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The Impact Of Modernization On Women

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Social modernization brought about a series of major changes in the social structure. One

of its strongest influences was the awakening of a woman's consciousness. With rapid economic development and the advent of the women's movement, the changing status of women received much attention around the world. The role of women began to change from the submissive, dependent and the childbearing traditional woman to the modern woman demanding for equal rights, sovereignty, and independence assuming the equally heavy career responsibilities. The impact of modernization affected the role of women.

Modernization is the term used for the transition from the traditional society of the past to modern society as it is found today in the West. Modernization or development theory presents the idea that by introducing modern methods in technology, agricultural production for trade, and industrialization dependent on a mobile labor force, the underdeveloped countries will experience a strengthening in their economies.

The impact of modernization on women was significant. While modernization has opened up economic opportunities in some areas, alternatively it has led to a decline in traditional sources of income for many women, e.g., those engaged in the production of handmade and homemade items.(Inter-American Development Bank, 1987). In the agriculture division, the introduction of computerization and new technologies in general has displaced small producers and interrupted traditional systems of production between the roles of the two sexes in a small family. In addition, women have experienced difficulty in acquiring access to credit, improved technologies and increased services. Nevertheless, these programs have not taken into account of women's specific needs and multiple role responsibilities. As a result, women's productivity has generally remained at a low level.

In industrial societies, women are not able to own land. Their husbands have taken their land rights away, and have lost their important economic and social roles as subsistence food producers. Their household ability also decreased and they have lost a significant source of income. Since there is no other way of making a decent income from their household anymore, women are driven to the cities to seek employment in larger businesses. However, the problem is they can only be hired for low-skilled and low waged occupations for the reason that the majority of the higher paid and skilled occupations are saved for the men, who hold a higher position in "factory society." If a woman does obtain the same occupation usually performed by a man, she would only receive a much lower salary. In addition, a woman's workload is increased greatly as she has to work long hours at the factories then to go home and still maintain her household.

Contrary to modernization theory, socioeconomic modernization often has had an adverse effect on



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