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Women as Agents of Change - Essay Sample

2 pages
472 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
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Several studies have in the recent past provided evidence that women in the developing countries suffer more from gender inequities than women in the developed countries. In particular, the disparities are evident in sexuality and gender. While sex is biological, gender is cultural based and how it affects a woman depends on the cultural setting of the local community. In the developing countries, the cultural setting creates inequality between males and females where the males are the dominant species and women often do not have full autonomy over their sexual lives especially when it comes to age of marriage, the number of children to have, whether to use family methods, among others (Murphy, 2003). However, studies have revealed that women can overcome these challenges by becoming the primary agents of change in their communities by engaging in activities that champion their freedom and equality.

One of the most effective ways of combating challenges related to gender inequities in the developing world is the adoption of family planning methods. The use of contraceptives would ensure that there is reduced unwanted pregnancies and low mortality rate. Contraceptives also help women to space their children and have autonomy in planning the number of children they wish to have. Currently, only half of women in the developing countries use contraceptives (56%) compared to 74% of women in the developed countries (Murphy, 2003). Perhaps one of the reasons for the low usage of contraceptives in the developing is due to limited access. However, recent studies have established that limited access to contraceptives is only a minor reason. Many women argue that they wish to space and plan their children but fear the health complications and side effects associated with the usage of contraceptives. In this regard, it is critical that women overcome the misconceptions of contraceptives and embrace them as a way of bringing change in their local communities.

Importantly, education is a valuable tool to elevating women out of poverty. Gender inequities in the developing countries favor men in the job market and often women are edged out in lucrative opportunities. In addition, some communities do not value educating the girl child and emphasize on educating the boy child. Consequently, women become marginalized because they do not have access to opportunities (Kristoff and Wudum, 2009). As a result, they are forced to engage in prostitution, early marriages, and victims of human trafficking due to hard economic times. However, increased access to education for females would ensure that they have increased access to opportunities and limited risk to human rights violation. Importantly, it would improve the overall welfare and health of women in the developing countries.


Kristof, N.D. & WuDunn, S. (2009). Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

Murphy, E. M. (2003). Being born female is dangerous for your health. American Psychologist, 58, 205.


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