Changes in Role of Man and Woman

Conventionally, men were the only family's breadwinner and decision maker of the household. While, woman's role was to manage all the household chores and raise their children. Women are seen inferior compared to men. Men were highly valued in the society because they were seen as the pillar that the family leans on, whilst at the same time, they contribute financial income; hence, it was undoubtedly that there was favouritism practised towards men and biasness against women. One classical example to illustrate biasness between gender would be provision of education. Even though education was made available to all but being educated is considered a privilege to women of the past. The reason being a woman's life was constantly revolving around their family only, hence, education is considered redundant as there is no application to their life. Why will they need to study English, Mathematics and Science when they only need to do household chores, prepare meals and be servants of the husband?

In the modern century, the tables have turned. Women have proved themselves to be as capable as men, or even more capable than men. They not only are able to juggle well between taking care of the family and coping with their job, they also strike a balance between them. Now, they also share the burden of the title ' family breadwinner' as they are able to generate income and financially independent. In addition, women have also taken up political positions. For instances, since 1990s, women have been progressively active in participating Singapore politics. Currently, there are 18 elected omen parliamentarians out of the 84 elected members. (1) Even though the ratio of females to male is still underrepresented in the parliament, it is a significant breakthrough for women. As such, the stereotype of the role of men and women in society and family is no longer applicable since women can accomplish task that men can do.

In the film Gender Tango, Dorothy Tipton lived through a time where people's mindset were stuck at gender biasness towards men, always believing that men are more capable than women. Even with her strong passion and interest in playing jazz, people judged her based on her gender. This left her no choice but to change her gender to become Billy Tipton. If only people in her time realised that gender do not restrict the capability of an individual, Dorothy Tipton would have never resorted into doing such stuff. In the modern times, many countries have been putting in efforts to remove discrimination of gender and striving towards gender equality. In Singapore, we have an organisation known as Association of Women for Action and Research ( AWARE) which is the leading gender equality advocacy group that is dedicated in removing gender-based barriers that prevents individuals in Singapore from developing their fullest personal visions and hopes. (2) Another example will be International Labour organisation (ILO) an agency of United Nations that is committed in promoting gender equality, has a ILO Policy on gender equality and mainstreaming which is made operational through the ILO Gender Equality Action Plan 2010-15. (3)

Despite the policies, laws and regulations being put in place remove discrimination of gender, there will still be situations whereby individuals are judged based on gender. For instances, have you seen a women working in a construction site ? or working as manual labourer such as carrying furniture and bulky items?

1. Ramesh, S. "Three NCMP candidates formally named". Singapore : 'Today', 2011.
2. Association of Woman for Action and Research. [Online] [Cited: 26 september, 2012.]
3. Gender equality. International Labour Organisation. [Online] [Cited: 26 september, 2012.]

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