Equality between men and women Essay

This essay has a total of 1551 words and 7 pages.

Equality between men and women
In this essay the myth of equality between men and women will be discussed and progress
made by women so far, for the fight of equality will be examined. Two areas will be mainly
looked at; equality of men and women in the workplace and equality of men and women in the
home.



In the nineteenth century most women in Britain did not have many of the legal and
political rights, which men had. Most women were dependant on men for money and support.
They faced major discrimination at work and in education. A wide range of jobs and
opportunities were not available to women. The main role of a woman´s life was expected to
be that of a housewife and mother, having dinner ready on the table, looking after the
children, cleaning the house and answering to her husband, while he went out to work to
provide an income for his family. Women were seen as the weaker sex and men were seen as
strong and the ruler. It was a strongly male dominated society.

However women were not going to stand for this much longer and in the twentieth century
began to fight for equal rights hence the uprising of the feminist´s movement. This was to
be the start of a long hard upward struggle. During the twentieth century, there has been
a gradual improvement in the status of women in Britain.

At the beginning of the century the suffragette movement won the right for women to vote
in parliamentary elections. By nineteen nineteen, all women over thirty could vote, this
was lowered to twenty-one in nineteen twenty-eight. For the first time this put women
equal to men in relation to voting rights. The first step towards equality.



Women today have equal rights with men to education. It is now illegal to discriminate
against either sex by denying them access to certain subjects and courses at school and in
higher education because of their sex, for example women doing woodwork or men doing home
economics.

Today women make up forty-three percent of the workforce in Britain, which gives them more
financial independence. More types of jobs are available to women today and more and more
women are going out to work in paid employment instead of staying at home to be the house
makers. More women are seen nowadays to be in positions of power and management. Before
women were seen as suitable for jobs such as a secretary, childminder, cleaner,
hairdresser or shop assistant. A woman in a position of power such as manager if a large
firm was totally unheard of. Men dominated professional positions in the medical,
financial and law fields of employment. Today, however we are seeing more and more women
in the mentioned sectors. Women have also won equal rights in property ownership. The
married women´s property act´s of eighteen eighty and eighteen eighty two gave married
women the right to own their own property and the nineteen seventy matrimonial proceedings
act established that all property was to be equally divided between husband wife in the
event of a divorce.

Equal opportunity laws have helped women to get a better deal and overcome prejudice and
discrimination, for example the equal pay act of nineteen seventy made it illegal for
employers to offer different rates of pay to men and women doing the same or similar job.
The sex discrimination act of nineteen seventy five made it illegal to distinguish between
men and women in work, leisure and educational opportunities and the equal opportunities
commission has been formed to help enforce the sex discrimination act and the equal pay
act and to promote equality of opportunity between men and women.

Despite the progress made by women in the twentieth century, which has undoubtedly brought
around a substantial amount of changes and has put a stop to inequality and discrimination
between sexes in many areas. The question that needs to be addresses is, have women won
the battle of equality between men and women? The answer is no which can be seen in work
and in the home.

When talking about women at work, it can be assumed that this refers to paid employment.
However it is important to remember there is one job which is performed full time almost
exclusively by women-in paid housework or domestic labour. The domestic work done by women
is hardly ever recognised as real work. Many housewives themselves often devalue the
status of their work and they simply sum it up, as 'I´m only a housewife.´ It is estimated
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