Men and Women were Created Equal Men are not superior to women, they are equal in every way. Although it is true that society has stereotyped women into traditional roles, this preconceived notion, is totally false. Action to promote the concept of equality in our society needs to be taken. Women have been fighting for equality for many decades. As a result of this battle, some amazing transformations have taken place amongst the female gender. Women have become educated and over the last few decades have started to take active roles and their rightful place in society. They have made major inroads in working opportunities, including government, science and even the military. They are reshaping world history and are very proud. Internationally, women have achieved the highest office in several countries, such as: Indira Gandhi of India, Golda Meir of Israel, and Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain. Hilary Clinton is currently running for a senate seat in New York and if she is successful, could one day follow in her husband’s footsteps and become the first female President of the United States. These women have all obtained equal roles and respect as leaders of their countries similar to Bill Clinton and Jean Chretien. Other examples of women who have favourably impacted on today’s society are the late Mother Theresa and Lady Diana. These ladies’ tireless efforts for the good of humanity impacted the whole world. Only in the 20th century, and most recently in the last 20 years, have women overcome social barriers and been allowed to obtain a scientific education. Today, women are becoming an ever-increasing percentage of the scientific and medical work force. In 1982 Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of mobile genetic elements. Her discovery was that genes could jump around on chromosomes. This discovery was the basis of today’s advances in genetic engineering. The Nobel Prize Committee called McClintock’s work “one of the two great discoveries of our time in genetics.” The other was the earlier discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. 2 Another example of women sharing an equal role in today’s society is demonstrated in the military. Today’s women joining the Canadian Armed Forces are equally eligible with men for combat roles. Over 229,000 women serve on active duty in the military services of the Department of Defense. This monumental step allows women to become takers, as well as producers of life. Women now have equal rights and responsibilities in the defense of our country. These advances have been made, not only on the ground but in the air as well. In 1988, Deanna Brasseur became Canada’s first female fighter pilot. That same year, the defense department appointed their first female general, Sheila Hellstrom. The department also stated that women often do better at riflery than men due to the fact that they listen to instruction while men tend to think they know it all. A male veteran sergeant, proud of his work with female recruits, says that: “Today’s women won’t find anything that hard to adjust to in the military.” The facts are telling a tale. Many doors are opening for women and they are barreling through with boundless energy and determination. The 21st century is here and the traditional role of the stay-at-home mother is all but disappeared. Marriage and children are still signs of the successful women, however women are less willing to accept exclusive roles of housewife and mother. More and more women are entering the labor market as education has provided them with the tools they need to be viewed and become equals with men in today’s society. This does not mean however, that their parenting role is any less significant. They have successfully learned how to balance both, effectively and efficiently. Whether male or female, it is important to keep an open mind and judge people based on their abilities and actions rather than on biased media attention and old stereotypical views. Adopting this concept will alleviate the long standing debate of superiority concerning males and females. The government needs to continue to support pay equity and other actions to demonstrate the equal roles of women and men in Canada. Word count: 754
Bibliography Rogan, Helen. “Dick and Jane in Basic Training.” Time, November 16, 1981. White, Nancy. “Officers advance in male bastion.” Toronto Star, May 26,1988. “Women and combat.” Toronto Star. February 6,1987. Sneider, Lindsay. Women Leaders. London:Bantam Books,1984.
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