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Rise Up Against Sexual HarassmentDecember 9, 2017
What It Means To Be Valued As A Woman In Society Today
With the seemingly never-ending revelations of disrespect, harassment and abuse of women in the workplace by powerful men, we need a conversation on many levels about what it means to be valued as a woman in society today.
Such a conversation is critical and is central to addressing the big elephant in the room, gender inequality—the prevailing attitude that women are less than and subservient to men, and therefore, it is okay to treat them with utter disregard.
But, it is a conversation that both men and women need to have whether as a parent, husband, wife, lover, employer, employee, policy maker or whatever role one might assume in their daily roles and interactions. If the barrage of incidents of sexual harassment does nothing else, it should provoke serious actions about how to change this horrific behavior.
No doubt, such degrading, and often illegal, behavior toward women has and continue to occur across the occupational spectrum by men and women who are not powerful or hold celebrity status, and who do not command attention in national news. They are ordinary everyday people, behaving badly.
Why has such behavior been allowed, tolerated or hidden for so long, by so many? There is enough blame to go around, and certainly responsibility to be shared. Have we become so numb and turned a blind eye so many times that we no longer even think about, let alone consider what it means to be valued as a woman in society today?
Not only must men of all ages ponder this, but women must do so as well. Gender inequality manifests itself in many ways during daily interactions between men and women, boys and girls.
Fifty years ago, women, through the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, were fighting to gain equal access and equal opportunity in the workplace. They wanted to be recognized for their abilities to be more than sex objects, housewives and mothers.
While gains have been made in certain areas in terms of women having access to more job opportunities and breaking out of many stereotypical roles, there is still a long way to go when it comes to equal pay and upward mobility in securing high level positions.
But perhaps the greatest area where there has been the least or no progress is putting into place policies and practices in the workplace that promote what it means to be valued as a woman. Both men and women are guilty, men more so than women, of the degrading treatment that has been allowed and tolerated–men for taking advantage of their positions and being perpetrators of these heinous acts; and women for not speaking up and speaking out about them, despite the fear of loss of a job or promotional opportunities.
Until women are clear and confident about what it means to be valued as a woman in society today, personally and professionally, those men who have been indoctrinated to disrespect, disregard and be comfortable speaking and behaving badly toward women will continue to do so.
Feature Photo Credit: gogirlcommunications.com
As a woman, I think the change should start from within. If you do not want to be objectified in whatsoever way you should work more on yourself, don’t let other people beliefs or perceptions define you. Define yourself in the best way possible and let it be known what you stand for or against… I really do think that’s the first step; Individual mind rebrand.
I have a newborn daughter. Now more than ever, I understand how important it is for the society to treat men and women equally. I don’t want anyone to look down on my daughter or underestimate her or treat her badly because she’s a woman, or whoever she wishes to be in the future
I personally think that women are valued in society. it’s just that a lot of men needed to be re-educated on respecting women. And it starts within the family, which is the most basic institution in society. Hence, mothers play a vital role in changing how the next generation of people view women.
Inequality in different aspects is inevitable. We may or not be valued as women at times, but we can always strive to be valuable humans. We just go on or work so that times comes too that, individually, we become valuable in a company or area for example because of our influence and contribution.
Women need to inspire themselves from within. Sorry to say, women are at some point their own enemy. They do not speak for themselves and speak when it’s too late. I believe women have great potential and ability to lead and control big posts.
It is us who needs to stand for our rights. But first, we need to know and love ourselves.
I hope you don’t mind, but I have to disagree with what the article stated that there is “least or no progress in putting into place policies and practices in the workplace that promote what it means to be valued as woman”. As a man who deeply respect women, I think we should acknowledge that we have come along way in establishing equality in the workplace. If we assess the situation of women in the workplace in other countries, we would see that policies are already being implemented, or at the very least, being formulated and discussed.
While there are still issues that need to be resolved, and that there’s an imminent threat to our fight for equality in all forms, we must not forget that women empowerment is already at the forefront of most advocacies. Indeed, you are right in pointing out fighting for gender equality would be best achieved if it’s going to be participated by both men and women.
It reminds me of the issue regarding maternity leave, or lack thereof. It’s saddening that women bear children for the future generations, and devote their time raising these children at the expense of missing work with no pay, very limited options, and for some, being required to come back to work as soon as possible. Women definitely need to receive better benefits in this regard because by doing so, the society shows women’s vital role in the society.
What an inspiring words for all women here. I salute your concern to the women, and I believed that we deserve everything no matter what. We should be treated equally with men.
This is a good read most especially for women, girls around the world and of course for man or boys for them to know how to value and respect women race
Discrimination will never be gone, but I believe that women’s right has already achieved far.
I am thankful that in the office I am in, there are almost an equal number of men and women. Women also are given the chance to hold high positions and I think that our office performs well because of that. It’s saddening to hear that in societies with high income earners, women are undervalued.
Women that needs to be valued must be confident,responsible and be independent. The time to act by women is now and it must start from their little space.Women will be given the chance if they rise to the needs.
I believe women just need to stand up for their rights and fight against all sexist actions. There should be a wake-up call for all females. We need to be empowered, enlightened and educated. It a call to action and we will be valued by all.
Women need to be highly aware of their value in society. They have to be good professionally.
As for me it is not a question of gender but a question of skill. Regardless of gender if you are good you are good. Power knows no gender, it is always wielded by the best.
It is so sad that in this time and age, women are still not treated equally in the society. I, myself experience inequality in my workplace. It’s just a sad reality that women still need to endure.