Gender Inequality (Unending Nightmare of Sexual Assault)
According to Roberts, Hite, and Chorev (2015), inequality is present with gender, social status, race, ethnicity, and even skin colors. In this case, inequality focuses on gender discrimination. In this world, this vital social disease has been making millions of women suffer for centuries. The most common ideology resulting to women discrimination is that men are superior over women in every aspect of life.
Women in America have struggled for years because of gender inequality resulting to lack and denial of rights. In the early years, women were deprived of so many things like education, right to vote, and worst of all physical abuse was active. Even up to these days, sexual violence is active in USA. According to the findings of Amnesty International (2007), the raping cases with Native American and Alaska Native women are the victims are increasing. Sexual assault has been a common crime killing or traumatizing women for years, the perpetrators are mostly non-native men. In the early days, indigenous women were raped by soldiers and settlers from foreign lands. Most of the sexual assaults occurred during the Trail of Tears from 1838-1839 when Cherokee nation was forced to give up their land and migrate because of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy. Another horrific event that was tainted with the scream of rape victims was during 1964 that marked a dark event in the life of the Navajo people known as the long walk when they were forced to walk 300 miles leading to their imprisonment. These crimes have been destroying not only the livelihood of these indigenous people but also their dignity and will to live. The worst part is that there are issues with jurisdictions that have been letting the perpetrators of these crimes go without paying the consequences or being punished. American Indian and Alaska Native women are mainly the victims of rape. This goes beyond discrimination because lives are lost. There has been treaties made and agreements between the US and indigenous government. The question is that will it guarantee the safety and identity of the indigenous people mostly the females against evil individuals.
Attack of Colonialism
These events are also the result of colonialism when foreign invaders took over and introduced a different and destructive lifestyle. The wound of colonialism led to globalization which led to the violations of women’s civil rights and increased the percentage of poverty within the female gender by depriving them to make a living for their own sake. People might think that globalization favors equality among gender and race, no, economic growth has something to do with globalization therefore it is a factor that enhances inequality because its main focus is to make way for improvement no matter what the cost. Further colonialism in the country will only lead to more inequality. Bernstein (n.d.) explained that colonialism and capitalism are connected, and if the initial part is beneficial then the second part will be too. Colonialism can be a good thing if the colonizers are interested in helping in the development of the country and introducing effective ways for the process of development. Capitalism would then follow and will target economic problems for both rural and urban areas along the country. All of these factors are connected to each other, colonialism, capitalism, gender equality, and economic status. Even the indigenous group of people in the country would benefit especially when it comes to producing resources.
A Trail of Development
An update of the report published by Amnesty International (2008) entitled “Maze of Injustice” stated that there has been significant accomplishments in the objective of protecting these women. The Title IX of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) was passed down to punish everyone who will inflict any form of harm to women. There have also been several developmental researches in order to establish better solutions in protecting these women.
The trail of development can BE traced back to the second half of the 1900’s. Other than rape and physical abuse, women were also deprived of the right to vote. It was a social disease that needed to be cured as soon as possible because having the right to vote is a natural right given to everyone to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a country. In the early 1900’s the significant event on feminism ignited, the First-wave feminism. In 1920 women achieved the right to vote but that wasn’t the conclusion of their development. The year 1960 was known as the beginning of the “Second Wave Feminism” when women of the United States fought hand in hand for equality. In the early days, women occupations were limited into menial jobs. Women weren’t able to engage on elite professions like business, mathematics, research, and more. Women that time were sick of having a patterned life of marrying between the age of 20 to 30, starting a family, and then spending all of their lives changing diapers and cooking a meal for the husband. The wave started to break limitations because women started to gain careers as doctors and lawyers. They were also able to prove themselves after entering college and telling everyone that their intelligence is equal or even superior to men. The second wave also addressed other issues like the involvement of women in prostitution, pornography, and human trafficking. After the second wave, the third wave began in the mid-90 when women fought the stigma to fight the stereotypes and gender oppression.
The Fourth Wave
The final wave of the global movement started in 2008 and is considered as the movement connected to technology wherein women made use of the advancement of the world in order to fully eradicate female discrimination. The Fourth Wave encouraged thousands of women worldwide to take part and contribute for the sake of their objective. That time, women focused on amplifying their role in politics and academics. From not being able to vote, there are now female candidates for the presidential race. It was a checkpoint towards social justice and equality. According to Cochrane (2013) book entitled “All the Rebel Women: Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism” women all over the country started doing different ways on how to contribute. Some started feminism blogs while others entered politics; it was a great turning point for women. It was a great change of phase when women were given the right to enter politics because they are more capable of doing so.
The unfortunate reality of Indigenous Women
Another set of groups facing great discrimination and other crisis are indigenous people mainly women. Indigenous women suffered not only from discrimination but also the destruction of their specific beliefs and customs. The reason for this is there are immoral people who don’t agree with these indigenous folks. As such, for them, their ways are wrong sand shouldn’t be tolerated. That is why for years, many indigenous people work hard to gain social development and enhance their economic status despite the external factors. Throughout history many colonizers destroyed thousands of indigenous groups for the sake of total control over a territory.
It is unfortunate that there are individuals who fight for the rights of indigenous people up to these days who are recognized as indigenous activists and advocates. In America, there has been an emerging trade agreement called the Free Trade Area of Agreement of the Americas. This agreement is an extension of the North American Free Trade Agreement to more nations in the continent. This means the corporate power will overwhelm all other set of groups including the indigenous people. Right now, the agreement is still on the process of being evaluated and accepted but most indigenous activists are against it because it will give the corporate power control over many territories and their resources. Thirty four countries have already agreed on the establishment of this agreement but it is yet to be accepted or denied.
Bolivia is one of the most diverse countries in Latin America and at the same time, sadly, one of the poorest countries. In 1990, the country fought hard to protect their Indigenous identity despite the differences among the ethnic groups. However, there has not been much since the country faces bigger problems like extreme poverty. It was important for the country to help aid their indigenous fellow because they are considered as the poorest group in the country since they don’t have much resources and low access to education and employment. Another factor adding up to this problem is the rapid growth of the population of indigenous people in the country. It is not only that, most of the citizens in the country don’t have access to health care services and the poverty line is growing each passing day. There have been many developmental movements mainly for economic status and political power. Bolivia resorted to maintaining their survival with natural resources which implies the principle of Charles Darwin which is the “Survival of the Fittest.” It is heartbreaking that a large percentage of death and disability in Bolivia is the painful result of gender violence. Thousands of women in Bolivia suffer from physical abuse and mental torment. Women are also deprived of education in the country therefore they grow up illiterate and unaware of their rights.
Amnesty International. (2007). Maze of injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from
sexual violence in the USA. New York, NY.
Amnesty International. (2008). Maze of injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from
sexual violence in the USA (one year update). New York, NY.
Bernstein, H. (n.d.). Colonialism capitalism development [PDF File].
Cochrane, K. (2013). All the rebel women: The rise of the fourth wave of feminism.
Roberts, J. T., Hite, A. B., & Chorev, N. (2015). The globalization and development reader:
Perspectives on development and global change (2nd ed.). Chichester, W Sussex:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.