We used to live in a highly patriarchal society where man used to be the sole breadwinner and head of every family. A notable feature of such a society is that the highest positions like managerial or presidencies in almost every country were all held by men. However things have changed radically over the past decade. Since the advent of the advocacy for women rights and feminist movement, women have seen better prospects to attain higher and more influential social positions. One of the most significant women’s rights agreement which was laid out in 1995, and was titled “Beijing Platform For Action”. The platform witnessed 189 countries, including many European countries and USA, pledging to advance universal education for girls, and violence against women, and ensure access to life-saving reproductive health care and several other critical issues.
Today, many women have been granted the freedom to venture into the treacherous society, which poses many threats and challenges that were once only braved by men. Since the French Revolution in 1789 to topple the absolute monarchical system, which led to the emergence of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, women have then been granted the rights to vote, to own property and to work. Feminism, according to dictionary.com, is defined as “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men”. Indeed, this is a type of human rights movement, which has brought about great transformation in many countries. However, this movement is becoming less tenacious as seen in the decrease in number of protests, placard marches and campaigns, which have raised many doubts in our minds. Is the advocacy for gender equality and fight for feminism still relevant in today’s context? Women have attained much more than they had decades ago, and there is an emerging belief that men and women are of equal social standing, so there is no important need to fight for the equality of both sexes.
While women have made much progress in the workplace and social status, there is still a long way to go before true gender equality can be achieved. According to a report in 2003, only over 6 per cent of all company directors in Singapore were women. In comparison in the Untied States, 60 per cent of the 1000 largest companies had at least 1 woman director. Singapore is a democratic country that fight for equal rights for both sexes, but such an evidence is indeed worrying. Worldwide, women make up more than half the population, but only 12.7 per cent of all parliamentary seats are held by them. Notable leaders are Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s opposition leader and Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female Prime Minister. They have made huge impacts in the lives of their people and comrades, such as fighting for political rights and more aid to the rural areas.
Here are some videos that explains why feminism is still relevant in today’s world:
An interesting video on different perspectives on Feminism: