The debate about women being treated as equals in the workplace has been a continuous issue for a number of years now. Women are constantly proving themselves to be an asset to the world of work, but still have to campaign and fight for equality. Could men really cope without women within the workplace? Could Adam have coped without Eve? Women are continually showing themselves to be more than capable. This can be told from the exam results received by both men and women. When the results are compared they show that women are much higher achievers than men.
Since the early 1980’s, the standards of achievement for all have been rising, but because of the differential rates of improvements, girls are still performing better than boys. Throughout all the subjects offered at G. C. S. E level, girls are presently gaining more A* grades in every subject with the exception of mathematics and physics although at A* level the results take a reversible change. As these results will determine the access to further or higher education for most school leavers, it is interesting to note that the number of females who receive acceptance for university is dramatically lower than that of the males.
This leaves us asking the question ‘why give the opportunity to a person less capable? ‘ the answer: inexplicable. During the Victorian era – 1837 to 1901 – a woman’s place was indefinitely in the home. The transformation of Britain into an industrial nation had profound consequences for the ways in which women were to be idealised. Domesticity and motherhood were portrayed as a sufficient and emotional fulfilment. New kinds of work and new kinds of urban living prompted a change in the ways in which appropriate male and female roles were perceived.
In particular, the notion of separate spheres – woman in the private sphere of the home and hearth, man in the public sphere of business, politics and sociability – came to influence the choices and experiences of all women, at home, at work, in the streets. However charitable missions began to extend the female role of service and Victorian feminism emerged as a potent political force. Middle-class women of the Victorian era did leave their homes and not just to socialise but to visit the homes of the poor.
These women used their position of privilege to export expertise in domestic affairs to those regarded as in need of advice, so they might attain the same high standards of household management. The power that middle-class women had achieved in the home was now used by them in order to gain access to another world characterised by, as they saw it, poverty, drink, vice and ignorance. During the Second World War women were called for to help out in the war effort because there was a shortage of men.
This for many women was an entirely new experience that the majority enjoyed as compared to their role as a housewife, so after the war many women chose to keep their jobs. However as time went on women began to realise that they happened to be doing exactly the same work as what their male counterparts were doing, with the exception that the women were not being paid half as much as the men due to the employers fears of losing money and trade unionist fears that equal pay for women would lower the wages for men. Women decided to stand up and fight for the wage that they deserved.
Their stand went far, but some employers offered equal pay long before others. By 1961 women’s wages in the civil service and teaching matched men’s wages, and so by 1970 the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was passed and was later on amended in April 2003. It states that it is unlawful for employers to discriminate between men and women in terms of their contracts of employment. It covers all contractual benefits, not just pay, (including holiday entitlement, pension, child care benefits, sickness benefits, car allowances etc.
) More and more women are now ‘coming out of the kitchen’ than ever before; yet the war of the wage still goes on. Furthermore, employers are also seeking un-married, childless women to take employment at their workplace as this would mean that the female would be able to work more hours and spend more time concentrating on work related issues. The 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to treat people differently in the workplace because of their sex.
Moreover, since 1997 a person subjected to sex discrimination in the workplace no longer has to prove in court that he or she was indeed the victim of such discrimination, which was generally difficult; it is rather up to the person accused of discrimination to prove that it did not take place. Although this law has been passed for over twenty-five years, there is still sex discrimination going on within the workplace and women are showing their vulnerability by not speaking up about it. This is not any help to the victim as it is placing them back at square one.
As a young girl, starting a business was the last thing on Anita Roddick’s mind as she had great dreams of becoming a Hollywood actress. Even when she began to pursue what would become The Body Shop, her environmentalism-minded skin- and hair-care company with more than 1,800 stores in 49 countries, Roddick’s goal was not to be an icon. Roddick opened her first shop in 1976 with 25 hand-mixed products, eventually franchising The Body Shop and then going public in 1984. The Body Shop now offers more than 1,000 items and reached sales of more than $1 billion in 2000/2001.
Although she no longer sits on The Body Shop’s executive committee, Roddick still serves as co-chair, finds new products and keeps the company active in human rights, environmentalist and animal-protection issues. It just goes to show what a woman can achieve when they dive into the no longer man-driven-world as the independent woman. To answer the question to whether Adam could have coped without Eve, the answer could be given as simple as ‘no’. Due to the way that women think and consider the possibilities, I believe that without Eve, the world would be in unflinching damnation if left to Adam alone.