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For a very long time, some occupations were reserved or only taken up by men. Some careers were regarded as women careers and some for the male gender. The history of gender occupational stereotype roots from Christian ideology, medicine, science and classical thoughts. Men and women were thought to be different, both physically and mentally. Men were considered to be strong, courageous, and more intelligent than women. Women were believed to be more emotional, compassionate, and modest as compared to men. While women were thought to be passive, men were considered aggressive. From these characteristics, each gender was matched with an occupation believed to best suit their natures.
Women were more inclined to be nurses, teachers or chefs due to their compassionate nature and the experience they gained while caring for their families. Men opted to become pilots, engineers, and doctors because of their perceived intelligent nature and muscular body. Women took up jobs that required a lot of caring because they were often the ones caring for the family regarding cooking, cleaning and raising the children while the man was in charge of the financial issues. During the mid-nineteenth century, however, a lot of feminists started questioning the idea that a man was better than a woman. This was done in a bid to eliminate discriminatory practices in the job market and also in education opportunities. The sociologists’ idea that both women and men are similar in almost all aspects made women venture further by pursuing higher education, top leadership positions, and careers in male-dominated occupations.
This stereotype influences the attitudes and career aspirations of young teenagers when making their vocational decisions (Ramaci et al., 2017). The idea that some careers are male-dominated discourages young, reliant girls from pursuing their dreams. Women who are in the male-dominated occupations still find it hard to seek leadership positions for fear of not being good enough. Very few countries in the world have had female presidents; this fact deters young girls from reaching their full potential because they believe leadership positions are better suited for men. This is however not the case because countries like Liberia have prospered more with a female president than the male presidents who had preceded her reign. In my opinion, this should encourage women to venture into any career they believe best suits them.
Some other challenges facing women in today’s society include issues such as equal pay where women are paid significantly less than their male counterparts in the same line of duty. This highly discourages young women because they feel like men are valued more than they are in today’s modern society. Working mothers also face the problem of inflexible working conditions. Some employers fail to understand that once a woman becomes a mother, they have a duty to the company and their child as well. Generally, there is a lack of female role models in most of the fields considered male-dominant causing young women to lack motivation to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
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