“Feminism”, as defined by Cambridge Dictionary (2015), is “an organized effort to give women the same economic, social, and political rights as men.” With this definition, “feminism”; therefore, is not a man-hating philosophy, but it aims to raise awareness to gender equality and women’s emancipation from the tyranny of men.
According to some researchers (Bolin, R. et al., 1998), some examples to illustrate this research were famines that occurred in postcolonial societies of Africa and in South Asia. During this time, capitalism was rampant into peasant societies, wherein men were more privileged to be employed even though they were victims of the fluctuations of international markets. As a result, it was expected that most victims of famine were women and children who also slid into poverty. This resulted in their socio-economic inequality. In Sudan, Sudanese suffered labor exploitation by having very low wages, and it shifted the heavy burden to the poor. Most Sudanese women having many children in a household were forced more to work on the cheap but hard labor just to maximize the profit of having a bigger manpower. Women and children were utilized to overwork in agricultural lands.
The women were overburdened, but still lacked government financial aid and support. Unfortunately, they became the first victims of famine in the 1980’s. Women heavily depended on their husband’s wages which created vulnerability, since they were not entitled to any legal rights on their husband’s wages.
As a result of the injustices brought about by gender inequality in Africa and South Asia, some organizations and charities such as the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) and the Africa Region’s Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) are making efforts in assessing possible interventions using apprenticeship programs, livelihoods and health trainings for both genders in achieving gender equality.
- Bolin, R., Jackson, M., & Crist, A. (1998). Gender inequality, vulnerability, and disaster: Issues in theory and research. The gendered terrain of disaster: Through women’s eyes, 27-44.
- Improving Gender Equality in Africa (Gender Equality, 2014).
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