Guest Blogger: Yanli Guo

What Makes the Difference of the Social Statuses among Women?

These days many women are living a society where their voice can be heard and where they can seek for equal rights as men enjoy. More and more women are considered as intelligentsia and go into the top of academia, journalism, publishing and the vast network of foundations, institutes, and research centers. They believe that their participation can make a difference in their life and other people’s lives.

On the other hand, some women in some area are still struggling for the equal rights only their husband and brothers can enjoy or they do not even realize that they are treated differently than in men in their society. It is very common in some developing countries that women are illiterate and do not have the ability to earn a living without men. They have much lower social status than their men. Why this happens? This question deserves considerable attention because it is related to the social status of many women world wide.

We may approach to the answer in several ways from different aspects. First of all, women are generally considered as the best people to raise children and take care of housework in some area for long time especially in Asian countries. Giving birth to children and taking care of them have already been their job. They do not need to know anything. The result is that they have to depend of their husband for everything. Second, unfortunately some women have less educational opportunities than the others. Education serves as the key to open the door to information and social services. Without access to this information and social services, it is hard for a person to gain necessary skills and knowledge to have higher social statues. Another reason is that there are fewer chances for women to participate in the community in a relatively close society. Studies have showed that community engagement can contribute to both the development of individual and individual’s realization of their relationship to the society. It is very common in western countries that women’s voices are being heard. It is necessary for the women who wish to upgrade their social status to cherish all the opportunities to participate in community and work place decisions that will affect the quality and direction of their life instead giving up the rights to men.

If you happen to be born as a woman and live in an open society and have access to education and have chances to engage in their community, you are lucky enough. For those who are unlucky to be born in a society of inequality and still struggling for the social status that they supposed to have, what can we do for them?

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One thought on “Guest Blogger: Yanli Guo

  1. Allison May says:

    I think this is a very difficult worldly issue that isn’t addressed enough. I feel like not much is being done to solve this dilemma, but then again I feel like it is difficult for me to imagine myself in these women’s places because I grew up in such a different world. Shouldn’t I feel obligated to help these women because I was lucky enough to be brought up in a country where women are educated and given great opportunities to succeed? I really really really hate the fact that they are treated simply as a womb and nothing else. You are born, you marry, have a man’s babies, raise them, care for them, care for your husband, and then you die. Honestly though, I do believe that slowly but surely, changes are happening. We are already in the third wave of the women’s movement! If we ally with each other and show that we are here for these women and care about them, I think that one day we will be able to grant them more opportunities. The major issue with the objectification of women in these countries is that if a woman were to stand up for herself and speak out, the outcome could potentially be very dangerous. If one woman were to speak out, would that have a detrimental effect on the lives of the other women. However, I am a firm believer of power in numbers. I think it is so important for us to let these women know that we are there for them. As women and men in such a different society, I think we should let these women know that we can and will be their support system. The question is, how do we make this change happen? We can send anthropologists and sociologists to these countries and research them to see how we can help. But still, I feel there is always the issue of different cultures. In an anthropology class I am in right now, we are studying the sex roles of men and women in our society, as well as other societies. We can only impose so many aspects of our own culture to these other countries. Honestly, as difficult as this is to hear, only time will tell. If we act upon this issue a little bit at a time, I have hope that eventually things will get better.

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