Feminism as coined by Charles Fourier, was a term which was used to explain the advocacy for the claims of women. Feminism can also be defined as a concern for issues affecting women, a concern to fight for equal right for women just as men in our patricidal society. Feminism seeks to be concerned with issues such as individual autonomy, political rights, social freedom, economic independence, abortion and reproductive rights, divorce, workplace rights (including maternity leave and equal pay), and education; and putting an end to domestic violence, gender stereotypes, discrimination, sexism, objectification, and prostitution. A feminist is therefore a person who holds that women suffer discrimination because of their sex orientation which has brought about inequality between males and females, and thereby has a strong desire to fight for gender equity and equality to resources. From the layman’s point of view, feminism is a term that relates to females.
Throughout ages, women have been subjected to subordination by men and societal structures, which has been accepted unanimously making the world patriarchal. This makes it quite ridiculous for the fact that the word feminism was brought forth by a male. Social systems have defined gender roles crudely and unfairly to the disadvantage of females which has restricted their means to exercise their rights and freedoms fully and hence to perpetual subordination. For instance, child raising and maternal duties are widely perceived as the role of women in most cultures and societies. This is a major barrier to females’ aspirations and desire to seek higher aims in life.
From the Biblical and Holy Quran’s perspective, wives are to be submissive to their husbands. This has been mistakenly perceived as subordination of feminine to masculine and has had negative psychological impact like intimidation and has also made most girls and women vulnerable to countless number of abuses from unscrupulous boys and men, ranging from sexual assaults and violence, political marginalization, economic oppression, commercial exploitation, legal discrimination, etc. in all life endeavours. This then raises the biggest question of how to agitate and enhance feminism?
Relative to males which includes amongst other things, the right to franchise, establishment of female movement organizations and associations like the National Women Machinery and other law enforcement commissions and agencies, and the unflinching zeal for women to assume certain key positions in governance and organizations which were initially deemed exclusively reserved for men. Nevertheless, their efforts were not sufficient to take feminism to the zenith. Outlined below are some ways to achieve full actualization for feminism:
There should be enactment and implementation of stringent laws that is based on gender and development to protect the rights of women in our societies. There must be measures in place to strictly apply laws in women’s daily activities like laws relating to maternity, rape, domestic violence, threats, prostitution, etc. which women mostly encounter. This would go a long way to enhance the economic status of women in our societies by deterring perpetrators.
In addition, females should be trained and motivated to assume certain key positions in all spheres of life and in all organizations. Our educational system should not barricade females from studying certain programs especially sciences in educational institutions. Women must be given quite a flexible cut off points to induce them to study programs which are undertaken mostly by males. This would prepare them to be able to strive for leadership and execute tasks impeccably. Hitherto to this, only a few women are holding leadership positions in government and organizations across the globe.
Furthermore, females should be given the psychological counseling and support through mass public education, seminars and for a to educate girls and females on their rights and freedom and their exclusive relevance to national development and economic growth. A typical scenario was the popular ‘send your girl child to school’ campaign.
Last but not least, here should be periodic review of the state of feminism to redress shortfalls in feminism policies. Periodically, there must be review exercises and studies on how the Laid policies advance feminism. This must be done by a voluntary feminist group or committee and must not be done by government appointees for objective conclusions and criticisms.
To draw the curtains down, the contributions of women towards national development are enormous and cannot be qualified and these cannot be overlooked in economic decision making. However, the way forward to feminism includes but not limited to only the aforementioned points. It is my fervent prayer that every individual, organization, association, society and ensure equity and equality to resources for all sexes and gender.
Melchizedek Oduro Tenkorang
Bachelor Of commence Level 200