Women Do Not Enjoy the Same Status and Benefits as Men

Women Do Not Enjoy the Same Status and Benefits as Men

Gender equality is a topic that has been discussed for some time in different nations. This topic does not seem to fade anytime soon. There is always controversy based on what people understand, and what they think should be the case. To some extent, gender equality has been regarded as a human right. The current definition tends to focus more on women since they are normally regarded as weaker compared to men. As a tool for reducing poverty, gender equality aims at empowering women so that they can enjoy a similar status to men. Women empowerment is believed to contribute to the productivity and health of families and community at large. The status that women enjoy in the current generation seems to be different compared to how it was in the past. The 21st-century women have become empowered, sophisticated and driven by their own desires. Regardless of the progress made, women do not enjoy the same benefits and status as men since there are some gaps, which are still vivid.

There are various occurrences in the society that can be used to show that women do not enjoy the same benefits and status as women. Among them is the discrimination that exists in the labour market. The European Union has tried to undertake various initiatives to deal with the problem, but the progress has not been that significant. Yes, there are various changes taking place, but the changes do not give women similar status as men. In the labour market, women seem to receive lower wages compared to men. There have been improvements on this issue, but they are not yet sufficient. In Greece, “the pay gap was 13% in 1998 and 11.5% in 2003” (Drakopoulou and Theodossiou, 2008). There is an improvement in this case, but it not sufficient since women are still lagging behind. The main reason for the differences experienced in wages is the discrimination that exists towards women in the labour market.  The legislative intervention has not been very effective due to the socioeconomic factors (Drakopoulou and Theodossiou, 2008). Another example of the differences can be observed in Cyprus. The country has a legal framework that works to curb discrimination in the labour market. There is provision for equality where everybody is entitled to equal treatment and protection. The anti-discrimination law founded on Article 8(1) enforces equal pay for both women and men. “In spite of the legal initiatives, Cyprus was the worst performer in terms of gender pay gap in 2003” (Drakopoulou and Theodossiou, 2008). The situation of employment is also negative on the side of women. The proportion of employed women with regards to the total population is significantly lower compared to that of men. This is to mean that despite the actions taken towards enhancing equality, the differences that exist between men and women are quit significant.

The content presented in the media can also serve as an indication that women have not yet actualized a similar status as men. There is the way the media presents women and makes them seem inferior compared to men. This includes the mass media, print media and the internet among others. A good example is the song “Fireball” by Pitbull ft. John Ryan. More attention is on video. Men and women in this video have been represented in contrasting ways. To begin with, the men are fully dressed compared to women who are wearing costumes showcasing some parts of their flesh. Men have been portrayed as being serious while women are just involved with dancing in an attempt to please and entertain the men involved.  This is an indication of how women are objectified in the society. They are viewed as sexual objects whose objective is to bring pleasure and fulfilment to men. To some extent, they are likened to play toys. Men can have them as they wish and when they want. This diminishes women and makes their status inferior compared to that of men.

The perspectives within the society have also made it difficult for women to actualize equal benefits and status as men. In many societies, there are various roles that women are expected to fulfil, which are different from those of men. Hadjipavlou  (2010) postulates that she was viewed differently after completing her studies and decided against marriage. “This was something that my mother could not understand since I stood outside the socially accepted roles of ‘a normal’ woman” (Hadjipavlou, 2010).  There is this expectation that women must get married. Upon being married, they are now recognized as being their husband’s property. The husbands have a right over them and therefore end up making most of the decisions on their behalf. Male dominance is quite prevalent based on the roles bestowed on men. They are viewed as being masculine hence responsible for many issues affecting the nation. This is an aspect that existed from time in memorial and still plays a significant role in the current generation. It is among the key issues that have prevented women from actualizing equal status and benefits as men.

The aspect of motherhood also precludes women from actualizing similar status as men in the society. This case has been experienced in various countries including Cyprus. Norman (2014) asserts that “in many places of employment here, the glass ceiling especially as regards working mothers is very much in existence.” Most mothers are normally passed over for promotions in favour of their male counterparts. This is because women are viewed as having major roles of taking care of their families. There is always the question of whether they have the ability to give their 100% at work given these responsibilities. This makes even the most qualified women fail to actualize their dreams and potential. The aspect can help explain gender inequality as being attributed to cultural aspects. It is more of what people believe in.

In conclusion, women do not enjoy the same benefits and status as men. The aspect of gender inequality has persisted for a long time, and it is still prevalent in the current generation. There have been various steps being taken in the attempt of trying to enhance equality by instigating empowerment of women. There have been some positive changes, but there is still a long way to go. This is because the aspects of gender discrimination in the labour market are quite vivid. The pay gap between women and men is quite significant. The proportion of employed women is also lower compared to that of men. Various forms of media have also continued to objectify women sexually. This way, women are viewed as being inferior due to the aspect that they are used as objects of pleasing and entertaining men. The perspectives and beliefs in the society have also deterred women from actualizing similar status as men. Women are viewed as home makers while men are viewed as bread winners. This is a cultural trait that has been passed from one generation to the other.



Drakopoulou , S. and Theodossiou , I., 2008. Gender Discrimination in the Labour Market:           Evidence from Four European union Countries . International Journal of Economic            Sciences and Applied Research , 1 (1), 6–36.

Hadjipavlou, M., 2010. Women and change in Cyprus: feminisms and gender in conflict.   London: Tauris Academic Studies.

Norman, A., 2014. ‘Women must be catalyst for change’ – Cyprus Mail [online]. Cyprus Mail.       [Accessed 29 Apr 2016].

P.V.E.V.O., 2014. Pitbull – Fireball ft. John Ryan [online]. YouTube. Available from:             https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmqgvxsvwgo [Accessed 30 Apr 2016].

Thorne, M. E., 2010. Women in society: Achievements, risk, and challenges. New York: Nova       Science.


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