For a very long time and in fact since civilization of man, a lot of speculations have been made concerning the position of women in the society, and in fact many societies across the world still hold the notion that women come secondary to men, and for this reason they should be accorded secondary and less demanding tasks in the society. While men handle the difficult and demanding tasks, women should on the other hand handle the more sensitive issues such as domestic chores and humanitarian tasks.
This has been the view point for as long as civilization can be traced, but the start of the nineteenth century has been different. This is the century whereby drastic changes have been noted and empowerment of women has been constantly on the increase like never before in the history of civilization. It is in this century whereby women for the first time in many parts across the world and not only in the United States but also in other pasts such as Europe have held employment positions. Although the wages compared to their fellow male counterparts are relatively lower, employment position for the females is an indicator that they are headed for better positions in the society, and at this rate, achievement of equality with their male counterparts is truly in the horizon (Kerber, at. al, 2008, p. 67).
With these notable changes in the women’s lives, this panel seeks to identify ways through which women can improve their lives and more so their conditions of living. To achieve this, a number of women from various social and economical backgrounds have been interviewed and their ways of living reviewed. This will assist this panel in finding out ways through which their conditions of living can be made better by first finding out the challenges they face in their day to day activities. A comparison between their forms of living has also been carried out to see the similar and different issues that they face based on their social and political backgrounds. In this review, a religious reformer, an African American woman and a factory worker have been interviewed and their lives critically analyzed.
A religious reformer
Religion is one of the many practices across the world that many people tend to relate to regardless of their political, social and economical backgrounds, and in many cases it seeks to unite all these people into a harmonious group. Most of the situations that are likely to take place in the American society especially issues to do with morality have been saved by religion. One interesting thing to note however is that women are more attracted to religious activities and practices in comparison to their male counterparts, and this is a situation that has not only been noted in the United States but also in other parts of the world such as Britain. Ironically however, religious positions in many denominations are led by men. The situation is however changing fast since women too have started taking junior roles in the religious field, especially in Christianity, the religion to which over 70% of the American citizens profess.
According to the interviewed correspondent, having female religious leaders has been one of the most critical factors that has been marred with controversy, since many preachers such as William Booth the founder of the salvation Army strongly despise and discourage women from preaching in the church. For this reason therefore, many women who are taking up these positions have been seen to have contempt for the moral and religious laws by taking up men’s positions. These controversies have consequently not only affected the female preachers but also other women who play vocal positions in the church and other religious positions, and especially if they aren’t native Americans.
An African American woman
As much as the victims don’t see the slave activities in the work they do, the little pay they get for bulky work, long working hours (sometimes going up to eighteen) and the mistreatment they face at their masters’ houses can be described and narrowed down to post-enslavement practices. A typical African American woman still finds hope for total freedom of operation and business even with the challenges she faces, especially based on the fact that recently there have been new and vibrant African American entrants in the American political scene who seem to have a bright future for the African American race across the country.
A factory worker
Even with the president signing the Emancipation Proclamation which is one of the documents that have been up in arms against slave trade and forced labor, women still continue to work in the factories and farms belonging to the white employers for very little wages, which can also be narrowed down to slavery. Women working in these factories are a common fete especially in the southern states where there are many sisal factories, clothes and textile factories as well as food production and packaging factories. From their opinions, working is one of the privileges that they have since they are now in a position to have little provision for their families especially in the absence of the fathers. However, it is very difficult for them especially bearing in mind that they have to work for long hours and still expected to look after their families. One of the challenges that they face therefore is balancing their time for both their families and their work, and in many cases they have been forced to sacrifice one in favor of the other.
Secondly, sympathy which has been one of the factors that have led men to fail to offer them opportunities should be disbanded, and in stead the women should be given equal opportunities as men especially when a woman is found to be capable for the given position. Lastly, it is important to note that women have been found to have inexhaustible potential and capabilities to carry out various tasks in the society, and with full support from the men especially in the male-dominated fields such as religious roles and work settings, they can fully deliver just as well as men (DuBois & Dumenil, 2010, p. 211).
Kerber, L., Sherron J. & Dayton, C. (2008). Women's America. 7th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
DuBois, E. & Dumenil, L. (2010). Through Women’s Eyes: An American History with Documents. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.