In trying to help young millennials better understand the modern women’s rights movement, it is not enough to make a semantic change – from feminism to social change, but to cause millennials to make a significant paradigm shift. A paradigm shift from women’s rights – to equal justice for all. In other words, it is not about getting more converted followers for our dig-a-hole project, but in recognizing the grand canyon of social change that is an integral part to expanding our burrow of influence.
One of these burrows of social change is education. We need good sex and financial education for women in places like Iran and Iraq. This would increase women’s understanding of birth control and grant them bargaining power. Doepke and Kindermann (2016) have studies showing that European fertility rates dropped from 2.1 to 1.5, despite governmental childbearing tax subsidies and free public education. These imply a fast aging population, a backlash for social insurance systems, and population decline. In many places like Germany, the data proves that more women are gaining bargaining power over childbearing. This means more women have the power to disagree on having children more than man. The evidence suggests that women are prioritizing work life balance instead of a domestic existence. The policy implications of these developments are better economic status for women in the long term.
Kaler’s (2001) article is not up-to-date but still reverberates as a relevance for the role female condom’s play in the empowerment of women. I would have to play Devil’s advocate and say not much. Again, the female condom may be used as a shameless plug to promote the empowerment of women. Stakeholders testify to the impracticality of globalizing the female condom industry.
Our agenda cannot be applied relevantly to our millennials if we do not understand their viewpoints on work-life balance. Twenge and Campbell (2012) found that work centrality has declined over the post-war generation – better explained – from the Baby Boomers to GenMe. In other words, the standard deviation gradually expanded as millennials increasingly see work as simply a means to an end. It was revealed not surprisingly, that GenMe was more motivated for freedom than GenX or Boomers. It also followed that GenMe preferred more entrepreneurial work than GenX or Boomers.
This is a sign that millennials are able to accommodate a rallying cry for women’s rights, so that women can have freedom. Freedom means the right to bargaining power.
Doepke, M. and Tertilt, M., 2014. Does female empowerment promote economic development? (No. w19888). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Doepke, M. and Kindermann, F., 2016. Bargaining over babies: theory, evidence, and policy implications (No. w22072). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Kaler, A., 2001. “It’s some kind of women’s empowerment”: the ambiguity of the female condom as a marker of female empowerment. Social Science & Medicine, 52(5), pp.783-796.
Twenge, J.M. and Campbell, S.M., 2012. Who are the millennials? Empirical evidence for generational differences in work values, attitudes and personality. Managing the new workforce: International perspectives on the millennial generation, pp.152-180.