Women’s Issues – Near Future – Written Nov.04.1999

Women’s Issues – Near
Future

Women in the West will continue to make
historical strides in ‘leveling the playing field’ as it relates to career
opportunities and equality with men. Although there will be the issue of men not
having the same options as women, whether to stay home and raise children or
compete in the work force, the choice of the individual woman’s goals shall be
more and more respected in society. Generally, the home maker will regain much
lost status as one of an important contributor to the well-being of their
children and thus society. I expect government funding cuts to women’s
organizations very soon, almost in direct proportion to the percentage of female
graduates (presently at 40%) of college and universities.

The issue of female physical abuse in the
West will gain more social prominence and make historical inroads in changing
male attitudes to general acceptance in the community that such behaviour is
very wrong and illegal. Although, abuse of women won’t ever be entirely
elliminated, statistics will drop dramatically within the next few years. One
reason will be harsher penalties and mandatory sentencing for offenders (due in
part to women’s increasing power and education).

One behind the scenes cultural change is
beginning to happen in Asia, the Middle East and developing countries as regards
to women and their place and status in those societies. It originates from the
viewpoint that ‘all things modern and right’ comes from the West. Women outside
of the ‘modern’ countries are beginning to embrace concepts of personal freedom
and eguality with men. Although there has been a censorship of sorts so that
Western thought and ideals don’t ‘corrupt’ their social fabric, women are
reading the magazines, watching the movies and more are getting educated in
‘modern’ universities. This change won’t gather headway or surface for quite a
few years yet, but it is happening.

I expect women of influence on the
international stage to bring pressure to bear on the world bodies, like the UN,
within a few short years, to force countries to abandon ancient religious
practices which suppress and harm women like female genitalia mutilation and
pre-arranged marriages. It will be a very powerful lobby which wins the approval
of all civilized societies, but will create a long-standing conflict between
cultures. (see ‘Religion section’ for more)

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