The Role of Women in Economic Activities

Despite being the one of most civilized society, the American society is still gender divisive with elements that bar women from participating in some economic activities. Females are not generally encouraged or expected to pursue some professions like engineering. Factors such as gender division of labour, gender violence and patriarchy assist in weakening the participation of adult females in economic development. If some gender issues are resolved, women will be able to partake in economic growth activities and hence enhance economic growth in both the family and the society level. Some gender issues do come in the way of economic growth.

Patriarchy is a system where the society is structured around male authority figures. In this kind of system men have authority over women, children and property. Men rule and are privileged in such kind of an institution. This, of course, is dependent on female submission. Feminists describe patriarchy as an undue system that oppresses to women and that the patriarchal difference between being female and male is the difference that exists between freedom and subjection. Patriarchy commonly incorporates all social mechanisms that replicate and exert men’s dominance over females.

Gender based violence includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, prostitution relationship violence, stalking, and sex trafficking. The term supports the belief that repeated violence works to retain the structural gender inequalities and takes into account all kinds of violence against women, children, gays and transgender people. This kind of violence in is influenced by or influences dealings between the different genders. Gender violence keeps women from participating in economic activities and acts as a way for men to rule over females. Being economically empowered helps females avoid this kind of violence.

Since the hunter and gatherer society, the different genders have always had different roles to play in society. Gender division of labour is the distinction usually made between domestic and paid work. Work done for the service of families, including childcare and housework, is often unappreciated because it is cultural expected of a wife or mother. Female work is performed in the privacy of the home. However, paid work is much more public and culturally done by the males. Keeping a job and getting an income has traditionally been thought to be a husband’s obligation while keeping home and attending to children traditionally is the wife’s primary obligation even if she has a job outside the home.

According Bergmann (2005) in his paper the economic emergence of women, economic participation has been dominated by men prior to the past one and a half century. Today, however, has seen the reduction of this patriarchal system. Initially, Bergman (2005) argued, that most women were restricted to domestic chores though there is hope that women will realize more about economic empowerment than they have in both developed and developing countries. He further states that women’s talents and capabilities should be tapped to reduce the economic burden on women. He anticipates some resistance and sees persistence as the only way out. Bergman notes that some people, women includes, may despair if they consider the departure might lead ruining of the current system which provides family comfort and warmth. Alternatively, there are women who seek for a lower existence.

Another research by Morrison, A., & Sabarwal, S. (2008) on The Economic Participation of Adolescent Girls and Young Women: Why Does It Matter? examines women’s roles in economic growth and poverty reduction. They argue that the only way women and girls can be empowered through facilitating acquisition of higher and quality education. Both Bergman (2005) and Morrison & Sabarwal (2008) concur that substantial progress has been accomplished by including women in the economic activities. They note that a significant number of countries have attained the millennium development goals through gender equality. They, nonetheless, think that there is more room for improvement. Many young women and adolescents exist in a limbo-like state where they neither work nor attain education hence are an economic burden. It also becomes difficult for them to get paid work due to lack of basic education. Enhanced education levels will improve other economic sectors as they become more knowledgeable and capable of making important decisions.

Relevant developmental theory models

The Feminist theory extends from theoretical or philosophical feminism. It encompasses work in a number of fields including, but not limited to philosophy sociology, economics, women’s studies, literature, history and psychoanalysis. Feminist theory focuses on understanding inequalities between the two genders. It centres on sexuality gender politics and power relations while delivering a critique of these social and political relations in promoting women’s interests and rights (Fausto-Sterling, 1992).

Marxist feminism is a branch of feminism aimed at determining and explaining the means used to oppress women through capitalism systems and private property. According to Marxist feminists, women’s emancipation can be accomplished only through drastic realignment of the prevailing capitalist economy where of women’s labour is not remunerated Hankinson Nelson, 1997).

The issues related with being a young black, poor and female in present day America

Alongside the issues surrounding women, a young black, poor and woman in present day America has more to deal with. A young black poor woman in America has to contend with. These include health issues; receive lower wages as compared to Caucasian females as well as underrepresentation in electoral offices.

The first issue black women face is an enhanced mortality rate. Having a baby for Black women can prove fatal. The maternal mortality rate for Black women is thrice that of Caucasian women and is equal with several developing countries. Currently, a Lebanese woman has better chances of surviving childbirth as compared to an America Black woman. Black women are also more likely to get breast cancer. Breast cancer is deadlier for Black women compared to their Caucasian counterparts due to lengthy intervals between getting follow-up care and treatment. Five Black women die daily because of disparities in accessing breast cancer treatment. Black women also have raised levels of high blood pressure compared to females from other races in America NCBCPBWR, 2014)..

Secondly, Black Women are also particularly more likely to be victims of violence in America. In fact, today, a Black woman is more likely to be murdered and raped in America as compared to other races. They are also more likely to be physically abused, either by a stranger or by someone she knows intimately. Black women are also thrice as likely as white women to be incarcerated NCBCPBWR, 2014).

Relevant laws or programs on black women

Affirmative action, are positive measures undertaken to increase the women and minority representation culturally and in places of employment and education where they have been excluded. When the steps entail preferential selection, one based on race, gender, or ethnicity affirmative action comes to play. Affirmative action has generated intense debate causing demarcation along philosophical lines hence separating those with different views on the American dilemma. This separation brings into question various issues. To what degree does the discrimination and bias persist, and to what degree have affirmative action programs been effective in offering otherwise opportunities that aren’t unavailable in employment, education, and business; and lastly, to what extent does affirmative action seem to provide undue benefit to African Americans and other races in expense of the Caucasian majority.

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