Women’s Position in Society and Economic Inequality

Any social stratum has unwritten laws and codes of conduct that govern men-women relationships. Systems in every culture create a political balance between the wealthy and the poor. In the same way, factions seeking to maintain the influence of other organizations and countries are holding the world economy hostage. The gross domestic product per capita of any given nation is said to be the foundation of its economy. This metric shows a country’s vitality. While this count is important in showcasing societal growth, the social economy is equally important. I am convinced that corruption and women’s oppression are big threats in today’s patriarchal societies. A case at hand is a likely and flourishing country in the African continent. News concerning the developments of Kenya and her neighbors have hit global media houses. While this may be true, lately, Kenya has been featuring in the global media due to corruption allegation issues. Recently, the president of Kenya launched the much-desired standard gauge railway which is meant to open trade opportunities for the country northwards. The rail system serves as a supplement to the road network which made it difficult, costly, and time-consuming to transport containers from her port to the interior regions and other countries. While this project has received major accolades, my focus shifts from the sidelined steam railway system. I believe that the Kenyan transport sector chiefs should have saved more by upgrading the existing gauge railway.

The controversy in the standard gauge railway construction touches on land issues in which the government had to buy land from key government staff. A few months ago, there were embezzlement claims of about thirty percent of the Youth Ministry’s budget. The commander in chief of the state never mentioned anything concerning the matter. In assessing this cyclic challenge of corruption, I am brought to remember the hope that the citizens of Kenya had in electing a young leader. They felt that their “very own” would make corruption an evil of the past regime. However, there are even deeper social injustices to sight given this frustration. Women have suffered the brunt of staying as “receivers” of development. Existing economic policies do not positively influence the lives of women. I have had the rare opportunity of visiting the country. During my visit, I met a group of women – caretakers of the inn I had been living in. They held meetings discussing how challenging it had become to apply for a bank loan. The banks would only consider awarding loans to them if they had collateral in the form of land title deeds. This practice reinforces the rhetoric of women being the dependents of men.

I believe that improving the position of women through gender-focused policy initiatives will improve economic outcomes for the country and, consequently, the world. The private sphere and the family significantly influence the economic and social playground for both men and women. Practices that demean women and uplift men are meant to serve the interests of a dominant category and to maintain women’s disenfranchised position in society. Challenging gender stereotypes in the education sector will allow women to compete with men in the economic realm freely.

In analyzing women’s strategic position as the best suited in alleviating hunger and poverty in developing countries, I consider their contribution to food production to be a vital factor. Men working in the same capacity, however, receive better payment. This apparent disparity in salaries between men and women establishes the nexus through which patriarchy thrives and women are disadvantaged. Until recently, the legal field reported cases of a disparity in payments between male and female barristers. The discussion promoting this practice sought to establish men as the “heads” and not as equal partners in households.

While the cultures of patriarchy, female oppression, and corruption are ripe in a global scale, these social menaces are the creation of our thoughts. I believe that the antidote for this malady lies in improving gender relations from childhood. Unlearning negative cultures may be an uphill task, but teaching the young generation to esteem and respect women and girls in an equal measure to men creates a sure and steady path to change. Economic inequality for women can not be limited to developing countries, considering some first world countries are known to slack in the implementation of the gender agenda. To realize economic outcomes of gender equality, the United Nations should consider spearheading the implementation of the economic policies that hinge on women empowerment and corruption. The only barrier to the implementation of pro-gender economic policies is the neglect of the power of patriarchy in education systems. By improving the gender focus of childhood education and higher education, women in the future will enjoy pursuing their economic interests without experiencing sexist inequalities.

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