“Women and girls can do whatever they want. There is no limit to what we as women can accomplish” – American Lawyer and Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama
Feminism is a concept that has helped women to acquire equal rights and a huge impact on the lives and roles of women in the society. In addition, feminism is gaining equal opportunities and rights for both men and women. Views on gender-based differentiation in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships have often undergone profound changes as a result of feminist and/or economic influences .
Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. Feminism is mainly focused on women’s issues and is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. The fundamental object of feminism is the feminine. The status of women in society, the roles of women in and out of their homes, the oppression and exploitation of women, gender differences, patriarchal society structure and male dominant power approaches and pressures are widely debated issues. Several feminist activists have campaigned for women’s rights—such as in contract, property, and voting — while also promoting women’s rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and reproductive rights. They have opposed domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. In economics, they have advocated for workplace rights, including equal pay and opportunities for careers and to start businesses. Hence, feminism has caused new discourses, actions, perceptions and theoretical approaches to emerge in itself as a result of existing debates about women, the fundamental object of feminism.
Feminism first emerged as a social movement on the local level, and later on it became a social and political movement on the broader plane. Some of the earlier forms of feminism have been criticized for being geared towards white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically-specific or multicultural forms of feminism. However, feminism has brought a theoretical perspective within the disciplines such as international relations, sociology, economics, philosophy, law and politics and aims to understand the nature of gender equality.Women have sought to find ways in which feminist theory based on a large number of approaches can reduce chaos, mishap or misery of situations that women must deal with such as gender discrimination in the fields of politics, social, economic, legal, administrative or private and public areas. Because of the different approaches which feminist theory holds, it has produced feminist phenomena that exhibit a very different tendency within itself, and each feminist phenomenon has differences according to the sources of perspectives, constraints on women, oppression and forces exposed to obstacles. Feminist theory examines women’s social roles and lived experience, and feminist politics in a variety of fields such as sociology, communication, psychoanalysis, economics, literary criticism, education, and philosophy. Several themes have been explored in feminism which include art history and contemporary art, aesthetics, discrimination, stereotyping, sexual objectification, oppression, and patriarchy.
Feminism as a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression is alive and well. While we do not have a mass-based movement, the renewal of such a movement is our primary goal. Women and men have made great strides in the direction of gender equality. And those strides towards freedom must give us strength to go further.
We must courageously learn from the past and work for a future to live together, realizing our dreams of freedom
and justice, living the truth that we are all “created equal.” Feminism is for everybody.