Poverty and conservative role patterns

In the industrialised countries sometimes we can not help to get the impression that women are still more than once looked at as a lust-object.

Until the second half of the 20th century, women in most societies were denied some of the legal and political rights according to men. It has taken a very long time before women got the right to vote and to have their say in the house, community, village, city, country. In many industrialised countries the women got interesting positions but are not yet equally paid and do have to prove themselves twice as hard than the men. They may be allowed to share their thoughts and may have gained significant legal rights, we still can not neglect that women still do not have equality with men. This is evident at home, at their workplace, and in society in general.

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could ...

In the 1890s when gender role reversals could be caricaturized, the idea of an aggressive woman who also smoked was considered laughable. In 1929, Edward Bernays proved otherwise when he convinced women to smoke in public during an Easter parade in Manhattan as a show of defiance against male domination. The demonstrators were not aware that a tobacco company was behind the publicity stunt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The traditional role of man was to work and make money, which would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay at home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often made the final decision on all household matters because he had the money. Women were treated like they were property of men, with no voice about their own fate.

In many countries there are still more job offers for men and is it still easier for a man to climb the social ladder. A man can have both a family and a successful career whereas women who want to fulfil themselves as professionals have to sacrifice their personal life in most cases or, if they choose to have a family as well, they are sometimes regarded as bad mothers because they do not allocate 24 hours a day to raising their children.

Our society takes it for granted that the woman should take care for the children. The woman is made to take care of her own personal life and as a mother, she also has to take care of her children´s life. Lots of man still want to keep up their ‘higher position’ and look down at women who want to step onto the ladder of progress and a better position in business. On the other hand others do find the women who stay at home are lazy and are not willing to contribute to the welfare of the family, where the man should be the one who has to decide everything and the wife only has to follow his will. but many  of the contemporary society do not see that the person wanting to stay at home to take care of the children and the household should not at all be idle. the important task of bringing up children looks to be one of the most neglected tasks of this age. Women will always be important to society because they bring a sense of love, and emotion, and for this reason at least, society should start considering their situation more carefully.

Lathe operator machining parts for transport p...

Lathe operator machining parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant, Fort Worth, USA (1942). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our society has to become more aware that there is no superior or inferior person. We are all the same, created in the image of God the Divine Creator, so to consider that women are not as good as men is very wrong. Only to give women lesser roles to play in our society is not showing the full respect the woman deserves. We also should teach children that women can not be inferior just because they’re not men. Typecasting also can be a very dangerous sport. Women can do whatever a man can do and parents should let male and female children swap duties and play with the toys they would like to play with. In case a boy wants to play with puppets or dresses they should allow them, but should never try to impose on those children that because they prefer to play with puppets, that they would be gay.

Lots of gender problems we encounter today are provided by the specific typecasting of women’s and men’s roles, in the previous years. It is our willingness how to look at women and men which is going to decide how  people are going to treat others, also those who have a gender complexity or gender questions. The role of women in our society may have changed significantly and positively in the past three decades, but we still may find that girls are pushed by their parents in certain fields of study. Though we must be honest, in countries like Belgium, women do receive many opportunities and are challenged in all sorts of fields which fifty years ago were considered male jobs. A minus point in Belgium is that for several jobs done by women, they are still paid less than men, and that should be corrected.

Child care arrangements for children under age...

Child care arrangements for children under age 5 with employed mothers (by income); low income is defined as below 200% of the federal poverty level; source of data: http://mchb.hrsa.gov/mchirc/chusa_04/pages/0310wm.htm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Women and girls may have many more opportunities and face different challenges today, but often men leave them behind with the children, creating very difficult situations to avoid poverty. When we consider 60% of the average national income and the inability to receive enough income to pay for rent and living costs to be the poverty line than we notice that 14.7% of Belgians live below the poverty line, and that 22% of the women face poverty. Today Belgian industry should shame itself that it is possible that bakeries can ask 2,65€ for a brown loaf of 600 grammes whilst the person is only receiving 822 euros per month for singles and 1,726 euros per month for a couple with two children. Who can live on such a low income when we have to face rents of 750€ to 1200€ for a small flat?
In Belgium, one in seven people have to do with less! Increased energy prices and rising rents and housing affect our purchasing power and especially people with low incomes are there to suffer.

Risk factors for insecurity and poverty include divorce, economic dependence on a ( new ) partner, very low skills, long-term unemployment or weak employment situation, a debt mountain, old age. Retired persons are having it more difficult to cope and are not allowed to earn much extra or they loose their retirement premium. Because women are still living longer than men, they are the worst victim in that poverty range.

That there is still gender inequality we can see at the number of single mothers who take more than 80 % of single-parent families. Female heads of households are at high risk to be below the poverty threshold. After all, they accumulate the problems of struggling families where there is only one breadwinner with the weaker socio – economic position of women and the inefficiency of the social protection, such as inadequate protection of the unpaid care work and too limited compensation for the cost of children.

Married women staying at home form a larger and hidden group under the insecure women. Because of the generalization of the two-earner position the double income has become the average income welfare standard. The shrinking number of working women at home without income or benefit concentrates more and more among the low-skilled women with several children and by parents who made the choice that it is more important to have a spiritual upbringing than a material upbringing. For these women the benefits of a professional job outside the house do not outweigh by the accumulation of work and family responsibilities. Moreover, their lack of education and work experience and their economic dependence on a partner makes them a particularly vulnerable group .

Older single women are affected by the income -based pension. The wage gap against women in the labour market and by an incomplete career as a result of caring for children and relatives, many women receive in retirement hardly the statutory minimum. The fear of not going to receive any allotment making it possible to live properly when retired makes that many women do not want to take on house-duties, and prefer to have their children placed in childcare, while they can create a better and often a more than necessary income for the family.

The legal form that it is not necessary to have the marriage bond of man-woman, but that people can choose either to have a same gender matrimony or a looser living-together or cohabit contract, where people can more easily and legally swap partner, makes the position for the female person even weaker. We only can observe that in the end it seems in most cases the women are left with the children.

In the new-constituent families with the same sex parents, we can find similar questions coming up for whom is going to be the one who takes care for the behavioural education. They also will be looked at by others when one of the partners chooses to take care of the children and to give them special personal love and that extra education the schools are not providing any more.

Photo taken by me as an example of a stay at h...

An example of a stay at home dad and kids. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of stay-at-home dads began gradually increasing in the late 20th century, especially in developed Western nations. Though the role is subject to many stereotypes, and men may have difficulties accessing parenting benefits, communities, and services targeted at mothers, it became more socially acceptable by the 2000s, but now it starts loosing interest again because it becomes financially more difficult to survive when there is only one person working in the household.
There are now financial ramifications in deciding whether the mother or father should become the stay-at-home parent. In cases where the woman is the higher-paid parent, it makes more economic sense for her to continue to work while the man takes on the caregiver role.

With the growth of telecommuting, many men are also able to work from home. this made that either the woman or the man can work at home and be there for the children. Differences in parent‘s schedules can also account for some of the stay-at-home dads. Sometimes the father works odd work shifts while the mother has a typical nine-to-five work schedule.
Some retired males who marry a younger woman decide to become stay-at-home dads while their wives work because they want a “second chance” to watch a child grow up in a second or third marriage.

The choice of one of the partners, be it a man or a woman to stay some of the time or most of the time at home, is not looked favourably by the present generation. Those who make such a choice often have to face a very negative attitude from the society around them.

The patronizing attitude taken on by many, makes it difficult for many parents to choose for bringing up their children with the Law of God and getting them to know the Word of God.

Those families who do find it important that their children feel the warmth of a caring family, finding a parent at home when they return from school, receiving that extra information about the Higher Being, are confronted with the negative attitude of our contemporary society for the ancient ‘woman role’ of ‘housewife’, or the contemporary position of ‘houseman’.

It is true that, when we want to be a Christian family, we shall have to make the choice of diving our time between, work, school, leisure time and worship time. This will demand economical sacrifices, but there we should consider what would be the more valuable. Shall the ability to go twice or three times abroad on holiday, having the newest generation of i-phone or tablet, bring happiness?

When we want to be a Christian family should we keep to conservative role patterns? No, Christians also should evolve with time and should be aware of the possibilities they can get to work together as equal partners creating a safe home-ground for their children. They also may look at the Old and New testament examples of how women and men divided their task between each other.

The conservative Christians who do find that women do not have to play any part in decision making and/or in teaching the Word of God, should look better at the many examples given in the Holy Scriptures where women proved a very good asset in the upbringing of children and teaching them the Word of God.

Because that Word of God does not receive enough attention any more in our regions we as parents shall have to make choices and shall have to divide the duties at home to create enough opportunities for both partners to develop professionally well, and to develop as partner and parent, trying to create a place where the Word of God can receive the appropriate place. To succeed in such matter, financial sacrifices shall have to be made, as well as the making of the choice who will spend time at home with the children when. The father as well as the mother should each take some duties in the household and man also shall have to accept that the woman also shall work at the spiritual well-being of the child.

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Previous articles:

European Parliament stands for human dignity

Dignified role for the woman

Women, conservative evangelicals and their counter-offensive

Connection between women and environmental sustainability

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Related:

About the poverty our world is facing now you may find:

  1. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  4. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  5. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  7. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  8. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  10. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  11. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  12. Capitalism downfall
  13. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  14. Nearly 50 milion poor North Americans
  15. To Work Longer or Die Younger
  16. Demonizing families in poverty and misleading actions
  17. Jerez not an exception of poverty in Spain
  18. Poverty a European Issue
  19. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  20. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  21. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  22. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  23. Being religious has benefits even in this life

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  • Census Says: Women Are Still Getting the Short End of the Stick (US) (feimineach.com)
    In 2012, women were statistically much poorer than men. And women that were already poor in 2011 stayed that way.
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    one in seven women live in poverty. One in seven. That’s almost 17.8 million women – or 14.5% of the female population. For men, this percentage is lower, at 11%.
  • Recalibrating the poverty line (blogforarizona.com)
    Our definition of poverty, Schwarz says, was calibrated in the 1960s and it’s in need of recalibration. Then, food was a third of an average family’s budget, and the poverty threshold was set at 3 times the cost of an adequate food diet. Today, food is one-sixth of an average family’s budget, but the poverty line is still set at three times the cost of buying food for a family.The poverty line is set at $23,500 for a family of four. According to Schwarz, it should be closer to $41,000.
  • Who’s Job Is It Anyway? (transnationalplanning.wordpress.com)
    how much women were able to thrive in an environment where the men were somewhat “absent”, that is to say, they were not engaged in the affairs that these women were tackling for whatever reasons. Patel & Mitlin stated: “Most of the most powerful women leaders came from among the lower-income and most socially disadvantaged neighborhoods, in part because in these areas the man had given up.” It was amazing to see the role that these women were playing in their communities. Without them, who knows how much worse things would be for their families.
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    Perhaps what we need is not a clear demarcation of what each respective gender should be capable of doing but rather the unhindered opportunity for anyone to be able to address a need. This needs to be an approach accepted by both men and women. In a symbiotic relationship, each member does what is necessary because all will benefit from it. No one stands on ceremony and debates or dictates roles. It just gets done.
  • The disease of poverty is a doctor’s business everywhere (janeparry.wordpress.com)One fifth of Hong Kong’s population lives below the official poverty line. This was set for the first time in September 2013, at 50% of median monthly household income before tax and welfare transfers.Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia and ranks 11th globally, yet its Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, indicates it has the worst income disparity in the developed world. The announcement of the poverty line and that there are 1.3 million people living below it has been big news in Hong Kong, but it hasn’t generated the sense of righteous outrage that such a statistic should.
  • The Shocking New Study On American Children In Poverty (davidmixner.com)
    In America, 22.5% of our children live below the poverty line. That is also one out of every four children! That comes to 16,400,000 children living without their basic needs of food, shelter, clothes, education, etc being met by our society.
  • Women, Indigenous Australians identified in poverty report (abc.net.au)A 10-year study has found Australia’s most disadvantaged are more likely to be women, Indigenous, and have health problems.To coincide with national poverty week, researchers at the University of Canberra have released a study which tracked 900 people for a decade, who were identified as marginalised in 2001.

    The study found 60 per cent of those identified by the study as marginalised in 2001 had escaped those conditions by 2010.

  • New Book Shows How to Curb Intergenerational Poverty (prweb.com)A new book, Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity, by Dr. Jack Westman reveals the power parents have to create America’s productive citizens. They also have the power to create social problems in the context of intergenerational poverty.Dr. Westman calls attention to the fact that one-third of children and youth in the United States are failing in some aspect of their lives. The United States is at the top of the list of developed nations in child abuse and neglect and the bottom in educational achievement.

    Five children die every day from abuse in the United States. Three million referrals are made to child protective services every year.

  • When gender inequality is good economics (globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com)
    While we know that individuals, economies and societies would benefit from gender parity in the long term, gender inequality is often a perfectly rational choice for individuals in the short term.
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    Gender imbalances, and their resulting economic consequences, are still startlingly visible everywhere, from the developed world to emerging markets.
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