Example Of Essay On Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination is undoubtedly a worldwide issue that is practiced in more or less every nook and corner of the world. In simple words, this kind of discrimination is directed to affect the women in order to nullify their participation in every sphere of life including political, educational, cultural, and economical fields. South Korea is one of the major countries in the world where gender discrimination is prevalent even in the modern times. In fact, one of the reports presented by the World Economic Forum verifies that “although gender discrimination is much lower than 20 years ago, sex equality in South Korea is ranked 97th out of 128 countries” (Bae and Richardson 23). Being a 30 year old South Korean, I am against the discriminatory attitudes of people towards women on the basis of their gender. My belief that women should be treated as equal beings is consolidated by my childhood experiences and memories.
As far as my childhood is concerned, I think I was a child gifted with passion and curiosity. My inquisitive nature always made me try and experience new things. I used to hang out with my friends whenever I could to try interesting things. However, our strict South Korean society required children to push hard so that they could compete with others. I would say that most of my precious adolescent life was spent in trying to approach a goal for my adult life. It would be correct to say that a majority of South Korean parents insisted their children to work hard for achieving success at an early age. When I look back, I get the feeling that the consistent pressure of parents burdened a lot of children. The expectations were very high. My parents also wanted me to work harder than my capacity. For such reasons, depression consumed me most of the time and I used to worry whether I would be able to make my parents’ dreams come true or not.
In addition, gender discrimination was everywhere even in my own family and domestic setting. Although I was a child, I could see and observe the different ways boys and girls were treated. While I was growing up, I could notice the discriminations made by my parents in treating me and my siblings. Being the brother of a younger sister and a younger brother, I was given preference due to my age and gender. Even my younger brother enjoyed privilege as compared to our only sister just because he was a male by sex. It is not an untold secret that the culture of South Korea is rather conservative in contrast with other countries. For the very same reason, women were treated as unequal beings and people regarded the as less deserving and less respectable. I still remember that my younger sister was not allowed to participate in activities, especially at night. As a tradition, women in South Korea were not given permission to go out at night. Therefore, my parents never let my sister hang out late at night. On the other hand, boys did not have any such restrictions. In comparison to my sister, I had a carefree and supportive childhood. My younger brother and I were allowed to go out at night and return home at late hours. In addition, strict South Korean families did not allow the young female members to date. As a consequence of the stated restrictions, females had to hide their boyfriends and usually met them in secret.
I started realizing and understanding the problem of gender discrimination from the time I entered elementary school. I remember that my girl classmates were obliged to look and act feminine. Most of them were introverted and did not participate in the class much. I would also like to highlight that the media helped me a lot in comprehending the gender issues and getting to know the biasness of South Korean society towards females. During that time, gender imbalance turned out to a grave problem in the society. Young and adult males struggled to get married to a suitable girl. As male chauvinism was at its peak, people preferred to have male children only. I did not consider this issue seriously when I was young as it did not affect me directly. After growing up, my thoughts matured and I could make out the bad behavior of the society towards women. I must say that I extremely discourage gender biasness believing that women are as competent and proficient as men.
South Koreans have a homogeneous cultural identity. I take pride in the fact that I am a South Korean national with distinctive rights and cultural heritage. In the previous times, our culture did not favor intra-marriages. Therefore, parents and children usually had the same South-Korean nationality. On the other hand, this tradition has been changed now. People today do not consider intra-marriages to be a bad thing. In fact, the increase in mix-marriages has increased the population on mixed-race children in the South Korean society. Previously, marriage with foreigners was not encouraged. In particular, women were not allowed to marry foreigner men. However, this trend is also changing. It is reported that in May 2009, “the foreign population in South Korea reached 1.1 million, 2.2 percent of the total population, and approximately 12 percent of the marriages were international” (Heo & Roehrig 76). I would say that I embrace this tradition and hope to witness more open-mindedness and less non-judgmental attitude in South Koreans. I also appreciate the fact that peoples’ point of views regarding women participation in business and politics are also changing rapidly. Presently, the government of South Korea is hiring thousands of females for top senior positions in foreign services, judiciary, and international trade.
As a grown-up, the most memorable day of my life was the last day of my military life. Most Korean men were required to conclude the military service for a two-year period. I was only 19 when I applied in air force and joined it. It was the time when I had to remain separated from my family according to the official rules. I think that it was the hardest phase of my life as I had to struggle a lot. However, this experience helped me grow independently and socially as I learned interpersonal skills. In fact, I was excessively proud of my accomplishments on the last day of my military service period. I would like to mention that there is no specific role model in my life as I have not particularly followed any person. Instead, I have learnt a lot from my personal and professional experiences. It is worth-mentioning that military service is still a controversial issue for women as they are only allowed to work as volunteers. This is advantageous for men as the completion of military service strengthen their career options. This trend is also changing as women argue that they are strong enough to carry out military tasks. Presently, women are getting equal opportunities in military as well.
I feel that the South Korean mentality regarding women’s position and status in the society is changing positively day by day. Previously, women were not given any kind of encouragement to work outside. Their sole job was to carry out the household chores and look after their families. Also, the Korean Family Law has guaranteed extraordinary rights of marriage, property inheritance, divorce, and child custody. It is important to mention that South Korea has followed Confucian patriarchal philosophy for a long time. This Confucian philosophy “subordinated women to men and assigned women to stereotypical social roles: the chaste woman, the devoted wife, the dedicated mother” (Kim 148). South Korea cannot advance further without women’s contributions. Such changes must be appreciated and more measures must be taken to elevate the status of women in the South Korean society.
Bae, Chang, and Harry Ward Richardson. "Demography and Urbanization." Regional and Urban Policy and Planning on the Korean Peninsula. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 2011. Print.
Heo, Uk, and Terence Roehrig. South Korea since 1980. New York: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print.
Kim, Rosa. "The Legacy of Institutionalized Gender Inequality in South Korea: The Family Law." Boston College Third World Law Journal (1994): 145-62. Print.