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Around the world, women's life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, labor-force participation, contraceptive use, and political participation have all increased. In all but a few countries, women's life expectancy exceeds men's; in some former state-socialist countries, more women than men attained university degrees; around the world the working class and professional-managerial class are now female as well as male; family planning programs, women's advancement, and the women's movement have led to postponement of marriage and increased control over fertility; and more women are seeking major roles in national and international decision-making. Another achievement is that more and more women have entered the field of law, pushing for legal reforms and working to extend legal literacy to women. Women are also the new proletariat worldwide. This phenomenon has been termed the 'globalization of female labor' and, in a somewhat different vein, the 'feminization of labor'. The role of women in manufacturing has been receiving considerable attention from scholars--if not always from planners and policy-makers. The industrial performance of the newly industrialized economies suggests an important mutual relationship between women's employment and overall development and industrial growth.
The changing role of Women
In industrial countries, gender discrimination continues in employment and wages, with women often getting less than two-thirds of the employment opportunities and about half the earnings of men. In developing countries, the great disparities, besides those in the job market, are in health care, nutritional support, and education. For example, women make up two thirds of the illiterate population in developing countries. And south and East Asia, defying the normal biological result that women live longer than men, have a disturbing adverse sex ratio. (Peggy A Simpson, 1979)
In northern Africa and western Asia, women made gains in health and education. Fertility declined slightly but remains very high: 5.5 children in northern Africa and 5.3 in western Asia. Women in these regions continue to lag far behind in their economic participation and in social participation and decision-making. The rise of fundamentalist movements could affect the progress women have made in the past twenty years, by insisting on domestic roles for women.
In southern Asia, women's health and education improved somewhat. But as in Africa, indicators are still far from minimally acceptable levels and are still very far from men's. Nor has economic growth, when it has occurred, helped women--apparently because of their low social, political, and economic participation in both urban and rural areas.
In much of eastern and south-eastern Asia, women's levels of living improved steadily in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of the inequalities between men and women--in health, education, and employment--were reduced in both urban and rural areas and fertility also declined considerably. Even so, considerable political and economic inequalities persist in much of the region because women are confined to the lowest-paid and lowest-status jobs and sectors and because they are excluded form decision-making.
Throughout the developed regions, the health of women is generally good and their fertility is low. But in other fields, indicators of the status of women show mixed results. Women's economic participation is high in northern Europe, North America, and, until marketization, in Eastern Europe and the USSR. It is lower in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and southern and western Europe. Everywhere occupational segregation and discrimination in wages and training work is very much in favor of men. In political participation and decision-making in 1992, women were relatively well represented only in northern Europe. (Women's Rights, 2011)
In the light of the above argument we can hereby conclude that women have come a long way so as to attain their right to vote as well as to gain a good societal position within our society. Many efforts had to be made by the women all across the World. Before this women were considered weak beings that could not stand up for their rights, but women proved all such judgments as wrong. Many laws have been passed to protect women and there should be more laws which will help women not to be considered as a minority.