Now I am preparing for my major project, I chose to design for women without any hesitation. Actually, I am one member of this group and want to bring some positive impact to the group. I want to use what I have learned to bring hope and encouragement to more women.
This group has certain prejudice and unfair treatment in different countries and cultures. For example, some older generation think that women should be gentle as well as virtuous and they should not be ambitious in career; some women dare not express their sexual needs and enjoy sex with their partners, because it is an old opinion ‘if women show their sexual desire, they will be look obscene’; some people suggest that women should learn in the area of Liberal arts and the arts because of an old opinion’ girls are not good at logical thinking’, Women have received serious questioning and provocation in science areas. As a woman, I always feel angry when I hear something like this.
After confirming the topic, I have started to know more about the knowledge and information in this area. Now I will show the research results so far.
WHAT IS FEMINISM
Feminism is a range of social and political movementds and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes (Feminism, 2021). The emergence of feminism can be traced back to the Renaissance and reformation in Europe about 18th century (History of feminism, 2021). It is interesting that the thinking of equality between men and women in the field of marriage and family was proposed by male poineers, like Pietrak, Boccaccio, Montaigne, and other humanists. And then, some women’s voices appeared.
There are four main schools of feminist theory:
- Liberal Feminism which is the starting point of all feminist theories, the longest feminist school in history. It has focused on taking the fight for equal legal and social rights between men and women as the key to eliminate gender discrimination(Qiu, 2015).
- Marxist Feminism & Socialist Feminism from 1950s and the latter is the product of the further development of Marxist Feminism. It has focused on material power, especially economic power, determines women’s living conditions and social status, and it has realised that women’s labor maintains the production and reproduction of the global econimic system. In addition, it has emphasized attention to the status of vulnerable women groups, especially in the third world.
- Radical Feminism from 1960s～1970s. It has tried to establish the theory of “female superiority and male inferiority”. To some extent, it reflects the impatient attitude of feminism after experiencing Liberal Feminism and Socialist Feminism. To a large extent, the resistance to feminism is caused by radical feminism, trying to erase the physiological differences between men and women, competing with men in various fields, and even trying to overpower men (Qiu, 2015).
- Postmodern Feminism from 1980s~1990s. It does not pursue the complete equality between men and women, but advocates full respect for each individual and full space for development. It has focused on advocating comprehensive cooperation between men and women, and building a harmonious partnership. So it is more suitable for the requirements and wishes of women in the third world(Kourany, 1992).
In conclusion, the development of feminism is from the struggle for power at the political level after the awakening of women’s consciousness to the change of constructing women’s power and shaping women’s subjectivity at the ideological and cultural level (Qiu, 2015).
In my opinion, feminism is a product of pursuiting gender equality. The relationship between men and women is not hostile, but more like cooperative. They can make the most use of their strengths in life to realize their self-worth and also promote social progress . People will not have unfair views and behaviors on women because of some old ideas as well as customs, and women will pursue the life and career they really want independently and confidently.
WHY WE NEED FEMINISM
Women and girls represent half of the world’s population, so they also half of its potential (Gender equality: why it matters, 2020). The processing of pursuiting gender equality is beneficial to different group people, business & economy, and social life.
Help children to grow better
When women have reproductive rights, they can take better care of the children they choose to have; When having equal pay with men, women can provide better healthcare, better food, and better education and other opportunities for their kids.
Help marginalized racial groups to be treated more equally
Racial discrimination has a close relationship with gender discrimination. In most places, women from marginalized racial groups are treated less equal than other women. So gender equalitu can help reduce racial discrimination.
Help men to reduce stress
When women have equal access to job and payment, men are more likely to feel less stressed about offering financial support for family. When women have equal education rights, they can solve problems more easily and men will feel more releaxed.
Promote business and economy develop better
one research shows that putting some women in the top leadership roles do better than businesses with only men in leadership. At then same time, Equal education and jobs also significantly reduce poverty rates, lifting an entire nation and improving its GDP.
Build a safer and peace life
Violence always has a negative impact on society at every level. And gender inequality is the source of lots of ciolence because of a lack of legal protections for abused women and human trafficking. So Improving equality can reduce the amount of violence and provide security for vulnerable people.
HOW TO EMPOWER WOMEN
Women’s equality and empowerment is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the United Nations. In addition, the United Nations also build one organization named UN Women to empower women and girls across all its programmes and advocacy (SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, n.d.). There are goals helping us to build a sustainable world in 2030: adopting and strengthening policies and legislation, avoiding gender dicriminationan d Harmful practices， recoginizing and valuing the unpaid care and domestic work, eliminating violence, having universal access to esxual and reproductive rights, having equal access to economic resources, having equal opportunities for leadership, and enhancing the use of technology( (SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, n.d.).
After knowing about the basic information related to gender equality, I am interested in ‘How to empower women in China in business & financial areas ?’. So in the next steps, I will do desk research and talk with experts from different areas to know about the current situation and views in china and around the world. I hope that these can help me to find one more specific challenge for designing.
Wekipedia. 2021. Feminism. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism> [Accessed 23 May 2021].
Wikipedia. 2021. History of feminism. [online] Available at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_feminism> [Accessed 23 May 2021].
Kourany, J., 1992. Feminist Philosophies. New jersey, pp.362–363.
Qiu, J., 2015. Feminism in International Society. Doctor. Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
United Nations. 2020. Gender equality: why it matters. [online] Available at: <https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/5_Why-It-Matters-2020.pdf> [Accessed 23 May 2021].
UN women. n.d. SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. [online] Available at: <https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/women-and-the-sdgs/sdg-5-gender-equality> [Accessed 23 May 2021].