Essay Feminism Theory Assignment

Essay Feminism Theory Assignment

This is essay feminism theory assignment asking question about the reasons for major barrier in equity and also describes the waves of feminism.


Feminism was a movement that started four decades ago and this movement was for the liberation of the women, where this movement had questioned the customary notion which said that the women need to spend their whole life only in engaging themselves in raising children and doing the household work and this was the only purpose of their life to bear children and take care of the house, but the feminist movement broke this perception where it demanded greater right s for the women which included equal pay for the equal amount of work done, child care which was funded publicly and also to  do the legalisation of abortion (ROESCH, JEN, 2004).

Feminism is a complex theory which has evolved in the recent decades, it is an approach that focuses on equality of gender and this also focuses on the need of no discrimination of the women on the basis that they are the weaker sex, feminism has come a long way where it started from the serious inspection of the inequality between the gender to the present times where it is more focused on the social and economic implication equality of the sexuality and gender (EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY, 2011).

In the present times it is now being assumed and accepted that there is no or negligible gender inequality in the present times and this is because the women are now seen in the top most positions globally from the prime minister in Australia to the president in India and also some CEOs of the biggest firms are also women, but the reality is different and women are still facing gender bias although of a different type or level but the glass ceiling is very much present even today, like for example in the power index of 2012, there were just 16 women out of 130 names that were present on the list of powerful Australians, another evidence of the present gender inequality was that there was just one women Clive palmer out of the seven new living national Treasures, this shows that the women is still considered inferior when there are talks of giving the higher position in the organisations, the men still have the upper hand (COX, Eva, 2012). {Grab  Research Essay FedEx Corporation Success Story}

Feminism has been present in our society since more than four decades although it has changed its focus and values but it still hasn’t lost its relevance in the present time because in the present times women still have to work double hard to prove that they are half as good as the men and motherhood is still a disadvantage for the women and all the skills and tasks that are associated with the women are considered to be underestimated (COX, Eva, 2012).

In the present paper we will try to have a discussion about the position of the women in the present times and will try to see that whether we are now living in a post-feminist period in which gender is no longer a major barrier to equity?

The Three Waves of Feminism :

The feminism can be divided into three waves which were prevalent during the differnet times and they have been discussed below:

The first wave: shrinking sisterhood

in the nineteenth century the feminists in South Australia had to deal with the label of shrinking sisterhood and the men who supported the feminist were named as poor wretched creatures and they were thought to be ridiculous and irrational. This was the time when “it was considered lawful for the men to beat his wife till he does not use a stick which was thicker than his thumb” but this was also the time when Australia became the first country in the world that gave the right to vote to the women who owned property in the municipal elections after the year 1861 (KIRNER, Joan, 2012).

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The second wave: women’s liberation

although South Australia did became the first state in Australia where the women was given the right to stand in the election but ironically it was the last state to have a woman elected to the parliament and it actually took sixty five years when Dame Nancy Buttfield became the first South Australian women to be elected in the parliament in the year 1965. This was the time when there was focus on the equal pay for equal work and same career opportunity and other family issues like abortion, domestic violence, family planning, and child care were raised (KIRNER, Joan, 2012).

The third wave: the glass ceiling

this was the time when the glass ceiling was acknowledged and the focus was more on giving the women the opprotuinty to reach the top positions as the other fundamental rights have been provided to the women by now but in the coproate field they were still neglected(KIRNER, Joan, 2012)

Essay Feminism Theory Assignment Challenges in the 21st century faced by the women

The most significant and relevant challenge that the women are facing in the 21st century is that to be considered worthy of a leadership position as in the present scenario also the women is not given the opportunity to prove themselves and they are considered good but not good enough for the highest position of an organisation and this issue had its relevance in the past and also in the present times. The reality is that the women can add more dedication and quality to the position of a leader and this was even discussed in a 2005 study by Caliper which is a work force development company and the following were the findings:

  • The women leaders have additional persuasion than the men
  • The women leaders learn from the hardships that they face
  • The women leaders are better at motivating teams and solving work related issues
  • The women leaders are more prominent at taking risks (GIVENS, Terri, 2009)

These findings haven’t changed the perceptions towards the women leaders but they do show the reality. There is a need to encourage the women leaders and this encouragement should start from the elementary level itself where the children are taught to become leaders without giving any importance to gender and this should go on till their graduation (GIVENS, Terri, 2009).

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Gender equality barriers:

The equality barriers are still present and this has been proved by various studies and surveys, for example in a recent survey by CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) which was done in the business community showed that showed that 93.2 % of the respondent believed that there are barriers to the women’s equality in the workplace and more than 51.1% women said that they have faced discrimination on the basis of gender. The main barriers to the gender equality have been unconscious bias and backlash and these barriers have prevented the meritocratic system from working in an efficient manner, also the other barriers were inadequate development in career, hurdles in promotions, and child care costs and not lack of capability or interest (CEDA, 2013).

Glass ceilings (BURKE, Heather and Smith, Claire, 2006)

Glass ceiling this term was used to show an invisible but still impassable barriers which were faced by the women who wanted to reach the top levels in the corporate world and this barrier was not for one person but a group of people who are kept away from the development because of the biases whch they have to face on internal and organisational levels which creates disadvantage for the women in their career persuasions. The term “glass ceiling” was first given by the journalist Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt in the year 1886 to show the invisible barrier faced by the women in the corporate world and later on this term has become a part of the everyday use and it was also incorporated in the title of the United States commission which was known as Glass Ceiling Commission. This glass ceiling is still present in the corporate sector and the women are still facing the bias which they used to face before also though the forms of the bias have changed but the reason is still the same that the bias is some way or the other based on the gender of the person (BURKE, Heather and Smith, Claire, 2006).

Feminist perspective on education, politics and practice

Feminism has always been concerned about the issue that are faced by the women in their day to day life and they have also focused on the education of the women and not just some rights given to the women like in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, the educational femininsm was highly affected by the language and climate of the schooling of the girls and the importance of the teachers in the education and they forced that there should be encourgement of showing the vbetter role of the women in the society through the medium of education(WEINER, GABY, 2004)

There was also rise in the second wave of feminism in the United Kingdom when Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister of United Kingdom and she had some neo-liberal policies which led to many small emancipator projects. And at various time there was a similar wave in many other countries also like Australia and the United States of America (WEINER, GABY, 2004).

Women’s employment experiences in Australia since 1950 (STRACHAN, Glenda, 2010)

The women in Australia have faced a lot since they started working since the 1950s where in the 1950s and the 1960s the men were the breadwinner and the women were the home maker and even if they worked they were paid less. In the 1970s the legislation finally removed the discrimination against women. In the 1980s the women were finally provided with equal opportunity legislation and work policies. In 2010 the women are having equal work opportunities but they are still working for the men as the top leaders are still the men and there hardly any women on top (STRACHAN, Glenda, 2010).


A problem with a solution: after discussing the problem of gender inequality we can say that yes we are living in a post-feminist period in which gender is no longer a major barrier to equity but the barrier is still present more in the form of a glass ceiling but it is still present and the position of the women may have improved in the developed countries to a large extent but the women are still facing lot of gender inequality in the developing countries especially in the developing countries. There are some solutions that we can suggest and they are as following which were given by the UN millennium development:

  • There is a need to strengthen the post primary education for the girls.
  • The need to guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • To invest in infrastructure so that the time burden on the women can be reduced.
  • There is a need to guarantee the women their right to property and inheritance.
  • The inequality in gender can be reduced by lessening the reliance of the women on informal employment.
  • There is a need to increase the share of seats in the national and states parliament globally.
  • There is a need to protect the women from all type of physical, sexual, metal violence (UNMILLENNIUMPROJECT, (n.d.)).

When all these solutions will be implemented only then the position of the women can be better and there will no inequality on the basis of gender.


  • BURKE, Heather and Claire SMITH. 2006. GLASS CEILINGS, Glass Parasols and Australian Academic Archaeology. Australian Archaeology., pp.13-25.
  • 2013. Women in Leadership: Understanding the gender gap. [online]. [Accessed 30 october 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <>
  • COX, Eva. 2012. The feminist exercise: achieving real gender equity. [online]. [Accessed 30 october 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <>