Definition of gender roles
Gender roles have metamorphosed over the years with men and women participating in roles originally believed to be of the opposite gender. The world has a diverse people from different backgrounds and the rate of this change is dependent on various aspects. There are divergent school of thoughts on the reasons that led to the changes observed in gender roles. Some scholars argue that the changing economy forced men and women to take up roles that were not originally theirs so that they may support their lifestyle. Feminists claim that their movement led to the change since women became more empowered.
Fifty years ago the roles of women were very much related to family or home tasks. The academic training that they received was majorly to prepare them for womanhood since marriage was considered the ultimate fate of every girl. Many girls dropped out of school because academic qualifications were not necessary for their roles as housewives. Even those women that did complete their studies gave up work as soon as they got married. On the other hand, men took on more professional tasks. They were the sole bread-winners of the family and commanded great respect and obedience from their children. Men were the disciplinarians and women were regarded as less powerful with their role deemed insignificant.
Huge milestones have been made over the last fifty years with women becoming more empowered in various spheres of their lives. Women have become economically enfranchised with time and have taken up careers that were purely male dominated. Equal wages for both men and women encouraged more women to take up subjects and careers which were previously reserved for men. They can therefore make decent amounts of money and contribute in providing for their families especially with the growing expenses involved in running a home. Men are no longer provide the only source of income to the household and both salaries are equally important. Women have become more career oriented and the adulation of marriages has plummeted over the years. Moreover, establishment of laws which protect women interests is also another step which enables them capitalize on their abilities without limitation or bias on gender. Laws on gender violence, rape and sexual harassment gave women freedom of choice. Men's role has also changed in the sense that most of them are willingly performing domestic chores.
There is clearly a great change in roles since women can now be entrusted with leadership roles and men can help in nurturing at home. Their roles have become more conjugal than individual roles. The roles of both women and men are now considered vital in the society. This combined effort is necessary in any nation that plans for the coming generations. Since women are expected to work as well as rear children, it is only logical that men assist them where necessary. In order to be successful and compete globally, there is need for partnership and access to a flexible workforce. People should therefore be willing to accept and embrace the changes in gender roles because it is a win-win situation for both the genders.
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