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Class and gender inequalities are two different issues but they are strongly interconnected. Class inequality is the major issue more than gender inequality. These two issues are classified as part of discrimination which also includes racism. The three types of inequalities are always related together and they have been in influence for a very long time. The problem of class and gender inequalities has been an issue that many have been trying to fight as the years go by.
Back in the days, class and gender inequalities were extremely familiar and yet the leaders did not have a problem with it. In terms of the social life those people who owned a lot of wealth were classified to be of a high class. Those people who were below them in terms of wealth were referred to as the middle class and those who were in the poverty life were referred to as the low class. These titles also applied in the workplaces. It was a very unpleasant situation because those people in the high class would always get the better opportunities and the vacant positions would be distributed to the remaining classes. The offering of jobs would be done according to the ranks and as usual the poor would be left out. The rich would continue becoming richer and the poor become poorer. Gender inequality was also a major issue during those days. Females were always regarded as inferior. Their work was to stay at home and carry out all the house chores. A woman was highly discriminated hence in the working places there were very few positions for women. The only women who could afford to work in companies were those coming from a high social class.
However, the trend has been changing with time. Laws have been passed to enhance the career progression among the women by ensuring that after a maternity leave, they return to work normally. However, the law has failed to offer adequate protection for the older women. Most corporate entities have tendencies to ‘sideline’ retirement approaching women and bar them from merited promotion. Also, most organizations lack the capacity to understand the role this segment of population can play in a managerial position. In ability by corporate bodies and policy makers to take into account the challenges faced by older women in work place as well as other commitments serve to tilt the proportionate relationship between American male and female corporate managers in terms of their numbers. These challenges include limited understanding, moral support, family obligations and dependency, and existence of redundant job counseling initiatives. Family commitments among these factors play a critical role and act to augment/ propagate the issue of gender representation in managerial positions. This situation is compounded by the fact that women have natural caring feelings, as demanded by the society. Coupled by need to take care of many relatives and jib related stress, it is very difficult for the women to attain management position in a corporate organization, relative to male counterparts
This is where the between class and gender inequalities come in. The good news is that those days are coming to pass and females are taking up the positions that were traditionally held by men or referred as the men’s. Though the issue of class and gender inequality has highly reduced we still have cases of them even today. During the last 25 years some writers have questioned whether class still has relevance in the modern world. They have argued that class is not important in defining who we are, where we come from, where our loyalties lie or even how we behave (Maguire, p.2). After all the revolution it is evident that in the UK there are a number of people who classify themselves to belong to a certain classes. This kind of issue is what makes people to have enemity amongst themselves and people live like they are in a divided world. Division is brought about by this kind of discrimination and in such a case there is no peace among the people.
Being of a dissimilar class may entail differences in culture, educational status, property ownership, housing conditions economic circumstances and power. For example if one is one is of the French culture and another person is of the Swedish culture then those two are different classes. On the other hand if one person is a president of a company and another is the vice president, the two are classified as different classes. The problem is that people will misuse their positions to undermine the person who is under them and that is why most people will divide themselves. A manager in a big company will not be found in the companionship of a random worker. In most cases the situation is so because the manager feels that he or she should be in the company of other managers who are earning the same amount as he is. This is total discrimination which brings about disunity among the people.
There is a lot of evidence that the issue of gender inequality has highly reduced. As the world becomes modernized major changes have occurred although the issue of gender inequality has not disappeared completely. In the early days as we have seen, the man husband was supposed to go to work and earn money to cater for all the needs of the house. On the other hand the woman was left in the house taking care of the children, cleaning the house and cooking for the husband and the children. No woman was allowed to have a job because that was known to be the work of the man. In the modern world, all that is changing and you will not find a woman idling in the house because it is meant to be their duty. The modern woman will explore the world and do any work that a man is capable of doing to ensure that they are independent. There are cases of single mothers who do very financially because they have let go of the belief that it should the man bringing food to the table.
One writer has argued that border controls in Canada are incompatible with the Canadian commitment to maintain moral equality among all human beings. There has been a lot of discrimination among those serving the immigrations because some of the immigrants are favored according to class and gender. There are policies that have been set to be able to deal with immigrants coming into or out of Canada (Preston, p. 183). These policies affect all immigrants unfavorably but their shock is most experienced by the working class, refugees and female immigrants. For example, a wealthy business immigrant may acquire a visa while for the working class immigrants they are disqualified by high merit of the low education level, skills and financial resources.
In the case of the female immigrants they have been given a condition that for the women of color, they have to work as caregivers in the homes of their employers before being promoted to a better job. This is a common case for the Somali women who have gone to live in Canada as refugees. Their employers are afraid to offer them permanent jobs because they have temporary work permits. That is why they take advantage and hire them to work in their personal homes. There is discrimination because of the skin color and the fact that they are females (Preston, p.184). This condition is not common for the male immigrants. There were also reported cases of discrimination by the landlords in Canada who did not want to rent out their houses to those women just because they had large families and they were from the black continent (Preston, p.185)
In schools and educational institutes class inequality is common factor. There are schools that will only accommodate students from the wealthy families as they will not derail in the payment of the school fees. Such schools are found to contain very efficient reading and practical facilities and they believe that for them to maintain that standard, they have to only accommodate children from the rich families. This problem has not only been present in the private schools only but also in the public ones. For example if there are two vacancies in a school, two students where one is from a wealthy family and the other from an average family. The student from the wealthy family will be considered first because money will not be an issue. In some schools, they will go to the extent of appointing that parent as a member of the school board as they are assured they incase they need to raise money they know who to depend on. This is the most common discrimination in the institutes even today.
Some time back there was gender discrimination in the courses offered in the higher educational centers. The courses that dealt with science, physics and mathematics were believed to be done by the male students only. This is because they viewed female students as vulnerable and could not handle such tough subjects. The system today has changed and the female students take up even the mechanical courses. It was not that the female could not understand but they had just lacked the opportunity to try the courses. Today there are female mechanics, accountants, managers, engineers and even bus drivers. This is positive result showing that the world is changing with time.
In the USA, even after fifty years of federal intervention in order to achieve equality in the education opportunities, there is still class discrimination and children from different races and social classes continue to be segregated. Impliedly, the No Child Left Behind Act that was aimed at ensuring that all children get access to education on equal basis has not been fully realized. At the end of it all they receive unequal education with those of the higher social class. The gap between the reach and the other citizens is even wider than it was during then era of great depression in the United States. The gap is still the same whether it is measured in terms of opportunities, wealth, living standards or the income level (Mickelson &Smith, p.365).
Marxist feminism is concerned with the system of criminal justice under capitalism rules out class at the expense of lower class. These feminists view the subjugation of the women as a conservatory of the working class. Their argument is that one can obtain equal opportunity genuinely in a society with class whereby the wealth generated by the powerless ends up in the hands of those who are powerful. Those in the lower or middle class tend to work so hard and do all the work but the income they get is not worth. Such people end up saving nothing because the expenses were more than what they earn. To them it is very much unfair because those employing them take the most income and yet they have more that they have saved. These people see themselves as slaves at the end. The case of gender comes in because these few powerful who take up all the income are mostly men; this makes it hard for the women to maintain their higher status (Barak, Leighton & Flavin, p.136).
Some years back one could not hear of a female vying for a seat in parliament. As the days have commenced, there are very many women who are members of parliament as well as ministers. This was because of the struggle that they had to fight against gender inequality towards women. This has brought a positive income and it is evident that women are taking up most of the positions that were said to belong to males. In some of the highly recognized companies, the mangers are women and they do very well. Before it was believed that there is no way a woman can be in a higher position than a man at the working place. All that has changed in the modern days and now the women are the men’s bosses. Some of these changes are what creates gender equality.
However it is because of gender inequality that husbands batter their wives. Most of the men believe that if their partners are not submissive to them they should whip them. This is a very negative conception and it is what has brought many marriages to an end. In the olden days, a woman would be battered by her husband and remain in the same house doing all the work. This is because even the law allowed for the husbands to beat up their wives. In the modern days all that has changed and there are policies to protect the women in the society. A modern woman will not accept to be battered as they have acquired the knowledge of taking immediate action against the offender. If a modern woman is offended by her husband she will just leave and have an independent life.
Class and gender inequalities have been a major issue in our society since the twentieth century. Because of the emphasis to curb this problem, it has highly reduced although it has not been done away with completely. There will always be discrimination because it cannot end entirely. What should be totally discouraged is the discrimination in schools according to class because every human being is entitled to an equal education opportunity. Educational institutions should concentrate in providing programs that will enhance the cognitive growth of individuals and promote essential nondiscriminative practices. They should struggle to fight against inequalities and make education the possible solution to eliminate inequality. People must be able to look upon schools as the arenas for the struggles against racism, gender inequality, class inequality and any other form of discrimination.