Half the world’s human beings are women, yet statistics show there is no class of people more abused, aborted, exploited, humiliated, denigrated, harassed, molested, battered, persecuted and even murdered and enslaved.
There are really only two differences between men and women that we know to be completely natural and unavoidable and that affect the jobs they do: men, on average, have stronger muscles than women; and women give birth to babies. All other differences that we may observe are increasingly held to be the result of training and fashion, and not something inborn and inevitable.
This means that the traditional role of women as housewives, who perform the tasks of cooking, bringing up children, cleaning etc. as against the male role of going out to work, looking after the money side, fighting for hearth and home, etc. are now often thought to be purely the result of custom: men may be just as good at looking after babies once they are born, doing the housework, and all the other things considered to be women’s jobs in most countries today. And women may be just as good at earning the family’s living, handling the accounts, fighting where necessary, and so on. Many men and women have proved that they can perform tasks traditionally reserved for the opposite sex.
This is supposed to be an enlighten age, but you wouldn't think so if you could hear what the average man thinks of the average woman. Women won independence years ago. After a long bitter struggle they enjoy the same educational opportunities as men in most parts of the world. They have proved repeatedly that they are equal and often superior to men in almost every field. The hard-fought battle for recognition has been won, but it is by no means over. It is men not women who still carry on the sex war because their attitude remains basically hostile.
Even in the most progressive societies women continue to be regarded as second-rate citizens. In Nairobi a woman for getting a job must go to one of a few banks in the world designed exclusively for women, and it will make sure that she gets a loan. If she wants to learn to read, it may be more difficult. In Africa 8 women out of 10 are illiterate. Most Japanese believe that a woman must put the family ahead of her job
In the working world, women still come a distant second to men. Unemployment generally affects women more sharply. In most countries women are less paid. While in the developed world there are more female lawyers, managers and politicians than before, and women in communications are numerous, they are still heavily outnumbered by men. In developing countries women's work is often little more than the most menial of labour. 6 of 10 illiterates in the world are women.
Elsewhere in the world women have found cultural prejudices as hard to change as political ones. Some believe that woman and policy can't be combined. The spread of Islamic fundamentalism has meant the return of the chador and the loss of many hard-won freedoms. Female circumcision is still practiced in many countries and in South America women aren't covered by labour legislation, maternity benefits and unemployment insurance provisions.
The truth is that men cling to their supremacy because of their basic inferiority complex. They shun real competition. They know in their hearts that women are superior and they are afraid of being beaten at their own game. One of the most important tasks in the world is to achieve peace between the nations. You can be sure that if women were allowed to sit round the conference table, they would succeed brilliantly, as they always do, where men have failed for centuries. Some things are too important to be left for men.