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Historical Roles Of Men And Women In Leadership

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While analyzing professions held by men verses those held by women through history, the concept of history that needs to be observed is a vast period of time. For if all or most of known history about humans is not taken into consideration, then much of present day analysis of leadership gender roles might actually start to make sense. The previous sentence was not an error in thought or printing. Much of modern analysis of gender perspectives in leadership and the roles of men and women seem to forget the thousands of years of history and the more recent, evolution of gender equality, which has taken place to get to where we are at present day. The key word is evolution; we are slowly but steadily evolving into a better and more efficient society through gender equality. The meaning better society is one that will optimally utilize its best resources, including people. The past and the ignorance reflected from parts of history are most often overcome with generations of thought and action. Genders in society maybe not are equal quite yet, but through diligent efforts and time, they will be. There is much history and time to overcome to achieve equality.

Typically, throughout history men have been the breadwinners in a family unit. Women in the past typically did more of the upkeep of the home and did not bring in an additional income. When they did bring an income, it was usually in some lesser complimentary role to the male. This situation holds true for married couples or single people. Different people throughout the world have many different histories. An example from Chinua Achebe's novel that takes place within a tribe in Africa during the 1920s stating that a strong man will have many wives (Achebe 20). Ironically in this same novel, it is shown that women could hold a priestess position. Similarly on the other side of the globe in South Korea, the view of giving birth to a girl is somewhat less elation than that of having a boy. In the Korean culture, when a couple has a girl, it is looked upon as if the parents are raising the child for someone else; the baby girl's future husband (Ahn par.4) .So how can so many people that populate the earth all have similar histories that guided men towards certain roles and professions while guiding women towards others? To analyze the many histories of people, a person must look to the historical aspects of that particular culture. The culture of any one group of people is usually passed down through generations via family and community. Whether the culture is nomadic tribal peoples of Mongolia or a modern day Roman-Catholic Italian-American family, the culture and its typical roles for men and women are passed along through each community.

Tradition is also a source to be traced when looking at a group's historical gender role development. A people's culture will usually go hand in hand with their traditional values. These interlaced values of culture and tradition unite and bind families as well as communities together with one another. When traditions are passed along from one generation to another, sometimes the idea of questioning said traditions never enters ones mind. Some people are taught that this is just what you are supposed to do, while others do not want to buck the current culture. This being said, whatever role a person's gender might have played in their parents life, that role will probably be the same or very similar in that person's life.

Yet another thread that is interlaced with a people's history and culture is that long, entangling string of religion. Religion is a powerful source of authority that keeps certain cultures fervent and ensures the long line of tradition continuation. This holds true for most religions, whether they are tribal beliefs and customs or mainstream Christianity. The power of the "church" in a family or a community can be an overbearing influence. This influence can even sway a logical and educated person's thoughts on the ideas of gender leadership equity. These thoughts do not have to sway to keep inequity in place; these thoughts only need to be kept silent through passive influence. Looking into religion and its male dominated influences, a person can start by looking at a currently popular religion of Christianity. As with most religions, Christianity places the foremost control, in a general sense, on the male. The Christian Bible states, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Gen 2:18) and "She shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man" (Gen 2:23). Such firmly engraved



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