Have you ever heard these words, “we live in a male dominated world?” I consider those words archaic, and in the past, because the world is indeed changing, and we should all change along with it.
According to the Collins English Dictionary, a male dominated society, organization, or area of activity is one in which men have most of the power and influence. It refers to a society dominated or controlled by males and having more males especially in powerful positions, than females.
Wikipedia put it a little more differently. It says, “in sociology, patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privileges and control of property. In the domain of family, fathers or father-figures hold authority over women, and children.”
While certain parts of the world still hold very strongly to a patriarchal social system, some other parts are moving away from that concept. For example, many single parent homes are run by women, and more women are becoming the bread winners of their families.
Male Dominance should now be considered a thing of the past, because several women all over the world are making their mark in industry and politics. While we are not where we ought to be yet, we definitely have come a long way from where we used to be. For example, several women have and still serve as heads of Governments including: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Corazon Aquino of the Philippines, Michelle Bachelet of Chile, Dame Louise Lake-Tack of Antigua and Barbuda, Simonetta Sommaruga of Switzerland, Erna Solberg of Norway, Tsai Ing-Wen of Taiwan, Thresa May of the United Kingdom, Pratibha Patil of India, Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, Angela Merkel of Germany, and so many others.Also, although the current list of the 10 richest people in world has no woman included, but 3 notable women are listed amongst the top 30 richest people in the world, Liliane Bettencourt -L’Oreal, Jacqueline Mars -candy, and Maria Franca Fissolo -nutella, chocolates ; and I can bet that it would only take a little while before a woman is listed amongst the top 10.
The recently released Global Gender Gap Report of 2017 reported by the World Economic Forum, actually reveals that progress has indeed been made in closing the gender gap between women and men in some areas, but also shows that a lot still needs to be done in closing the gap in other areas.
The report assessed 144 Nations on their progress towards gender equality across 4 different categories:
- Economic participation and Opportunity
- Educational Attainment
- Health and Survival
- Political Empowerment
Information derived from the assessments, can be used to compare across nations the extent and degree to which gender inequality exists, and to provide policy makers with the tools necessary to close existing gaps.Results from the assessments indicate that;
- The average progress on closing the global gender gap stands at 68%, meaning that an average gap of 32% still remains to be closed across all 4 categories
- On average, the 144 countries covered in the report have closed 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men
- More than 95% of the gap in educational attainment has been closed
- However, the gaps between women and men on economic participation, and political empowerment remains wide, which is why women need to step up their game to close this existing gap. Only 58% of the economic participation gap has been closed, and only 23% of the political gap has been closed
(link to full report can also be found here )
What More Can Women Do to Close the Existing Gender Gaps in Economic and Political Participation?
- Passivity is no longer attractive. It is time for women to step up to the challenge of becoming active in public discussions. Women need to get the required training and education they need, and aspire to positions of authority. Gone are the days when women were categorized as “house wives” or “home makers”. Women need to break away from these cultural barriers, and let their voices be heard, in the social space. Because, the saying, “what a man can do, a woman can do even better”, has a lot of truth embedded in it.
- Be Information greedy. The times when women were relegated to the background and “kitchens” are over. Women need to step up, and become more involved in the information stratosphere. In this age of modern technology and social media, women need to up their games, and be more conversant with information making the rounds in politics, the economy and the society in general.
- Run for Offices. It is time for women to let their voices be heard. Women need to run for offices, to champion women’s rights, which are human rights. We cannot allow the men dictate issues that affect womanhood. It is impossible for a man to understand exactly the pains associated with child bearing, because they have never walked that path. Only women can indeed champion the issues of women in ways that relate precisely with women. And to achieve that, women need to step out of their comfort zones, and become more involved in the political space.
- Be bold to take up leadership Roles. Gone are the days where women were characterized as “back-benchers”. A lot of women are Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) of big corporations (Alice Walton of Walmart, Oprah Winfrey of OWN , Sarah Blakely of SPANX, etc.) and more women need to step up to the challenge. For a balanced society, we cannot allow ‘testosterone’ run all the shows, some ‘estrogen’ is needed to temper down the chaos, and move things along in the right direction.
In wrapping this up, a male dominated society is gradually becoming a thing of the past. And while huge progress has been made globally to close the gender gap between men and women, a lot of work still needs to be done, especially in the area of economic participation and political empowerment. To achieve this, more women need to step up, to meet up with the current challenges of the 21st Century, so that the concept of a male dominated society becomes a thing of the past!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!