Evaluate the claim that equality of opportunity for females is a desirable, but unrealistic goal.
Question analysis-definition of key terms
Equality of opportunity: same chances to succeed in all aspects of life
Desirable: beneficial not just to the women, but towards the larger society as a whole
Unrealistic: impossible task to achieve; just a dream only
Assumption: This question assumes that giving women the same opportunities as men, would help to elevate their social status and position in society. However, this is too idealistic a scenario and that it is impossible to treat everyone in the same way. Inequality is part and parcel in our lives today.
To do well for this question, students need to consider why giving women the same opportunities are desirable to society. What are some aspects of society that would benefit from this and how would it improve and elevate the status of women overall? Also, students need to consider why is this goal unachievable? Could it be due to the women’s individual circumstances and context or could it be the larger external environment that is preventing this from occurring? Students should also realized that this is a matrix question and that they could answer this question from various angles: desirable and unrealistic; not desirable but realistic; not desirable and unrealistic and undesirable and unrealistic.
Yes it is desirable but unrealistic
- Feminist groups have not made much headway in the championing of women rights and the equal opportunities in terms of treatment for them. This is largely because these groups have been fighting for women’s rights by basing on men’s terms. Most women are also not strong supporters of these feminist groups as a result.
- It is impossible to accord everyone equal opportunities in this world, especially since inequality is something that is inherent. Every individual would have different conditions and abilities and hence it would not make sense to give someone the same opportunity. Biological differences could be one big factor as to why equality of opportunities are not given to women in industries that need more physical work and in the sporting arena.
No it is desirable and realistic
1) Increasing presence of women rights movements and organizations that help to champion the rights of the women, and to ensure that equal opportunities are given to them increasingly. These feminist movements have made headways especially in the developed nations such as Singapore with AWARE. For instance, AWARE champions equal opportunities at work and promotion. The employers could be taken to task if they are found to have dismissed a female staff inappropriately due to her being pregnant and needing to pay maternity leave. These feminist organizations have also outlawed discrimination against women and champion equal opportunities in terms of schooling for them, as a first step towards empowerment especially in the developing world.
2) It is desirable as greater empowerment of women would mean that the world would be progressing towards greater respect of rights and be more accepting of women’s leadership. It is increasingly realistic as people are more educated and do not believe that only men are able to lead people due to “manly traits”. There are influential men who champion women’s rights and feel that there should be equality of opportunity such as Obama. Such influence though may take a long time, but they will gradually be more realistic in time to come.