‘Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression’.(Hooks, 2000). Feminism has influenced how we interpret gender in quite thoughtful ways. In my opinion, feminism is not an outdated or outmoded movement as women in the 20th century up to the present day still face domestic abuse, sexual violence, discrimination and inequality in employment. Injustice is experienced by particular bodies in particular places at particular times. I believe that feminist movements allow silenced women to have their voices heard. Feminist movements give hope for a better, non-violent and equal society. It allows women to demand their rights and speak in public. One including intersectional feminism; ‘Intersectional feminism means that while we work to destroy make privilege and smash patriarchy, we remain not only aware of, but vigilant about crushing racism, homophobia, transmisogyny, classism and other forms of marginalization too’. ( Rios, 2016). Nevertheless, the themes of employment equality, migration and reproductive rights will be discussed in this essay. We will take a look at the role modern feminism particularly, in relation to these three themes.
Employment Equality:
The first aspect that will be discussed is employment equality. Women are constantly facing discrimination, sexual harassment, abuse and inequality in employment. They are also highly under-represented in the workforce. The gender pay gap between men and women is still in existence. We live in an era where men are paid more than women merely for the same task. I consider this to be very sexist. Is it that men have more expense to pay for than women? Or simply because they are men, seen as superior and authoritative than women? Answers to these questions will never be revealed unless we speak up and demand equality. Let’s take for example the ‘women’s march protest 2017’. The purpose of this movement is to register more women to vote and elect more women in public office. Statistics show that there are as little as 17.0 percent of women as representatives in parliament across the whole world; ‘On average, women constitute only 17.0 percent of representatives in parliaments across the world’.(Devlin & Edgie, 2008). This unequal gender imbalance has been the discourse of much feminist criticism. There is a widespread belief that women have a different viewpoint to politics and that their election to parliament will change the essence of the parliament along with the policies and legislation; ‘It has been claimed that women have a different approach to our ‘style’ of politics, that their election to parliament in greater numbers will change the nature of the parliament itself, and that their influence will be seen in changed policy priorities and legislation’.(Devlin & Elgie, 2008). From my personal view, this is inevitably false. Women are not seeking to hold power or plot on any evil acts against men or policies but are simply seeking to be equal to men in parliament or in any other employment. Increasing number of women in the parliament is mainly to have an equal proportion of men and women in the representative body and that has become such a problem in society. The gender pay gap is another issue that has been in existence since the 1990s. It has only been legalized recently by the government to publish statistics relating to pay inequalities. Yet it has not been taken seriously. The ‘pay me too’ movement was set up to support women fighting for equal pay. Statistics show that approximately 78% of UK companies pay men more than women. Inequality in employment is at its peak and only recently we are starting to address this problem?? Such things makes feminism an obligation in the 20th century.