tertiary women

6

If it weren’t for the fact that only one of us could become Miss Korea, do you think we could have been friends? If not for the same year, 1997… if we had competed in different years, would we still be at each other’s throat like this?

Favorite Female Driven Drama: Miss Korea

Traditional women are just as bad as feminists

Whilst feminists often hate men, traditional women do not, and are indifferent to male issues.

Feminists have an inferiority complex in regards to men, which manifests as penis envy (figuratively speaking). Traditionalist women have a superiority complex, which manifests in statements like “men’s role is to protect women and children” and incredulity in regards to bad female behaviour. Which they deem women to be above.

Feminists claim to be career focused but nearly all of them want to find a man wealthy enough to allow them the option of being stay at home mothers. Traditional women claim to be submissive with the knowledge that the authority that they pretend to give to men is not legally binding and nor do they wish it to be. The divorce rate of America’s Christian populous is just 2% below that of secular Americans.

Feminists want careers when they are young, but want the option of adopting the traditional role when they tire of it.

Traditional women want the benefits of feminism; no fault divorce, welfare and abortion, whilst acting as if they would never do anything like that.

Traditional women are probably more physically attractive than feminists on average. Once attractive women leave tertiary education, aka feminist indoctrination camps, they realise that feminism is more detrimental than helpful to them and they stop espousing it’s tenets, even if they still believe them.

Feminism is, in part, a recourse for unattractive women to obtain resources from men that would not be given otherwise. Attractive women sooner or later realise they can gain male provision willingly and more efficiently through marriage.

I remember reading a Star Trek magazine when I was eleven or twelve. It was a special issue, “the women of Star Trek.” It had Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, and Roxann Dawson on the cover, and inside, it profiled almost every actress who had ever held more than a bit part in the Trekkie universe. I read it cover-to-cover dozens of times and one argument stuck with me, at first because as a child I believed it, and later, because I could not.

My magazine argued that the three decades between Star Trek’s premiere in 1966 and Star Trek: Voyager’s premiere in 1995 were necessary to make the franchise “ready” for a woman captain to lead a series of her own — That from the original series to The Next Generation to Deep Space Nine to Voyager, with all of the films in-between, it was necessary to gradually, tentatively, slowly approach overt, sustained women leadership, beginning with Christopher Pike’s first officer (who was initially conceived as a woman, but on whom Roddenberry was forced to compromise, instead using an alien — Spock — to demonstrate that “Otherness”) through the “hard” (Denise Crosby, Michelle Forbes) and “soft” (Marina Sirtis, Gates Mcfadden) tertiary women of TNG and the seconds-in-command (Nana Visitor, Terry Farrell) of DS9, and ending at last with Mulgrew’s captaincy on Voyager.


I use the word “ending” intentionally, because rather than an ascendancy — women established in their rightful place — Mulgrew and her colleagues, through no fault of their own, stood at the top of a wheel on a downward turn. Post-Voyager, from Enterprise onward, Star Trek has relied more and more on women in their underwear than women in the captain’s chair. One step forward, two steps back.

The Power of Algeria's Female Work Force

Algeria’s modern woman has come a long way in paving the path towards power and influence throughout Algerian society, even amid the terrorism era of the 1990’s.

The primary cause of this empowerment was education, which was partly responsible for the reduction of gender barriers. However, the key word here is reduction, as it still exists in Algeria a large gender gap when it comes to the labour force, with men owning the monopoly in the work place. It is a withstanding and never ending debate within not only female Algerian society, but Algeria as a whole to assure that dialogue of why women should be allowed to work is never silenced.

Algeria’s notable progress in gender equality within education between the years of 2003 and 2004 showed that 95.3 percent of girls completed primary school. The number of girls enrolled in secondary school was significantly higher than boys, and that 61 percent of total graduates in tertiary education were women. According to reports, by 2015 Algeria will have met the targets of education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. In 2004, the total number of students at all levels of education represented 27 percent of the total population.

Since 1990, the government has been investing about 5.8 percent of its GDP in education. As a result, the levels of education are comparable to those in developed countries. As stated, the number of girls who have completed primary education is higher than boys, and as such the number of girls enrolled in secondary school is also slightly higher than boys. Similarly, 61 percent of total graduates in tertiary (university) education are women. Though these figures may suggest that women have the front line when it comes to education, what is more concerning is the fact that these women, even with the domination in education, still fall through when it comes to employment.

Though the education policy in Algeria means that all children are put through education; with this suggesting that discriminatory situations are avoided, there is still major room for social change. Many women are unaware of their rights, and thus, unknowingly accept social prejudices. Algerian legislation regarding work and education does not discriminate based on gender, however, even though law dictates that both genders are on equal footing when it comes to the labour force, the reality on the grounds is that women are suffering because of a cultural mentality: a mentality that disallows the women to freely work without societal expectations.

On the upside, the investment in education has resulted in a decrease in illiteracy rates for women, which were extremely evident between the years 1990 and 2002, declining from 59 percent to 40 percent. Significant progress can also be seen in women’s youth literacy which increased from 68 percent in 1990 to 86 percent in 2004. Though even with all this taken into account, the women of Algeria still find it more difficult than their male counterparts to proceed to higher level jobs. At present, there is an up rise in the number of women who are demonstrating their managerial skills, yet still, society is hostile towards women in the work place, blaming their lack of experience or commitment onto why there are so few in high positions.

In the last five years, women’s economic rights and opportunities have improved in some respects. The amended family code gave women the ability to establish the separation of goods in their marriage contracts. Women’s literacy, enrolment in universities, and employment are steadily increasing. And since 2004, the penal code has criminalised sexual harassment. However, the effects of negative stereotypes and societal habits remain a major obstacle to women’s economic empowerment and a quicker progression. Unfortunately, the customary habits of Algerian society sees women as unable to give orders to a man. The culture of a male society becomes the source of several socio-cultural problems of women in the work-force in Algeria. Similar parallels can be drawn with neighbouring Morocco, whereby a study conducted by L'Association Marocaine d'Appui à la Promotion de la Petite Entreprise (AMAPPE) found that there are problems of cultural values and social rules [between genders]; and that many still find themselves belittled in a work environment. Many even stated that eye contact was always avoided, body language was cold and indirect, and that many would prefer to discuss a matter via email rather than face-to-face.

Algerian women tend to be heavily present in the judicial system, where they account for 65 percent of judges. Yet, none has presided over the bar since independence. Due to cultural aspects also overruling many women’s lifestyle and career choices, they tend to be concentrated in traditional fields such as education, but seem to be slowly breaking through in some non-traditional areas such as medicine. The challenge faced by the Algerian government is to make sure to improve the quality and content of the education system and professional training programmes, with the purpose of promoting gender equality in the work force.

Freedom House, an impendent watch dog reported in 2010 that in an effort to promote gender sensitivity from a young age, women’s rights organisations in Algeria began to draw attention to the persistence of negative or patriarchal stereotypes in textbooks and the views of both male and female teachers. Unfortunately however, they had little success in ameliorating this problem.

Within labour unions however, the women of Algeria are taking larger and much needed steps to achieve social and economical justice for females in work. The idea is to help women gain higher positions, and encourage more involvement within unions such as the Syndicat National Autonome des Personnels de l’Administration Publique (SNAPAP). Because of the SNAPAP, over 600 women have been reached and encouraged in 11 provinces throughout Algeria. If it wasn’t for this union, many women would remain marginalised and unrepresented within their communities with no support. The union recognises that although many women are arguably working in order to create a name for themselves, as well as elevate the work spaces around them, many fall short due to gender based discrimination. This of course comes hand in hand with not only the discrimination in the work place, but on a societal level through harassment and violence.

One of the main focuses that the SNAPAP provides is study circles which are run by the women’s committee. These are run in conjunction with the Regional Algerian Women’s Legal Empowerment Network and with support from the Solidarity Centre. These study sessions help women to realise, learn and understand their rights under not only law but international conventions. The idea is to break down the fear of being in work, and motivate them to use their rights as a tool in the work world, by being supported in overcoming fears that keep them from challenging repression and violations of their rights, even those often condoned by their societies. The idea is to allow Algerian women to have a safe place where they can freely express their ideas and talk about their experiences, in the hopes of gaining more support from their fellow women.

Of course, it comes as no surprise that many of the women’s main concerns were the ongoing exploitations in the workplace. As previously stated, the wage gap between men and women was one of the more prominent complaints found, as well as the struggle to balance work and home life. On top of that, social norms further constrain women when choosing professions, meaning the desire to work and have a family life become ultimatums. Although Algerian women are not legally restricted in choosing certain vocations, in the Family Code clause, which states that women must abide by the duty of obedience, has been interpreted in such a way as to be favourable to men rather than women.

Due to this, many female professionals work in fields such as nursing and education, which are considered more socially acceptable and gender appropriate. Though societal expectations sometimes take more importance, as of late the state has been involved in passing legislation aimed at protecting women’s rights, including those that mandate wage and salary equality and those that require state employers and private companies to give women at least 3-months paid maternity leave. The difference being is always whether the preach of these laws is actually practised.
The percentage of Algerian women in education, and those in work or about to embark in work do not correlate.

Statistics presented by the World Bank showed the considerable representation of women at university level has not produced a corresponding representation in the labour market. Only 18.7 percent of women were employed in 2006, with 60 percent working in the public sector and 40 percent in the private sector. The latter consisted of 18.5 percent working in the formal sector and 21.5 percent in the informal sector, where women earn low wages and have no benefits. A lot of these statistics also fail to mention that culturally, many women are not encouraged to work in jobs that take them away from a stable family life and home, and that travelling certain distances means that women are more likely to turn down a job because of this, rather than the other way round. Women do not enjoy employment stability as Algerian men do so; and it is one of the main social factors which interrupts the employment situation of women in Algeria.

The government should launch an initiative that encourages both job seekers and employers to enhance women’s status in the work force and allow them more decision making roles. This is an idea that has already been toyed with and encouraged by the SNAPAP, meaning the next platform should be a national one. The traditional and cultural aspects are probably the more difficult factor for a society to realise, accept and change to adapt to the modern Algerian woman. Female activity rates are progressing slowly in present day due to a limited social acceptance of female labour outside the realm of the household. However, the younger generation experiences less of these social constraints, with 45 percent of active females all under the age of 30.

The women of Algeria are a determined and detrimental part of Algeria as a whole. The government needs to place stronger emphasis on the labour law: it does not provide sufficient protection for areas of work in which women are heavily engaged in, in particular domestic service and work without pay in family firms. Generally, Algerian women are not sufficiently aware of their rights, and this is one of the first steps in providing a steeper rise in women in employment.

Naila Missous