Gender inequality has made the breakthrough for women worldwide and mostly, in developing countries become difficult. Proportional representation has not rescued them from the political seclusion and the economic alienation. Ancient stereotypic beliefs are putting the social lives of women at stake, making it difficult for them to gain access to good education and higher social status as men. This essay is going to discuss the factors impeding women in development, their plight and the methods they have adapted to fight for their rights.
Lastly, the resolutions that are supposed to e implemented to improve their development will also be looked at keenly. Factors that cause the slow growth of women in development can be drawn back to ancient time. In the past, women were never seen as people who possessed the qualities to do something formal so, most of their roles were home based. Their only role was to take care of the family and they were never allowed to own property. Young girls at puberty were forced into marriage and thus denied chances to pursue their education. Today, some of these trends continue thus hindering the rate of women in development.
In cost developing nations, women are still forced to play home based roles. In the Middle East and the Northern parts of Africa, male chauvinism denies girls to get the necessary education. Girls are not supposed to get higher in education more than boys and if they do, they can still not get better paying jobs (Shampoo, 2004). Illiteracy is the main hurdle that impedes women’s development across the globe. In African and Asian countries, about 70% of women have no formal education (Green & Tremor-Deutsche, 2002). The percentage of men with no formal education is less than 60% in these countries.
Girls are discriminated against in schools and they are not provided with the special parameters they need in order to make their learning conditions more conducive. Lack of access to economic tools and poor financing systems is the other difficulty women and mostly those in developing countries face in their bid to try to empower themselves. According to Green, et al (2002) women in developing countries have very limited time to learn because of burdensome home based chores and duties. In Afghanistan, about 57 % of girls are forced into marriage at very tender ages.
Domestic violence is a common phenomenon and even with the introduction of human and international rights, Afghan women are always judged by customary laws. In its new constitution, the government has guaranteed the women equal rights as men but still, 60% of the marriages are still through old customary laws (Mosses, 2009). In African countries and especially in the Northern parts, women are undergoing harsh conditions and restrictions to pursue their education farther. Other profound areas where women have been sidelined are the political and economic fields.
Women are an important aspect in development yet their voices continue to be shut down. Before the International Year for Women was marked in 1975, it is estimated that only one percent of books talked about women in development. In the political arena, policy makers have a tendency to treat women as if they are invisible. In India, male have dominated politics and development has always been associated with men alone (Jabber, 2003). In some developing countries, women have been disemboweled economically by employing them in low paying jobs or sometimes jobs with no pay at all.
Women have been found to be better than men in the marketing field yet they are still discriminated against. When given chances, women can add to the value of business in developing countries. An example is Hungary where in the late ass, dentistry was a job done by women because it had very little pay and was of low status as compared to medicine which was practiced by men because of its high status and payments. A few years later, many foreigners started flooding the country for dentist based services and the field started paying better than medicine.
Many dentist institutions started flooding with men more than women (Mosses, 2009). Women and mostly those from developing countries are underprivileged when it comes to their socioeconomic position. They have no bargaining power when it comes to labor markets and even they are underrepresented in the trade unions. Another major challenge facing women in development is lack of access to technological tools. Most African countries are experiencing difficulties in the spread of technology and this might be due to locking out of women in major planning committees.
In Africa and Asia, many of their industries are built in cities and the number of women in urban centers is few compared to men. Even most of those industries with women have delegated them low paying bobs. When they are not in kitchens preparing meals for the other workers, then the highest place they can be found is at front desks as receptionists. Most of them are found in rural areas so, they have to rely on home based employment to generate income. Gender inequality is also another major challenge women face and it has always continued to be a persistent problem in developing countries.
Women in these countries exhibit inequality in the formal educational systems, access to good health and employment. In countries like China, girls and women suffer from high rates of mortality. Women have shortest life expectancies in tropical African countries and Southern Asia. Women in Burbank Fast have a life expectancy of 51 years while those of their counterparts in Japan are 81 years. This is as a result of the poor conditions they are exposed to (Moorhens, 2009). The number of boys in schools in the Southern parts of China and sub-Sahara Africa is higher than that of girls.
Chances of employment in both developing and developed countries continue to favor men more than women (Slakes, 1999). The difference in the rate of development among countries in East Asia and hose in Southern parts of Asia, Middle Asia and Sub Sahara Africa is due to the wide gender gaps in the education system. The more educated women a country has, the more developed it is. In South Africa, special programs have been initiated to accommodate as many ladies in learning institutions as they can.
Through awareness programs, programs are encouraged to educate their daughters just as their sons. Many industries and companies in Johannesburg Pretoria cities are now absorbing more women into their top managerial posts. South Africa is among the leading nations in the developing Mounties in terms of education and technology. Due to the wide range of hindrances that women face in development, they have started coming up with their own plans and initiatives to try to empower themselves socially, economically and politically.
According to Visitant, Duggan & Missions (2005), the women in the developing countries who had been taken as valueless and ignorant are now being recognized by researchers as being the key players in the development sector. The association of women to backwardness prompted them to start coming up with movements that would see them change that stereotype. In the 1975 when marking their International Year for Women, Europe and North American countries formed movements that would start seeing the increase of women participation in development projects.
The Women in Development (WIDE) movement was formed to include their plight and policies in governmental and Non- Governmental Organizations. Its main concern was to increase the pa articulation of women into economic development projects by empowering them financially (Mosses, 2009). The movement changed the people from viewing the shortcomings of women in development to realizing how much development was losing without their integration. One of the movement’s weaknesses was that it gave equal treatment to all women, without considering which were from the First World and those from the Third World.
In trying to empower its members, it failed to realize that a woman in Barcelona was not experiencing the same hardships as her counterpart in Mbabane. Women also noted that in order for them to prosper, they needed to share materials and resources in Women and Development (WAD) projects (Apart, Connelly & Barrater, 2000). Through WAD, women wanted their roles realized in the effecting of planning and project management in development The empowerment approach, a new approach women came up with in the sass’s was aimed at helping the weak and poor women from the developing nations to improve their productivity.
This approach was to help boost the confidence and self- esteem of women worldwide. Through these movements, women in developing countries experienced social transformation and their participation in the development processes increased (Mosses, 2009). Another movement women came up with to fight the gender inequalities in development was Women in Development. According to Jabber (2003), this was a feminism approach which sought to sake the suppressed voices of women heard. In this approach, there was need for planners and policy makers to conceptualize the economical importance of women.
This would reduce the normalization of women and improve their chances in development projects. The changing from ‘Women in Development’ to ‘Gender in Development was a trial by the feminists to analyze the relations of power between men and women. The adoption of the term ‘gender’ stopped isolating women from the rest Of the world although many people still associate it to them. Using the term ‘women’ meant that they had isolated themselves from men (Moser, 1999). To realize their plight, women had to come up with a term that would relate their status to that of men.
That is why there was a change in such terms as Women in Development to Gender in Development. Women also started their own banks and financial associations for them to get empowered economically. The new movement, Gender and Development (GAD), was to fight for equality, identify the place of women in the society and define their roles. These movements made women recognized in production economy. For women in developing countries to gain recognition in development, there is need for coming up with factors that will make it practicable.
In the Millennium development goals, the marginalia representation of women in the planning and implementation Of many projects was considered to be the main reason why the development in many countries was still lagging behind. With women sitting aside, then it means that talent with great potentials is being ignored. One goal is to achieve universal primary education. This means that the girl child has to receive the same education that a boy child receives (Deviant, Miller & Swanson, 2002). Goals and objectives of any country can be realized if they try to tap all the resources they have.
Women possess exceptional qualities that make them be assets in the world development projects. In Kenya, studies have shown that educating more women in the agricultural technology sector has seen an increase in the country’s GAP (Mosses, 2009). Afghanistan still continues to face religious wars, violence, external attacks and even poor security systems because of the negligence it has on women. When the delegates of United Nations met in 2000 at the United Nations Millennium Summit, another factor they pinpointed that would help realize their objectives was to improve maternal lath (Deviant, Miller & Swanson, 2002).
These was arrived at because the delegates felt that the rate of development in most third world countries was very slow because of the poor health services women were receiving. In countries where women have been subjected to poor health services, development continues to lag behind. Countries across the sub Sahara and Southern Africa continue to face untold difficulties in the public health system. HIVE AIDS pose a threat to women in these countries for the highest number of rape cases is always experienced in war- torn countries like Nigeria and Uganda.
Citizens in Uganda and Nigeria are divided along religious and tribal lines respectively. Apart from HIVE/AIDS, these countries and most other developing countries continue to experience gender based violence and family planning problems. By providing high quality medical services to women, then these countries are more likely to reduce the sick leaves of working women and instead have them continue to perform their duties. Countries in the third world can improve the health conditions of their women by ensuring that they have access to basic needs that is food, education and proper medication (Mosses, 2009).
Increasing women participation in planning and policy making will help improve the state of these countries. Empowering women politically makes them realize their potentials thus contributing towards the development of the country. In some parts of the developing countries, women have been given opportunities to rule while other parts still experience difficulties. In Africa, new legislative have been made to include a considerable number of women into leadership. In Kenya, most political parties have come up with structures that allow one third of its aspirants to be women.
In Liberia, Israeli Johnson was elected to he presidency while Gloria Arroyo heads Philippines. This shows the commitment developing countries have in realizing gender equity. In some parts of the developing world, like Middle East Asia, women are given the chance to demonstrate their leadership abilities. They still continue to face normalization, sexual harassment, violence and external attacks. According to Apart, Aria & Status (2002), women’s responsibilities and roles should be seen as changing thus need for a new form of empowerment.
Economic empowerment remains one of the viable options that can make women in the developing countries to counter competition goals. It is estimated that the tasks which these women accomplish without payment results to US $ 1 1 trillion per annum, which amounts to the nearly half the GAP of the whole world. When such a huge amount of money is lost, then the rate of development in a country slows down. Policy makers and planners in the developing world need to start appreciating the relevance of the unpaid economic activities.
It is through such activities that the governments in developing countries continue to lose a lot of revenue. The impact of the 2007-2009 global economic crises in the developing countries hit harder on omen and children than men. As policymakers, Non-Governmental Organizations and lobby groups try to find recovery methods to such problems; they should consider the difference in needs between men and women. The policy makers need to give their attention to women and listen to their plights (Pearson & Sweetmeat, 2011 Women in developing countries need to empower themselves through investments.
Women possess worthwhile traits like time consciousness and managerial abilities which can be used to increase the production of a country. The economic empowerment and good policies have led to the increase of education mongo women. In North Africa, efforts done by the government, especially in Egypt have increased women’s health and reduced their fertility rate (Shampoo, 2004). Employing women in urban areas can also boost them not just in financial gains but also in acquiring the necessary skills that will catapult their place in development. Gender equality has been advocated to try and end poverty by putting women into productive roles.
This approach will increase the income of various countries. In the societies of developing countries, women have always been disadvantaged for they cannot control he family resources and are not allowed to make decisions. According to Mosses (2009), women in Afghanistan need to have signed authorities from either their fathers or husbands in order to have permission to visit places away from homes, unlike their male counterparts. The questions of gender inequality need to be addressed in order to empower a large group of women into developmental strategies.
In the last ten years since the adoption of Beijing conditions, there has been a marked improvement in the gains for gender equity. According to Jabber (2003), gender mainstreaming does not mean equal number of male and female representation in employment places but equal opportunities. Women should be given the same opportunities as men to make them more competitive. Governments and policy makers need to salvage women from their technological drought by bringing Information and Communication Technology COT) centers within their reach.
These centers will enable women learn different ways of investments. Through internet services, they can be able to know about electronic Business (e-business) and how they can start their own business strategies. Coming up with more industrial structures in rural areas is another elution (Gaillardia, Hookworm, Mite, Richardson & Fernery, 2005). Women found in rural areas in developing countries always rely on subsistence agriculture as their main source of income. The governments should come up with strategies that will oversee these women attain maximum gains from their businesses.
As stated above, planners might come up with initiatives to build dairy industries, coffee, tea cotton and industries in order to try and encourage women engage in commercial farming. With that implemented there will be no need for them to move to urban centers to look for employment. Gender mainstreaming has been adopted so that the gap between men and women can be reduced. While many support the concept of gender mainstreaming, bureaucratic organizations have failed in social transformation.
Governments should come up with strategies that will realize the operation of mainstreaming. Mainstreaming, as a process of analyzing the suggestions put across by both men and women in policies and legislation, should be able to help in poverty reduction in third world countries. According to Mosses (2009), gender mainstreaming was boosted when donors started shifting their resources from other projects to poverty radiation. Most governments in developing countries have also improved the education system and made it affordable for the girl child.
In countries like Kenya, Mystique, Tanzania and Rwanda, primary school goers do not pay tuition fees. The number of girls and women enrolling for learning has been improved significantly. Special programs have also been set to ensure that, many girls can be allowed to get higher education. In Kenya, the cut-off points for university entry were reduced from 65 to 60 for ladies. Those of men still remain to be 68. It has been no easy ride for women to beat all Odds and make the achievement they have done in the development sector.
Ranging from traditional stereotypic stigma to sexual harassment, women in the developing countries have shown that they are not ready to surrender to the injustices performed against them, in their bid to empower themselves. As much as the number of social injustices, political inequality and economic alienation continue to rise, women still play a big role in ensuring the elimination of poverty in developing countries. It is until governments and policy makers in these countries realize the unique qualities women possess n development that they will be able to alleviate themselves from the lingering shadow of poverty.