How far have women really achieved to true “equality” with men?

Sexism is a very large and sensitive topic.  It is also crucial to be discussed for it is a huge prejudice that has poisoned this world and society for a very long time.  I believe people, men AND women, are completely equal in value and should be treated with equal respect.  However, that was not the case in the 19th Century and even in this 21st Century, is not the case in many parts of the world.

Before 200 years, women had almost no rights.  Even Canada was not as free or fair for women like it is now.  In the 1800’s, women could not be independent because they had to rely on the men in their family for wealth and status.  Today in 2012 women can support themselves and be independent, for now their property and reputation depend on their own efforts, not their husband’s or fathers’.  Women have fought for this privilege and responsibility as well as many other rights, including the rights to vote and divorce.  Not only rights, but dignity and self-esteem were gained for women as the ideas and laws of the countries they were living in developed.

This is an official opinion on equality between women and men by the Canadian International Development Agency: http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/En/JUD-31192610-JXF

But this is still not the situation in many parts of the world.  Unbelievable as it is, even in this 21st Century there are numerous countries where women are legally treated as inferior to men.  Sadly many men, and maybe even women, stubbornly believe that women were created to serve men and are not as valuable.  In the worst situations, women are treated like how they used to be treated in the 19th Century in North America; forced to live with basically no guaranteed rights.

Although Canada and other 1st world countries have developed a lot in terms of equality in gender, there are still biases in favour of men.  For example, in a situation where a man and a woman of equal ability and level do the exact same job, the man receives a higher wage.  Another is the concept of a “dowry”, when the bride’s family must give gifts and money to the groom’s family in a marriage, still exists even in some 1st world countries.  It is not exactly a bias, but disrespect towards the woman.  Most countries in Asia continue on the tradition of dowries because it is a tradition.  However a dowry can frankly be explained as measuring the value of the bride in forms of money and gifts.  The people may not realize the negative meaning it carries and not take it as seriously, but it is an example of the deep-seated biases humans have had since centuries ago.

Resources: http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/barrycomp/bhs/gcse_resources_pdf/changing%20lives%20of%20women.PDF

http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-poignant-facts-about-women-around-world

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/04/16/11391/the-top-10-facts-about-the-wage-gap/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry#Current_dowry_practices

Picture Sources: http://www.google.ca/imgres?num=10&um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=653&tbm=isch&tbnid=O6kdO3bZ38KOiM:&imgrefurl=http://capacitybuildingcentreforafrica.org/gender.html&docid=hoN3dty3SddllM&imgurl=http://capacitybuildingcentreforafrica.org/images/Gender_equality1.jpg&w=547&h=306&ei=6xB6ULGrLoX5igKStYGYAg&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=192&vpy=327&dur=1490&hovh=168&hovw=300&tx=167&ty=100&sig=102392505531657465269&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=136&tbnw=243&start=0&ndsp=19&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:87

http://www.google.ca/imgres?num=10&um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=653&tbm=isch&tbnid=xN6IBIStFbvczM:&imgrefurl=http://www.womensimpactfund.com/&docid=lZjyr6_2aYqgSM&imgurl=http://www.womensimpactfund.com/images/gender-equality.jpg&w=220&h=216&ei=6xB6ULGrLoX5igKStYGYAg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=6&sig=102392505531657465269&sqi=2&page=1&tbnh=147&tbnw=150&start=0&ndsp=12&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:72&tx=111&ty=58

http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=X&biw=665&bih=632&tbm=isch&tbnid=dizYGbgorf264M:&imgrefurl=http://mohammadazaz.blogspot.com/2012/07/dowry-system-in-india.html&docid=j6Lsnn3ydjNp_M&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1oEhZJhKE8k/T_wzrFGLhuI/AAAAAAAAAEA/2JJ7R-QFIS8/s1600/dowry-system.gif&w=600&h=468&ei=DR56UNHyIoqbjAKI0YD4Cw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=393&sig=102392505531657465269&page=1&tbnh=129&tbnw=164&start=0&ndsp=13&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:80&tx=71&ty=39

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Politics: Hard topic. The Past: Fun Topic. North America: Canadian Topic. The Political Past of North America: This Topic.

So in Socials class, we have finally moved on to another, new unit!  Hurrah!  We’re studying about the past of North America; how it started off, developed, what was different then, compared to now, etc.  This is my first post for this unit, and the topic I chose is comparing North Amercia to the 1800s and now.

To make it simple, I will take one major point of to focus on: the political view.  So how was North America politically different in the 19th Century?  First of all, if we’re talking about BEFORE the War of 1812, then most of North America, including what is now the U.S., was controlled by the British.  But AFTER the War of 1812, there were some significant changes made.  United States became its own country and created their own democratic government, which was a huge deal.

North America, one could tell, was much different just by looking at the map from that time.  First of all Alaska was Russian territory, and the Spanish had land in the States; mostly where California is today.  There were almost no provinces in Canada; only the North-Western Territory, Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Rupert’s Land, and Upper and Lower Canada.  Also the labelled “area of settlement” was only on the east side of the continent, which was incorrect.  To put it simple North America’s land was really divided during the 1800’s.

You can visually see the segregated land if you click here: http://etc.usf.edu/maps/pages/2300/2381/2381.htm

Canada at that time was divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, and was still under British control.  The settlers there were mostly colonists or other skilled workers from other European countries.  Although it was supposedly claimed to have a completely new and free life with much potential, many people were disappointed to find that there was still a kind of class system like the ones in Europe.  Because of the American Revolution, Britain tightened its ties with its colonies in North America, also with the similar laws.

In Upper Canada, where mostly British people lived, there was a “Family Compact”, compared to the “Upper Class” in Britain, had most of the good land, wealth and power that came with it.  In Lower Canada, there was a Château Clique, which could remind you of the aristocrats France used to have.  Those wealthy people made it very difficult for other colonists who had no good land left to buy and work on.  It was unfair for others, similar to the old society in Britain.  At that time there were also not as many guaranteed rights and freedom for the average civilian.  It contrasts to Canada today, where it is known to be a “free country”.

Picture Sources: http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=610&tbm=isch&tbnid=sB0X8sqjJFFIHM:&imgrefurl=http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/lower-canada&docid=uWZ6893BJeM6tM&imgurl=http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/media/lower-canada-map-269.jpg&w=341&h=300&ei=74t3UO_UK4qDiwLploDoDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=696&vpy=149&dur=1988&hovh=211&hovw=239&tx=164&ty=118&sig=102392505531657465269&page=1&tbnh=150&tbnw=170&start=0&ndsp=17&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:0,i:75