Do and Men Women have Equal Rights?
Do we believe in equal rights among women and men? That is the question that has been the cause of many heated debates and arguments across the world. From homes to parliaments and congressional houses in countries around the world, people cannot decide to agree on whether men and women should have equal rights or not. This paper will discuss the growth of the rights and freedoms especially for women and the reasons why there should be equal rights for men and women.
On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted American women the right to vote—a right known as woman suffrage. This means that even in the United States of America, one of the countries in the world considered as the most progressive in terms of human rights, women were still not allowed to vote until the beginning of the twentieth century. As much a this was a step in the right direction towards equalizing the rights of men and women, it still speaks volumes on just how much time it took for women to have equal rights to men.
In addition, the United States of America has never had a female president in its history. There are several countries which are led by women including the United Kingdom and Liberia in Africa. Such examples of women holding the highest offices in their respective countries show progress in the trust that people have in women leadership and could be used to prove that women have equal rights to men, as they all can run for the same political positions.
While some regions of the world are making tremendous strides towards equalizing the rights of men in women, others are lagging behind. In most Arabic and Asian countries, women are still considered as unequal to men hence do not enjoy what people would term as basic human rights in the twenty-first century. Some women are not even allowed or dress how they want. Their entire lives are dictated by the men in their lives, husbands, fathers or brothers.
Of late, with the rise of feminism, there have been more women and men standing up to fight for equalization of rights for both men and women. While some may argue that there equal rights for both genders as enshrined in constitutions for several countries, the question still remains if this is the reality on the ground. Do men enjoy more rights than women or do women actually enjoy more rights than men?
While men and women nowadays do the same jobs in various sectors, surveys still show that women are paid considerably less than their male counterparts for the same kind of work. This is an unacceptable standard as the prices of things are not determined by one’s gender. It is also believed that women get considerably lighter punishments than men for the same kind of offenses. Such instances are strong proof that there are still no equal rights between men and women.
In light of the recent accusations in the entertainment industry of actresses and even actors accusing powerful producers and their colleagues of sexual harassment or asking for sexual favors in exchange for roles. There are also increased cases of workplace sexual harassment cases cutting across all genders, even though it is significantly higher for women. Statistics like this add to the school of thought that supports the equalization of human rights, regardless of gender.
In order to correctly say that there are equal rights for men and women and to actually live in a world where this is the norm, then we have to strive, as a society, to start treating people as who they are and not what they are. Only then can we truly say that men and women have equal rights.