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Clashing Views In Anthropology, Essay Example

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This paper provides a critical assessment of the view that men dominate women in society;  with specific reference to the work of Welsch and Endicot. (Endicott, 2012).  The issue is examined from both perspectives. Historically, the position around the world has seen the male species to be the more dominant in society. Power has been derived by men taking up most of the leadership and control positions in society.  Religion has been an instrumental factor and particularly in the Islamic religion where women are viewed as both subordinate to men and subject to punitive Islamic laws which contribute to demining the position of women in Islamic societies. In South Asia countries parents were unhappy about the birth of a girl. This is because girls are not expected to take up jobs and as such create no income for the family.

Until very recent times women have been treated as subordinate to men in most countries throughout the world.  In this sense they were denied any rights that might permit political power  over religious and political  cultures of society.  They were prevented from owning land or property and the legal system neither defended nor protected their human rights. The rights of women in western society have particularly improved over the last two decades  but this has not been without a prolonged struggle. Regrettably, the situation in Islamic countries remains unchanged and many women are treated as virtual prisoners by their husbands.

The struggle for women’s rights remains an international concern, even to this very day.  In particular the rights of the African woman who toils night and day amidst almost intolerable conditions of poverty.  They suffer extremely difficult social and prejudicial conditions.  Despite all of this women continue to fight for their human rights, race eloquence and tenacity.  Religion is also a contribution factor in denying women their basic rights.  The Islamic world seems particularly at fault here, unable to break away from outmoded tradition.  Prejudice here seems more focused towards women in the lower classes of society. Some of the largest issues that confront women around the world of literacy, education, jobs and health.  These also apply to men, but not for women the right to pursue these things.

The question of citizenship rights still remains an area for clarification relative  to women’s rights.  A large number of immigrants do not have birth certificates, and as such applications for citizenship are refused.  As such these people are unable to get jobs, healthcare, welfare and other social benefits.  Because of not having citizenship, they do not come under any formal protection from the government.  Although a lot of these problems are more serious in places like Africa and the Middle East.  Nevertheless, there is an argument that suggests immigration rule needs reformation in America.

The concept that women are no longer dominated by men is a difficult argument to support,   but perhaps one can argue that in modern western society the lot of women has greatly improved.  This has largely been attributed to women themselves who have won through long campaigns in women’s rights movements.  Women are in general terms better educated than men and are making outstanding contributions to society. Men have tended to feel less threatened by this and equally more supportive.  Modern families often need the combined incomes of both parents in order to create sufficient income in order to cater for the lifestyle they require.

Both historical and current evidence supports the men still retain the dominant voice in society today.  The situation is rapidly improving and changing in Western Society but the opposite is true for many third world and developing countries where religious grounds are often used as an excuse for men retaining power over women.

References

Endicott, R. a. (2012). Clashing views in anthropology, 5th Ed. New York : McGraw Hill.

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