).
According to Islamic clergy, women are not oppressed, but only not allowed to carry out tasks that are not accorded to them. Their arguments are based on the holy Quran and that these laws were set by God and his prophet and therefore nobody should go against them. As a result of this, women groups that attempted to push the Saudi Arabia government to change the law faced stiff opposition. Men in Saudi Arabia were of the idea that women should only stick to their kitchen and bring up children roles. They argued that men have never tried to take women roles away from them, and therefore, they should stick to their roles (Ezzedeen, Souha & Kristen, 2009).
Also, in many African countries like Kenya and Uganda, that are mainly Christian societies, men are of the idea women have been accorded equal treatment and the difference arises mainly in gender roles. For instance, the Turkana community of Kenya does not allow women to continue their education after high school. The community believes are based on their cultural believes that a woman should be married once she attains an adolescence age. Furthermore, women tasks are mainly limited to household chores and bringing up children. For a Turkana man, a woman should be subjective to a man. Additionally, they strongly believe that according to the Bible, a man should always be the head. As a result of this, women are not allowed to take part in major decision making processes. According to them, the difference between men and women is limited to gender roles, and therefore it should not be viewed as being oppression (Icheku, 2016).
In conclusion, I would like to conquer that for many years, women have been oppressed. In many instances, women have had to go extra miles as compared to men, so that they can prove their equivalence to men. Many of the activities that women are prohibited from engaging in are mainly due to tradition and cultural believes that have been passed by time. Making women look like they belong to a different class make them go through a lot of suffering. Throughout the world, many women are generally discriminated based on their gender, and this makes them face problems like infanticide, sex discrimination and a high percent of illiteracy. We live in a patriarchal society whereby the society is deep rooted in traditional and cultural norms that discriminate women and make them suffer a lot. Although women have made numerous strides in the struggle for their rights and equality, the still need to continue with the same spirit until they achieve equality and bring to end discrimination based on gender, and particularly, women (Ranharter, 2015).
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