A woman holds a lot of roles in her society. But taking these roles does not make her being a creature that should be respected all the time. UN’s reasearch in 1980’s said that women do 2/3 works in whole world but only earn 1/10 of the world’s income. Another fact that women working full time earn 73 cents for every dollar earned by comparable men. Most of young parents or single parent that take insemination prefer a boy than a girl. Means, abortion to unborn baby girls happen a lot without we know.
Talking about gender is talking about roles which brought based on sex distinction between male and female. Each region has distinc working division between male and female depending on values and beliefs held by the society. So it is not suprising to find in some areas, women only do the small things for their tribe like in Bataknesse. But in native Indian, women appear as a female ruler because it was believed women have greater strength than men.
Gender differences appears to be a problem when discrimination based on gender happens and as we know, women who become the main victims of this. Women experience discrimination in many ways. Besides that I already mentioned above, women also suffer from slavery, violence, sexual harassment, discrimination because patriachy system, religion, differences opportunities to working and lead an institution.
Discrimination on women in many countries appear at the time colonialism come. Before the colonialization -countries that have indigenous tribes like Indonesia and USA- women have an important role in tribal life. Not only as second class citizens. Most tribes hold matriachy system. Properties belonged to women and when a man married, he must stays in his wife’s house. But it changed when colonizer bring their culture, effecting it and change the social system to be like theirs or as we know, patriachy system.
Women began to be marginalized through a variety of restrictions to the social accsses. Sexual harassment often experienced by women. But the saddest part is when the rape victim also has to take the blame. Women
often blamed for dressing “sexy” so they provoke men to harass them without seeing the men’s factor. The things above are the external factors (outside the woman’s own personal) that cause discrimination. factor. The things above are the external factors (outside the woman’s own personal) that cause discrimination.
There are also internal factors that come within women themselves which is supporting the sustainability of this discrimination. Women feel lack of self confident that they feel they can’t work things out. They receive point of view that women being created as the second class citizen. However, the most dangerous is when women feel comfortable with this system of discrimination and they feel no need to defend their rights that have been violated.
So how do we get these problems solved? The first should be started within the women theirselves. Women need to realise about the role they take. Woman is carrying two duties : as a housewife, taking care of her husband and children and she also had to work to support her family’s financial. Women that led by the affection sometimes feel they have obligation to take care her old parents. In many case she had to be a single parent for her children, be
responsible to become a father and a mother at the same time. With so many roles that she should take, it’s impossible to believe that women were being created as a weak creature. Women must be protected but that does not mean they are weak.
Secondly, women should realize how much influencing is her role in the community’s life. For example, Indonesia had financial crisis in 1997 and also received the impact of global crisis that occurred in 2008. Small and medium enterprises are type of business that are not affected by the crisis. Instead, appear helping to restore the national economy and most of them are owned by women.
Third, women must believe that they could lead. The pattern of leadership by women would be a good combination for the place where she lives in. The combination of rationality and femininity in a woman would make it sensitive to low politics issues such as: environmental issues, urban planning, gender equality, health service, education and economics. The focus of development in these areas is needed today because we’ve seen declines in living standard. Men should also give women the opportunities to lead and become independent.
Fourth, the mass media should contribute to change the mindset of the community by presenting the issues to promote gender equality and empower women. Mass media should be more frequently expose issues of gender discrimination and show the way of handling this problem. This will be a social control for the community so the number cases of violation of gender will be decreased. Mass media also affects the goverment to create regulations related to these issues.
Fifth, government officials must ensure the rights of women by creating regulations that protect it. Slavery is illegal practices. But in some countries it still continually practised especially in middle east and Africa. Or it changed clothes to be labor exploitation as we can see in developing countries. Women worked for MNC-owned by foreign firms often work full-time with no good working conditions and with lower wage than men. The government must strictly control and crack down on these violations.
There are a lot discrimination on women still happen these days. It it obvious that all the elements of society should take the responsibility to end these problems. Women theirselves need to realize, make up their minds on the role they should take. Then they should fight for their rights. But those are not enough. Women need the help from men and the society. We all should protect the women. They are the beginning to the new life that bring hopes to our life.
 A Nunuk P.Nurniati. Getar Gender : Perempuan Indonesia dalam perspektif agama, budaya dan keluarga. h