Over the past couple centuries, women have fought for a better future for current and new female generations. Nowadays, it can be easy to take the changes these phenomenal women made for granted, and actually find ourselves regressing from the paths they have opened up for us.
One of the most significant developments in women’s history was obtaining the right to vote. And this didn’t come instantly; in the UK, the women’s suffragette movement began in late 19th century, and it wasn’t until the First World War (1914-18) that they made legislative progress. Along the way, suffragettes created organisations, went on hunger strikes, pursued radical lobbying and suffered subsequent imprisonment. But women’s equality was not limited to this. Other advancements include campaigning for women to be able to go to university, able to obtain divorce and keep the children, and for equal employment opportunities and benefits. Equality to men in the latter is something that women are still fighting for and legal acts instigating it are only recent. In the UK, the number of women in chief-executive and managing director positions was only 14.5% in 2012, but saw a rise of 25% from 2011 (according to the Telegraph). In America, women hold only 4.2% of CEO positions in the Fortune 500. Whether properly proved or not, its frequently suggested that women and young females rival male intelligibility in all ages. We, as a collective body, have so much potential to achieve, for both ourselves and other women.
Yet it has somehow become intrinsic in our nature that we are jealous and competitive towards other women. This can be from attractiveness to attention to employment or schoolwork. Insecure females make themselves feel better by criticising other women. Females who want something another woman has ends up criticising them out of jealousy.
I’m not saying that all competition is bad; we should expect more from ourselves and challenge ourselves and not let people walk all over us. But at the same time we should embrace and praise other women’s achievements, even if we wish we could be in their position. Instead we should be happy for them and aspire to be like those women who have what we want. We shouldn’t develop a bad reputation for women with petty jealousy and criticism. By learning to praise other women, we can keep the journey for the power of women progressing that many women have previously paved for us, and continue to pave it for future generations.