Struggle for Women's Rights: Is This Still of Particular Relevance in the 21st Century?

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  • 29 Sep, 2021  |
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1 Struggle for Women's Rights: Is This Still of Particular Relevance in the 21st Century?

Women now have the same equal rights as men—they can vote, go to school, get a job, run for public office, and so much more. After many centuries of fighting for women’s rights, can we say that it is finally over—that women have won their battle?

Today, we will explore whether or not there are still injustices happening to women around the world. From there, we will be able to decide if the struggle for women’s rights is still relevant today.

1. Economic Rights

More and more families today are reliant on two people. In many situations, it is no longer enough that only one works. As such, the last forty years showed us a dramatic increase in the number of women who are looking for work.

In the United States, four of five families that have children have both of the couple working. As such, they have to find ways to make their family lives work. The thing is that this can result in neglected kids, neglected relationships and even divorce.

Even if women can work today, there is a disparity between the salary of women compared to the salary of men. In short, women are generally paid less than men. This gender wage gap tells us that there is still something that women should fight for.

Here are the most common causes of the wage gap between men and women:

• Discrimination – this is a pervasive thing that is happening all over the world. Although this is already illegal in many countries, it is still widely practised. One of the biggest issues is that women of colour are the most likely victims.

• Hours worked – no matter where you are, women are always the ones “in charge” of children and the household. As such, it is not uncommon that women have to work part-time. What this entails is that they also earn less not because of the actual hours they worked but because part-timers generally receive less pay than full-timers.

As you can see, the fight for economic equality is not over yet. Even if women can now look for jobs, they still have to find their way through a jungle of discrimination and unfair practices.

2. Union Memberships

Like the first one, this is related to work. While women can join unions, most unions have male leaders. As such, while the unions are fighting for fair wages and health benefits, the actual needs of women are not being taken care of.

There are still many things that are on the table, and here are a few examples:

There must be a fair process for selecting the representatives of the union. If a union does not have enough female representation, the union will not be able to advocate for women’s rights.

The unions must work to find a way to penalize employers who discriminate against women. The women must also not be discriminated against if they want to unionize.

The fight for equality of representation is not over. It is true that women can get hired for a job, but they do not have adequate representation. Their issues will never get resolved unless the women themselves talk to the employers to discuss their issues.

3. Legal Protection Against Rape and Violence

If you think not being treated fairly in the workplace is the worst, then think again. Women are raped and robbed more often because the culprits think they are easy prey. Women celebrities face more harassment, especially if they are in a political office.  

In some countries, women are blamed if they are raped. In social media, men are too quick to judge, saying that the woman was raped or abused because she “allowed” the man to do it, or that she dressed in a daring attire that made the man commit the crime.

In some countries, rapists do not get the justice that they deserve. Domestic violence against women is also a common occurrence. Women are afraid to speak up against their abusers for fear of retaliation.
Globally, more than 35% of women have suffered a form of abuse. This abuse can be sexual or physical, and this includes violence from outsiders and even their partners. This does not even include sexual harassment in the office. If we include those, the number can go as high as 70%.

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The same thing goes with aggressive insults—not violence, but more towards slurs against women. There are many women who are verbally abused by their husbands, and they take it in like as if it is their obligation to do so.

The worst thing is that 137 women are killed by a family member every day. in 2017, there were 87,000 women killed. Out of this number, it is estimated that 50,000 were killed by a spouse or a family member. Despite these staggering numbers, less than 40% of women report the issue—they do not ask for help at all.

The fight for equality will rage on. Despite the thousands of years that have passed, women are still not treated equally as men do. Women do not have the same salary rights as men. They are also often targeted for crime. The fight for women’s rights has its place in the 21st century, and all people should start waking up and start becoming drivers for change.

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