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The Effect of Gender Equality on Present and Future of Youngest Generation of Women

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Words: 2747 |

Pages: 6|

14 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Words: 2747|Pages: 6|14 min read

Published: Jan 28, 2021

Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Description of Chosen Subject
    Research Question
    Analysis of the Subject
    Social Action Theory
    Life Course Theory
    Generational Theory
  4. Discussion and Conclusion
  5. References

Abstract

Gender equality is a state that helps to bring out enhanced decision making and economic participation to all people regardless of their gender. The young generation of women is advocating for gender equality and women rights in a bid to stimulate economic growth and development. They participate in creating awareness, educating women to afford them some form of independence, and encourage them to put a stop to gender-based violence. Others are fighting to attain equal rights at workplaces to avoid the situation of having women who work for longer hours but get paid lesser. In a bid to explain gender equality, this paper will use the generational theory, life course theory and social/youth theory to explain the actions of young women. The generational theory by Mannheim is appropriate in that it explains the growth through various generations and refinement of concepts of interests. The youth/social and action theory is appropriate for this topic in that it focuses on social change and explains how young women carry out certain actions by attaching meaning to them. The life-course theory explains how individuals tend to construct their social relationships which shape their present and future biographies.

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Introduction

Gender equality is a precondition for meeting the challenges of building good governance, achieving reduced poverty and sustainable development. According to Breitenbach, Brown, Mackay, Webb (2016), it is important to ensure the needs, aspirations and behaviors of both men and women are well valued, favored and considered without discrimination. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean that women and men will become the same, it means that their opportunities, rights and responsibilities will not be dependent on whether one is a male or a female. Studies show that gender equality stimulates economic growth, which is pertinent to development. Although gender equality is pertinent to economic development, most women are subjected to abject discrimination and ill-treatment. Statistics show that most women work longer hours than men but get paid less. They make up approximately two-thirds of the total population of illiterate individuals in the world.

Although many leadership posts require the expertise of women, only 10% of world leaders are women. There is imbalance of power between both genders which has become a problem on local, national and international levels. Inequality affects the lives of children, and the society while stunting economic growth and development. This is reason why gender equality has been given importance as one of the UN SDG (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal) goals. In order to achieve the desired growth and sustainable development, it is essential to tackle discrimination and promote gender equality. This will help to promote enhanced access to education, healthcare and job opportunities. In a bid to promote gender equality, young women have taken bold initiatives to stop gender based discrimination at work among other places (Furlong, 2012). They have started forums that fight against gender based violence and instead promote women empowerment. Young women have come up with initiatives to stop female genital mutilation particularly in Africa, a practice that has incapacitated women for a long time.

Most of these women have grown up in a society that makes them believe that they can be successful with the help of a man. Most of the drivers of these initiatives have been victims of gender inequality or have seen people close to them encounter the consequences of this behavior. This paper will address gender equality and the contribution made by young women in an attempt to promote gender equality.

Description of Chosen Subject

Women and particularly young women continue to face structural discrimination due to the patriarchal nature of most societies. Research shows that young women are among the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in the world. Although they make up half the population, most of them are prevented from gaining access to basic services and decent employment. Most of these young women grow up seeing the intense struggle of women for gender equality. Most of them have turned into feminism whereby they fight to make women’s lives better by liberating their choices to have and do what they want. Historically, the power of women has increased significantly such that women have more choices today than ever before (Furlong, 2012). Many women have managed to break the glass ceiling and occupy seats of power if they have the necessary skills and determination to execute the expectations as required.

While some have pursued their career successfully, women have been caught in trade-offs of mutually exclusive choices of combining career and parenthood. On the other hand, men have found themselves with lesser struggles in terms of combining career and parenthood in which case they feel more liberated. This has created the necessity of liberate women and introduce gender equality as a norm. According to Polcuch, Brooks, Bello, (2018), there is need to liberate women from sexism, social norms, workplace discrimination, and provide increased flexibility in their lives. Empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality is central to liberation of women and intrinsic to development (Breitenbach et al., 2016).

Young women are making efforts to advocate for women’s rights, to challenge various stereotypes and roles that are likely to affect exclusion and inequalities and to combat discriminatory practices that are the reason for gender inequality. According Young (2016), gender equality is a development goal that is essential to sustainable development. In order to achieve advanced human development, it is important to encourage young women to realize their rights and understand their potential. It is also crucial to approach the inclusion of women as an important factor towards empowerment.

Research Question

What is the contribution of the young women towards the promotion of gender equality?

Analysis of the Subject

This section will deem to answer the research questions, ‘the contribution of young women toward gender equality using theoretical perspectives. The author will analyze the youth/social and action theory by Max Weber, the generational theory by Karl Mannheim and the life-course theory to explain why young women are concerned with the promotion of gender equality.

Social Action Theory

According to Weber, social actions are actions that are carried by individuals and are often attached meanings. This means that actions that people don’t think are serious cannot be termed as a social action. Weber views the development of modern societies as a process of rationalization and argues that most human actions are directed by meaning. It is possible to identify actions on basis of the meanings attached to them. For instance, most actions that are focused on gender equality are often directed towards affective action. He explains that emotional or affective action often stem from an individual’s state of emotions at a particular time. Other actions by feminists and young women are guided by traditional actions which are founded on the assumption that people tend to behave in a certain manner as a result of built-in habits or because they are used to doing things in a certain manner. Most young women have been born in patriarchal societies where they see women facing discrimination and inequality in the society (Gupta, 2019).

Their actions to fight patriarchy are guided by the need to free the women from the actions they have grown up seeing. People’s actions can also be guided by rational action which is the awareness of a goal. This is the main action that is guiding the actions of women in the struggle towards achieving gender equality. Social action theory provides a better understanding of most actions that are undertaken by human beings. This theory explains youth engagement strategy that puts emphasis on participatory practice, youth voice and community building which represents efforts to stimulate the initiatives of young people to work for community change.

Social action is a valuable framework for the engagement of youth in that it puts emphasis on the voice of youth and community building. In the recent past, a commitment of the participation of youth in the promotion of gender equality has increased significantly. For instance, the United Nations Development Program of promoting gender has included the empowerment of young women in that it is central to development. It has recognized the importance of young women in promoting gender equality in the world. Other institutions have also become more flexible and responsive to opinions and views of young women to promote gender equality.

Life Course Theory

This theory is a multidisciplinary paradigm that studies social change, structural contexts and the lives of people in general. This perspective encompasses various observations and ideas from a wide scope of sociology, disciplines, biology and developmental psychology among others. This theory views life as a sequence of socially defined roles and events that an individual encounters over time. Although these events don’t proceed in a sequence, they constitute an individual’s actual experience. This theory elaborates on the importance of context, process and time as well as the meaning on family life and development. According to Wasserman Wasserman, (2017) development and aging in an individual are continuous processes that are often experienced throughout their life. This theory is appropriate for the topic gender equality in that it shows the relationship that exists between inequality and influence in an individual’s early life. This perspective explains that decisions, conditions and opportunities that are often experienced in early life can influence an individual’s later outcomes.

This means that the life that young girls have experienced has the potential to shape their present as well as their future lives. This can affect them at different levels such as the generational or familial level. For instance, one generation of women can transmit to the next generation the reverberations of various historical circumstances such as violence and female genital mutilation among other activities. A generation of women that endured violence from their husbands is likely to pass the norm around violence to the next generation. In the same manner, the generations of young women who are against gender inequality after watching older women suffer are likely to pass this attitude to other generations.

This theory also explains that the conditions and timing at which various behaviors and life events occur such as family violence and discrimination against women can set up a reaction of experiences for an individual. This simply means that the past experiences can affect an individual’s later life outcomes such as socioeconomic status, marital patterns and mental health among others. Young women who grew up seeing their mothers endure suffering and beatings from their father are likely to see the normality around violence among other undesirable actions. In future, these young women are likely to endure similar gender-based violence and discrimination if the necessary actions are not taken.

Generational Theory

Generational Theory by Mannheim is another theory that can be applied in this study. Mannheim uses the concept of generations to understand differences between different age groups and as a way of locating groups and individuals within historical time. He explains a generation to be a group of population that has experienced noteworthy events together in their youth during a particular period of time. According to Mannheim, older generations are likely to form a social context that younger generation tends to establish a fresh contact with (Mironova, Bogdanova Kolesnikov, 2019). As a result, the new generation alters the social context by emphasizing only particular aspects of it that seem beneficial to the younger generation. This way, every new generation introduces new opportunities for both cultural and social change and continuity.

For instance, when a major event takes place in the lives of a particular group of women at the same time, they are likely to gain collective consciousness. This can explain the interest that has grown in young women concerning gender equality. The generation of young women is out to join hands and fight all forms of undesirable behaviors towards women such as violence, abuse and workplace discrimination in a bid to promote gender equality. This theory is ideal for this topic of gender equality in that it explains that a generation is a social location with the potential to affect the consciousness of individuals in the same manner that culture or social class does. This means that the aspects that one generation agrees with such as violence against women or workplace discrimination is likely to affect the next generation.

Mannheim explains that younger generation is likely to make twists to concepts from the older generation that they find important to them. This explains the heightened interest to fight gender inequality among younger generations of women. Mannheim argues that generations often get affected by significant historical events such that they can alter the response to the overall surrounding. This theory can be summarized best using the idea that people are more likely to resemble their times more than their parents. For instance, most young women are likely to resemble the times of fighting gender inequality instead of their mothers who have endured the consequences of gender inequality. Mannheim agreed with Marxist thoughts that an individual’s beliefs can be altered depending on the kind of group that they associated themselves with.

Discussion and Conclusion

An analysis of the contribution of young women towards gender equality shows significant contribution to the present state of existence. There before, women often got recruited into accepting ill treatment towards men at the expense of men. Most women worked for longer hours and got half the pay compared to men. The society has limited the ability of women such that they lack the capability to live a fulfilling life. As a result, the young generation has come up with initiatives that are geared towards liberating women from societal chains that limit economic development. Promotion of gender equality will bring about enhanced living standards, access to education, proper nutrition, better livelihoods of the children and economic development from the larger scope. This has created the desire for women to pursue their rights to attain the desired level of equality.

There are numerous fights against workplace discrimination, gender-based violence, limited access to education compared to men, denial of the chance to speak about their rights and needs and being seen as the societal burden bearer. Women Human Rights and Gender Equality and the United Nations Development Program are some of the institutions that have involved women to fight for gender equality actively. The researcher has explained gender equality using the generational theory, life course theory and social/youth action theory by Max Weber.

The generational theory explains that younger generations are likely to improve from older generations by refining concepts that seem of essence to them. For instance, although the fight for gender equality began in the 19th century, the progress has been slow with a few refinements of concepts with every generation of women. Youth/social action theory explains that actions are often carried out because of the meaning attached to them. For instance, young women fight for equality is motivated by the suffering they have seen their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and their sisters endure.

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The life-course theory explains that an individual’s experiences through life are likely to affect their present and their future. Those who grow up in a patriarchal society are likely to accept inequality or fight against it to enhance the lives of women. This shows that the youngest generation of women often acts against the patriarchal system of society in a bid to promote gender equality.

References

  1. Breitenbach, E., Brown, A., Mackay, F., Webb, J. (Eds.). (2016). The changing politics of gender equality. Springer.
  2. Buskirk-Cohen, A. A., Duncan, T. A., Levicoff, M. (2016). Using generational theory to rethink teaching in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 21(1), 25-36.
  3. Craib, I. (2015). Modern social theory. Routledge.
  4. Fuchs, M. (2017). Sociology of world relations: Confronting the complexities of Hindu Religions. A perspective beyond Max Weber. Max Weber Studies, 17(2), 196-211.
  5. Furlong, A. (2012). Youth studies: An introduction. Routledge.
  6. Gupta, G. R., Oomman, N., Grown, C., Conn, K., Hawkes, S., Shawar, Y. R., Heise, L. (2019). Gender equality and gender norms: Framing the opportunities for health. The Lancet.
  7. Mironova, O. A., Bogdanova, R. M., Kolesnikov, Y. A. (2019). Aspects of the generational theory application in terms of digital education development in Russia. (1).
  8. Polcuch, E. F., Brooks, L. A., Bello, A. (2018). Measuring gender equality in science and engineering: the SAGA survey of gender equality in science, technology and innovation policies.
  9. Van der Vleuten, A. (2016). The price of gender equality: Member states and governance in the European Union. Routledge.
  10. Wasserman, T., Wasserman, L. D. (2017). NCLT and life course theory. In Neurocognitive Learning Therapy: Theory and Practice (pp. 47-53). Springer, Cham.
  11. Young, Z. P. (2016). Gender and development. In Handbook on Gender in World Politics. Edward Elgar Publishing.
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The Effect Of Gender Equality On Present And Future Of Youngest Generation Of Women. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-effect-of-gender-equality-on-present-and-future-of-youngest-generation-of-women/
“The Effect Of Gender Equality On Present And Future Of Youngest Generation Of Women.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-effect-of-gender-equality-on-present-and-future-of-youngest-generation-of-women/
The Effect Of Gender Equality On Present And Future Of Youngest Generation Of Women. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-effect-of-gender-equality-on-present-and-future-of-youngest-generation-of-women/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
The Effect Of Gender Equality On Present And Future Of Youngest Generation Of Women [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-effect-of-gender-equality-on-present-and-future-of-youngest-generation-of-women/
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