Feminism

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“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength” ( G.

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D. Anderson).Challenges that women face like domestic violence, gender equality in the business world, unfair maternity and reproductive issues, women require that both government and corporate America take notice and provide equality.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day, and every nine seconds a woman gets sexually assaulted or beaten. Domestic violence is an utmost issue in the world and affects around 9 million couples. Domestic violence can be characterized as any type of abuse or harm inflicted on a person by their spouse or partner. Anyone can be a victim. Victims can be of different cultures, sex, race, and religion. The abuse can range from intimidation and name-calling to threats and physical/ sexual harm.

It is not a new epidemic, it has been ongoing in history throughout all cultures. The Common Law of England permitted a man to beat his wife, provided the diameter of the stick so used was not wider than the diameter of his thumb, hence, the term “Rule of Thumb” ( Burnett). In the 15th century, the Catholic Church ruled the husband was the judge of his wife, and had all power over her. After centuries of domestic violence, in today’s society there are athletes beating their wives in elevators, in homes, and publicly abusing woman on social media.

What part of famous athletes beating their wives in elevators is okay? The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488, the number of American women who were murdered by their current or ex male partners during that time was 11,766 (Vagianos). The number of women killed is almost double of the amount of casualties lost at war. The world has been inundated with millions of stories, but the stories don’t go away and the problem will not stop quietly.

The numbers involving domestic violence continue to rise every day. As stated previously, in every nine seconds a woman is getting beaten or sexually assaulted. On an average that is roughly twenty people per minute which also means 28,800, people a day are getting abused or sexually assaulted. The list could go on with continuously high numbers. Around 70% of these cases go unreported and of the ones that are reported, the victim has been assaulted or beaten by their intimate partner around 35 times before contacting the police.

The main reason is because victims are terrified of coming forward. Women should not have to be so afraid to confide in authorities, but they hide it away because they believe it is a personal matter. While it might be true that women experience domestic violence more than men, still all in all, men can be victims of domestic violence as well. About one in seven men have been subject to sexual/ physical abuse by their intimate partners, and two in five gay/ bisexual men are subject to it (Vagianos).

Society only hears what’s on the news, about 85% of women being victimized, but nothing regarding the 15% of men being victimized. The only talk concerning men being assaulted are ones coming from the comedians about prison rape jokes. Society strongly stereotypes it as men as the abusers, and women as the victims which sometimes isn’t always necessarily the case. In fact 46%, of male victims have a female perpetrator (Rosin).

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, maternity leave is time off from a job given a mother to take care of a newborn child. The first couple months of a newborn’s life can be very crucial for both mother and baby as both of them need this time for bonding and adapting. The average maternity leave is around six weeks if a mother has a normal birth, or eight weeks if the mother has a c-section. With some companies offering a paid maternity leave, but most offering an unpaid maternity leave.

Some companies offer a longer twelve week period, but the catch, it is unpaid. For a new mother, a twelve week maternity leave is sort of arbitrary because companies don’t understand the difficulties of having a newborn. The major problem is that it is unpaid. Workplaces look at motherhood as a choice, meaning they refuse a paid maternity leave. This makes it harder for the families with low incomes who want to procreate, because this puts mothers in the spot of either working full time or staying home and having more children resulting in a financial strain for the family.

The infant mortality rate can be impacted by paid maternity leave. Most countries have a lower rate, however, the United States has a rate of 6.1. A baby born in the U.S. is nearly three times as likely to die during her first year of life as one born in Finland or Japan. That same American baby is about twice as likely to die in her first year as a Spanish or Korean one (Ingraham).For each additional month of paid maternity leave offered in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), infant mortality is reduced by 13%, according to a new study by researchers from McGill University and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (Science Daily McGill University).

That means for every 1,000 births, eight of them die. That seems like a little amount, but in the United States babies arrive every eight seconds, but worldwide there are at least 251 babies born per minute. Over the years women have overcome numerous obstacles in the workplace, but a never ending obstacle is gender inequality. At every corporate level women are continuing to still be unrepresented and make up a little less than half the workforce.

That means four out of ten families have a female as the “breadwinner” compared to their male counterparts. Given in today’s society there is a strong emphasis on women being the stay at home moms/caregivers while the men are earning the family income. If women are in the workforce they are less likely to have any type of “S.T.E.M.” occupations and more likely to have a job pertaining to caregiving like a nurse.

According to the report, only 4.6% of women work in STEM occupations, compared to 10.3% of men (Van Kampen Law, PC). On average, women working full-time earn just seventy nine cents for every dollar men earn (Van Kampen Law, PC). This is because of the gender wage gap, the ratio of a male to females earnings. It can affect all types of women in different ways.

For example, a black women would have to work for eighteen months to make the earnings of a white male in one year. They are paid sixty seven cents for every dollar that a man would earn. A hispanic woman would earn fifty nine cents. Colored women are being targeted with gender and discrimination in the workplace.