Dr. Rachell N. Anderson
Women have loved others, cared for others and in general, fought for other when no one else was watching their backs. Still, this 2017, full equality for women is yet to be realized. Woman and girls are struggling to gain equal footing in work forces while in many cases, are the sole support for their families. For example, women doctors are paid 8% less than their male counter parts who are similarly trained and experienced. At academic hospitals, male physicians receive more research funding and are more than twice as likely as female physicians to rise to the rank of full professor. Yet,(according to research reported in Journal of the American Medical association (JAMA) female physicians actually tend to provide higher-quality medical care than males. JAMA further announced “If male physicians were as adept as females, some 32,000 fewer Americans would die every year—among Medicare patients alone.”
In other research, girls as young as 6 years old begin to think of themselves as less smart than their male classmates. Psychologist noted that expectations for girls and boys are different. In much of our parenting, we protect our daughters and permit our sons to soar. The reality is this type of parenting that stunts girls’ growth, self-confidence and drives them to believe that they are not equal to men. Even young boys recognize the unfairness of it. Imagine the implied messages that is processed by the growing brain of dolls and cars or airplanes as gifts. And while both girls and boys need to learn to nurture, everyone also need to learn to soar.
A concept worth considering is-When women and girls succeed, America Succeeds. Women have helped us all to live better lives. And it’s time to salute them for their efforts and to move their efforts forward.
March is Women's History Month which has been celebrated since 1987. It’s an annual series of events that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Still, we must acknowledge, there much to be done.
In the words of President Barack Obama “Throughout our Nation's history, American women have led movements for social and economic justice, made groundbreaking scientific discoveries, enriched our culture with stunning works of art and literature, and charted bold directions in our foreign policy. They have served our country with valor, from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the deserts of Iraq and mountains of Afghanistan. During Women's History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today.
Will this be the time when women and girls in America can gain full equality? Is this the decade when girls are no longer discouraged from having passion and dreams for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? That’s where the money is and the men too, to that matter.
Again according to President Barack Obama, “We are reminded that even in America, freedom and justice have never come easily. As part of a centuries-old and ever-evolving movement, countless women have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress–“
Does it make sense to you that as much as they have contributed and sacrificed, women and girls continue to face workplace discrimination, a higher risk of sexual assault, and face earnings gap that will cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her working lifetime? I believe most of you would say no to this question.
Because each person has personal power, each of us can be an agent of change. With a common purpose of working for a better world, each of us can contribute to the process.
What’s A Person To Do?
1. Be the change you want to see. Allow children live in a world where love is unconditional and gender neutral.
2. If you are an employer, give equal pay for equal work to all employees.
3. In family life, establish a set of values that all family members must follow.
4. At home, model equal family responsibilities between moms and dads.
5. At home, assign chores equally. All hands can do dishes, make beds and nurture others.
6. Strive to treat your male and female children equally.
7. Refrain from telling or listening to gender specific dirty jokes even if you’re at a bar.
8. Toys need not be gender specific. Girls may strive to fly planes and drive cars and boys may enjoy playing with Barbie.
© Dr. Rachell N. Anderson, February 17, 2017
Dr. Rachell Anderson is a native of Tunica, a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Professor Emeritus and author. She taught at the University of Illinois and ran a Private Clinical Practice in Springfield, Illinois for many years. She now lives in Tunica and writes with the Tunica Chapter of the Mississippi Writers’ Guild in Tunica, Mississippi. Check out her website at WWW.drrachellanderson.com for more articles and books.