The woman is a Cambodian. In Cambodia, women are not treated fairly as men. Women have been made to believe that they are unable to do anything important in the society dominated by men. Men are favored in many things done in the country such as access to education, job opportunities or employment, leadership positions and wealth distribution and inheritance. Women in Cambodia are dominated by men who believe that women should not hold any position in the society(Annuska, 2008). Decision making in the society is the responsibility of men and women are to do as per what men have decided without any question no matter the outcome.
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This is the reason as to why the woman migrated to United States together with the parents and children. The main reason for this was to have a better life and to raise children to attain the required education standards. Since the Cambodian culture does not allow women to go to school, the woman migrated to United States so that she can acquire higher education for herself and the children especially the girl child. In US, she pursued her studies at Cal State University where she got her fast degree – Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. She has also gotten her masters degree in Masters in Business Administration in the same university which she could not have attained in Cambodia because of the culture hindrances. In Cambodia, women are not allowed to hold senior positions, but in US, she has rose from being a preschool teacher to being employed as a supervisor with the department of social services. These are the opportunities she could not have enjoyed as a woman in Cambodia. In Cambodia, her parents only expected her to be helping them in the household chores and to learn to be a responsible woman later when she grew up. Girls are only expected to do household chores such as cooking, washing clothes, cleaning the house and taking care of the young children. Her parents were not deterred by the Cambodian culture that girls are not to receive much education but they expected her work very hard in school so as to obtain the best grades and to graduate with a master’s degree which she later got. While in US, the husband did not expect her to do a lot of household chores so that she gets enough time to concentrate on her studies. In Cambodia, racism and social class classification and stratification was the order of the day. This was brought about by the Indians and Chinese who migrated to Cambodia to transact business. Cambodians were therefore considered people of a lower class and of a race without dignity (Annuska, 2008). There was no much interaction between people of different classes and races. People were discriminated along those lines hence inequality and unfairness in the distribution of resources especially to the women who were undermined in the Cambodian society. According to the social class classification, she considered herself as a middle class family. It was unbelievable for her living in a neighborhood and next to them are the white tycoons and rich Korean families considered to be of a high class and from the superior race. This was a privilege and honor to her because there was no free interaction in Cambodia as in US with people of different classes.
Roles and responsibilities in the Cambodian society are based on gender. Girls and women are mostly assigned household duties and tasks to perform as the male counter parts are assigned white collar jobs and the most important and senior positions in the government offices. The women in Cambodia had been made to believe that their made duty is to bring up children and to attend to all household chores (Annuska, 2008). This is evidenced when the women was about to give up on her educations because she thought she was only suppose to bring up her three children. Women are not allowed to hold senior positions in job places especially in the government offices. But in most recent years, the human rights activists, the United Nations, non governmental organizations and the women rights activists have been championing and fight for gender equity and respect for women and girls in the society. Some of the leisure activities she enjoyed in US but deemed to be for men only in Cambodia. These activities include swimming, volley ball, roller skating, badminton and basket ball. Women in Cambodia cannot dare do such because they will be doing contrary to the culture expectations (Annuska, 2008).
Due to inequality in Cambodia, women have been hit by poverty. This is because women are made to believe that men should only work and provide for the family. The socioeconomic position of women in the society has made them to remain poor and dependent on men because they cannot earn satisfying wages or salaries because of the low positions they hold in the work place. For Mrs. Doe, she had an opportunity to work in the US in senior positions hence proving that women are capable if they are given a chance. The woman was comfortable with what she earns and made sure the children get the basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, healthy care and the right education standards. It is a believe in the society that women cannot do much but this woman has proven in her academic performance and achievement that women have the capability and ability to do what men does. The woman is willing to assist other women especially her mother by spending some valuable time with her in the library, bookfaire and the science center which in Cambodia are preserved for men. The woman is married to a husband who does not believe in the past culture, beliefs and norms. The family has a joint account where all family finances are controlled. This is encouraging to the women because most of them in Cambodia do not have access to the bank accounts, something believed to be men’s responsibility in the society. In this joint account, the woman can deposit or withdrawal money to be used in the family for the financial budget agreement in the family (Annuska, 2008).
From this observation, the position and dignity of women in the society has improved. The barriers and hindrances which have been working against the women such as poverty, unequal employment opportunities, culture, beliefs and lack of adequate education standards have reduced significantly. Family members can share responsibilities including the father who is the head of the family. This will ensure equality and fairness to all regardless of ones gender, race, class or status in the society. Attaining a GPA of 3.7 as women at Wilson High is commendable and the immigrants in US from Cambodia should make frequent visits to the country so as to educate and enlighten women on their rights in the society dominated by the men.
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