Introduction to International Development Studies
Women’s role in the national development has been neglected in some countries over the years. Global south nations have particularly done this by obliging only a few women to undertake international and national duties. Women’s portrayal and belief as a weaker sex has enveloped many global south nations and this has led to a great difference in terms of gender equality. The women’s development journey in these nations has been challenging. To get equal treatment, women have been fighting really hard. This can be attributed to the traditional norms and barriers that are found in most of these countries. For instance, within Africa, women have not had the right to own or to inherit property up to the recent years in some countries.
Women were also not allowed to rule. The sole duty that was delegated to women was raising children and taking care of the house. The most interesting aspect was the fact that there are countries that did not allow girls to attend school. Instead, girls were married off at their young ages to rich men in exchange for some wealth in form of dowry that was given to their families. Thus, girls were considered as a way of acquiring wealth and property. Traditions and religion virtues perpetuated these practices combined with lack of knowledge and information. There were also no Acts and laws provided by the governments to ensure protection for girl children. This was a serious problem because women faced oppression from men and they were disadvantaged economically. As such, they were susceptible to abuse and violence.
However, the issue of power among women is tricky and different since it is a problem that is not experienced in the global south nations only. Even some powerful countries across the world have not had for instance, a female president. However, women have only risen to power recently in the global south nations. For instance, in Africa only a few women have held prominent positions in the government during the 19th century. Up to now, just two or one country has had a female president. This has happened in Africa, South Asia, Latin American and central nations only. Women are not allowed the power that they need to own property, rule or even to be considered for senior positions in the government. They are also exposed to violence in their homes. This is because these countries still see women as inferior beings and therefore incapable of performing the ruling tasks or making important decisions.
Governments should be blamed for this because they do not offer protection to girl children. Nevertheless, over the recent years customary practices have reduced in these countries though some are still performing them. Customary inheritance is a practice that has been addressed recently in a varying scope because in the past years, there are global south nations that have experienced a challenge of increased AIDS and HIV infections. Fighting this monster is hard because of the prevailing per capita income. Consequently, women who are becoming widows at their young ages have increased in number. The situation has had devastating repercussions for these women and their children due to poverty and limited productive resources.
Denying inheritance right to women is meting violence on them and it is also economic discrimination. However, this has had consequences in form of poor growth of the economies of these countries. This is because women face several problems that include poor infrastructure, poor housing as well as natural disasters. As a result, the United Nations came up with a report that indicates women development’s progress. Due to radical developments and growth that different states across the world have witnessed, the word global south was adopted by the UN in reference to the states that have low indices of human development as well as per capita income. Nevertheless, the UN recommended that these states ought to do more in terms of developments among women. In the 2010 report, statics indicated that most global south nations neglect access of basic things among women including health and education. The report indicated that women have a long way to go before achieving equality with men. This was depicted by the low number of the prominent officers of the government who were women as well as the low number of women holding prominent positions in different organizations both private and public organizations combined with the high instances of domestic violence in these countries.
Eradicating customs that hinder women’s participation in the national development as well as changing women’s view as being incomparable to men is important in the global south nations. This will enhance women’s participation in growing the economy of these states through shared participation and resources in the activities of the economy. However, this will reduce domestic violence because researchers have established that economically stable women are never or less likely to be subjected to violence domestically. Actually, participation of women in the national development will greatly enhance women and men equality because it will give them acting power so that they can prove their ability to participate in the national matters.
Nevertheless, gender equality issue can also be promoted via the synchronization of power structures within the global south nations. Clearly, most power structures neglect women’s participation and power in some of these nations. If some means are put in place to restrict certain government positions to women lawfully, this would greatly contribute to the establishment of a power balance between women and men. To achieve this, a new governance system should be adopted where women will be viewed at as being equal to men and also capable of leading or ruling the nation just like men. This will affect the power share that women will have in their governments and therefore contribute towards the achievement of gender equality among the global south nations.
This will not be achieved if there are no formal means of doing it. Gender equality will not be achieved when private and public organizations do not want to hire women. The activities of private and public sectors should be governed by a rule. Gender equality matters ought to be addressed thoroughly. The government ought to come up with provisions for balancing the positions that each gender holds. The constitutions that govern these states should also be altered or changed because this will ensure proper incorporation of women rights in these nations’ laws. Nevertheless, there are laws that these governments can enact to govern issues that affect women including inheritance. This can apply in nations where land is shared among males only.
Laws should also be enacted to punish domestic violence culprits in issues that include assault or rape. Such cases ought to be considered because statistics indicate that these cases are increasing among the global south nations yet very little is being done or has been done to prevent their occurrence. The number of non-governmental organizations that support girl children should be established to enhance the protection of these children. More attention should be paid on human rights in order to ensure fair treatment for the citizens of these countries especially the elimination of gender limitations. With laws and right rules as well as the incorporation of the right power structures, women will easily participate in the national development.