The post independent period in Latin America is characterised by numerous changes that are gender related. The position of women in the society experienced a turn around. Women are empowered and accorded with more rights and respect within the society. This is attributed to various policies and laws put in place to fast track the involvement of women in various activities. This development has also been pointed to various feminist movements that pushed for the clamour of the emancipation of women. The Latin society was traditionally defined as a machismo society. This means the society is all about masculinity; a society that gives more priority to the males than the female population. The male population enjoyed most of the rights and privileges. This rights and privileges are now being shared equally amongst the two genders. The traditions expected that men were the custodians of authority, were supposed to be aggressive and promiscuous. On the contrary, in the past, the society expected women to be subservient, dependent and maternal. This trend has fast been changing with a lot of shifting of the attitudes of the males taking place (Chant & Craske, 2002).
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Presently, women enjoy equal treatment with their male counterparts in many spheres of life. In the political scene, women have the rights to vote and participate in the political activities. Women can now participate in the voting exercise and can stand for elective positions. Even though a large number of politicians are composed of the male population, the participation and involvement of women in politics are improved. Change in the involvement of women can also be witnessed in the economic field. The perception by the society of the position of women as homemakers is quickly fading. The women are taking key positions at the work place. Most women are becoming independent as a result of being employed. Women are currently forming a bulk of the staffing population at the work places. This is contrary to the previous scenarios, where the women were confined to their homesteads and farms (Chant & Craske, 2002).
Education sector has also witnessed changes in gender
Previously, the female population was not exposed to education. The male population enjoyed the priority of accessing education. Currently, more and more women are getting educated. This is attributed to changes in government policies and the enlightenment of the society on the importance of education. The education has also sensitized women on various issues such as their rights in the society and health matters (Chant & Craske, 2002).
Challanges to women
As much as women have attained numerous changes, there are still some areas, which still pose a challenge to women. For instance, women have not attained advancements in terms of their stats and human rights. Many women are still falling victims of murders and kidnappings in the Latin countries. For instance, in 1993 alone, over 400 women were brutally murdered with many more having disappeared or having unknown whereabouts. Seeking justice has been an elusive goal for women to attain. Most of these cases do not end up in a positive way since the culprits are never prosecuted. The lack of adequate law reforms still poses a challenge towards the elimination of these trends. More lobbying and activism needs to be carried out to maintain the gains, made by women as well as attaining more changes (Chant & Craske, 2002).
Racial discrimination exists in the Latin countries
The existence of racial discrimination for a long time has been disputed by the Latin countries. In the post independence era, racism has been institutionalised in the Latin countries. This racial social structure is inherited from the colonial period. The colonial governments used racial discrimination as a way of preventing the communities from uniting. The society in these countries has been polarised into forming strata’s or castes (Appelbaum, Macpherson & Rosemblatt, 2003).
The population in the Latin countries is composed of the indigenous and the European decent people. The composition has triggered various forms of discrimination, practiced in the Latin countries. Racism exists in the Latin countries and is against these two populations. The society remains deeply divided along the racial lines that exist. The trend mainly affects the richest and poorest populations in the society. These extremes in the society often engage in racial discrimination. The upper class whites and intellectuals discriminate the non-white population. In this society, treatment is based on the skin colour. The whiter the skin, the higher the status one has in the society. This is opposed to those who have brown skin who enjoy relative treatment, whereas the black skinned population receiving the worst of the racist treatment (Appelbaum, Macpherson & Rosemblatt, 2003).
Racial discrimination means that some people in the community are deprived of their right to access various services, ranging from political, social, economic privileges. Many people are marginalized because of racism. It is because racism is so entrenched into the communities that it affects the distribution of services as well as resources allocation in the Latin countries. Racism has rendered the access to services such as education inaccessible to some groups within a population (Appelbaum, Macpherson & Rosemblatt, 2003).
Racial discrimination majorly affects the indigenous women in the Latin countries. Women face double discrimination because of racial segregation. This is credited to the low education levels that women in Latin countries have. The low levels of education make them face challenges in terms of seeking opportunities such as job placements or political positions. On the other hand, the upper class whites and intellectuals enjoy most of the privileges at the expense of the non-white populations (Appelbaum, Macpherson & Rosemblatt, 2003).