Women In Man’s Profession
Category : Secondary School Level
Throughout most of history women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men. Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. In the 20th century, however, women in most nations won the right to vote and increased their educational and job opportunities. Perhaps most important, they fought for and to a large degree accomplished a re-evaluation of traditional views of their role in society.
Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual prowess. Domestic chores were relegated to women, leaving ‘heavier9 labour to men. This ignored the fact that caring for children, housekeeping, cooking, and washing clothes also required heavy, sustained labour. Physiological tests now suggest that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and live longer.
A central issue in the study of gender is whether women and men are fundamentally different or essentially the same. “Difference theorists” contend that women are more nurturing, caring, and cooperative, as opposed to men, who are more independent, detached, and hierarchical. Men traditionally “do dominance” while women “do deference,” and females face dominant and agonistic behavior by their male colleagues.
In a developed country like the USA, women constituted more than 45 percent of employed persons in 1989, but they had only a small share of the decision-making jobs. Although the number of women working as managers, officials, and other administrators has been increasing, in 1989 they were outnumbered about 1.5 to 1 by men. Despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in 1970 were paid about 45 percent less than men for the same jobs; in 1988, about 32 percent less. Professional women did not get the important assignments and promotions given to their male colleagues. Many cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1970 were registered by women charging sex discrimination in jobs.
Nevertheless the work environment is changing. Women, now, across the world are gradually entering occupations that have hired mostly men, in order to earn an equal place in society. Many occupations forecast to have the largest job growth – and likely to be filled by women are health-care aides and medical assistants, retail sales, customer service, restaurant workers, clerks, child- care workers; and better occupations in which women’s participation is expected to grow further are medical doctors and other professionals, IT professionals. engineers, teachers, judiciary, lawyers, accountants, computer-related jobs, media, art & culture, managers, construction trades, business entrepreneurship, defence services, police, airline pilots and all others one can think of, as appropriate education and training opportunities are becoming within their reach.
A popular adage among the working women goes as ‘A Woman has to work Twice as hard to prove that she is half as good’ sums up quite appropriately the general bias of the society and the women’s sentiment on the subject. An objective observer would see that often in a workplace, if a male makes a mistake, then it is commented that ‘He is having a bad day9, but if a female makes the same mistake then it would be ‘Women can’t do a job.’ However, the trend seems to be changing surely, albeit very slowly.
Most developed countries have enacted laws that would provide women with equal opportunity, equal pay for equal work, renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women at workplace, and special provisions for their security and maternity relief.
India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women, has more female doctors, surgeons, scientists and professors than the United States, has more working women than any other country in the world; this includes female workers at all levels of skill. There is a National Human Rights Commission for Women that is empowered to handle all human rights violations against women.
‘Women are no less than Men