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.
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