The progress in women’s issues may not be at the expected level, but it is going in the right direction. It has not progressed any faster because the prejudices against women are inbuilt in many traditions. It is not easy to change in a decade the ways and traditions that have been observed and practiced for over thousands of years. Nevertheless, all journeys begin with a single step. There are some reports of advancements with regard to equality in workplace and the increased hiring of women in male-dominated professions in countries like India and South Africa. Finally, the governments of South America continent are also taking women’s concerns seriously. Women in these countries are able to get loans from the banks freely without much red tape, and this loaned money has helped them live better lives. The right to vote was also briefly given to the women in Kuwait. This act alone put enormous pressure on Kuwait’s neighboring countries in and around Middle East, which do not allow their women to vote because they are still considered second-class citizens. As a whole, the international women’s suffrage movement is slowly and steadily gaining momentum.
The gender wage gap is unfortunately growing wider. Countries who have promised to implement the necessary actions have not done so, and women living in these areas continue to accept wages way below what they deserve. Many countries have not accepted the results from the Women’s World Conference and unfortunately continue to disregard issues that concern women and their rights. In some societies, violence against women has even escalated and sometimes takes place in public. When their respective governments are questioned or asked to stop these practices, they justify the violence as a component of their religion, culture, or tradition.
In the United States, the average woman holding a white-collar job is paid 72 cents on a man’s dollar. When a survey was conducted asking people what they thought was a good pay for women working the same job as a man, almost all respondents believed that that 80 cents on a man’s dollar was a good figure for a woman doing the same job. The statistics gets worse for women in the lower class structures. In third world countries, women do almost half of the farming and harvesting of crops. They also maintain grocery shops along with running the household alone. These women still get paid significantly less when compared to men who perform the same job. It then becomes very hard for women to raise their standards of living because they are forced to depend on men for everything. The governments and business owners of these countries have yet to realize that work once used to be done by men can be done by women who produce equal or better products than her male counterpart.
The report also shows that four out of every six women live in poverty despite being workers who produce half of the world’s food. The sad consequence of this poverty results in more women being trafficked into the slave trade. More often than not, they end up in brothels as dancers and prostitutes. In countries like Bangladesh, families can sell their daughter to brothels for cash. The sold girls do not keep any money from the sale, and a large number of them develop AIDS or other sexual diseases.