Essay on women who influence contributes to the ideas of gender changing in society
A family is a social unit that includes parents and children that live together in a household. It has to be noted that there are many differences with regards to the different cultures and their definition of a family unit. For instance, in many countries, children tend to live with their parents even into their adulthood, which means that the family includes grandparents as well. In some cultures, it means that several offspring stay in the same house, which each of them having their own families within that single household as well. This is why even though the main concept of the family unit is the same, we find that the sub-definitions can be different depending on how the households are formed and structured. In this regard, we find that it would be useful to consider two countries – Pakistan and China – with regards to how the family units tend to be different as well as the different family issues that tend to be there for the family members. For example, we find that the family issues in Pakistan include such problems as arranged marriages, patriarchy, domestic abuse, as well as divorce being something that is looked down upon. In China, the family issues have to do with the changing of family values, as well as in terms of how the new generation is seeing the family unit. It would be useful to look at these issues in more details.
Two of the theories that can be used to consider the family issues in both these countries can be the family systems theory as well as the family developmental theory. According to the Family Systems Theory, we find that it is depicted that understanding a family means that it must be conceptualized as a complex system that includes various dynamic and changing parts (Saltzman et al., 2018). These also include several subsystems as well as the family members. In this regard, if a researcher wants to understand the family and try to see what the issues are in the family, he or she must consider various different aspects of the family, such as the family structure, the way that the various family members interact with each other, etc. It has to be noted that various aspects about a family can put the strain on the family system, such as a new baby, financial conflict, differences in religious beliefs, etc. Another theoretical perspective can be depicted as the family developmental theory, which can be used to explain the patterns of change, as well as the dynamic nature of the families. This theory can also be used to show how various changes tend to occur within the life cycle of the family (Rago, 2016). Eight stages have been identified in a family, which include a couple getting married and starting a family; families that have children aged between 0 and two and a half years old; the third stage being families where the oldest child is between two and a half and six years old; then the families with the oldest child between six and thirteen; with the fifth stage being families where the oldest child is a teenager. The sixth stage of the family is when the oldest child leaves the house until the youngest one leaves the house. The seventh stage is when the parents become middle aged and it continues until they retire, with the eight stage being the family that ages until one of the spouse dies. This theory can be depicted as describing the Western description of the family; however, it can be used to show how the Chinese families and their structures are also changing.
Looking at the families in Pakistan, we find that since Pakistan is an Islamic country where the people tend to follow Islamic laws, the families are also based on Islamic values. Pakistanis tend to consider the family unit as being an extremely important part of their lives. Many of the families that have young daughters want their daughters to be married off to nice families as soon as they reach adulthood. In this regard, we find that in many of the areas of Pakistan, especially in the rural areas, we find that the concept of arranged marriages exist. This is where the parents of the bride and groom decide the marriage of their children. In some of the modern areas, the men and women are allowed to meet each other before marriage; however in some of the most conservative areas, the bride and groom only meet for the first time on their wedding day. Other than that, it is also depicted the groom’s family has the upper hand in any marriage, which is because of Pakistan being a patriarchal society. Women are expected to stay at home and take care of their husbands and children (Arshad & Gill, 2018). In some of the rural areas, families end up selling their daughters in marriage, which can be seen as being quite problematic.
Another issue with regards to the family in Pakistan is how divorce is something that is considered to be taboo. Other than that, we find that a woman cannot initiate divorce according to Islamic rules (Zakar, Zakar & Abbas, 2016). This means that women tend to get stuck in various problematic aspects of their marriage, such as a woman getting stuck in a toxic relationship. If a woman finds that she is being abused, she usually does not have many avenues to turn to. In this regard, we find that domestic abuse as well as the women not being able to get their divorce and freedom can be depicted as important family issues in the context of the Pakistani families (Hadi, 2017). In many of the rural areas, women also end up getting pregnant one after the other, as there is no concept of birth control or women’s rights and a family can end up having many children that the family is then unable to adequately care for. This is why the population of Pakistan is very high and there is rampant poverty there as well.
Looking at China, we find that there are many issues that families are facing there today as well. For instance, we find that traditionally, the value of the family has been quite high in the Chinese culture. However, China has seen a lot of economic growth over the past few years and this has led to many social changes as well. Earlier, there was a tradition in which three generations tended to live under one roof; however, this is something that has changed quite a lot. The traditional family structure is changing, as many of the young people are leaving their parents as well as their family homes to go work in the cities. Since most of the Chinese traditional families were living in the rural areas and we find that more jobs are opening up in the cities, there is another change that has been occurring, which is that the Chinese men are leaving their families behind, as they go to work in the cities. In many cases, the men do not return and abandon their families, which leaves the women and the children at home to work to sustain themselves (Hu & Scott, 2016).
It has to be noted that China’s family planning policy is something that has also impacted the Chinese family structure. For instance, we find that since there was a one-child policy for the longest time in China, it has resulted in many families having only one child, who was spoiled to the fullest, since the family only had one child to use their attention on. This means that many of these children do not end up learning proper manners, values, and ethics and this can make them extremely problematic in terms of getting along with others (Hu & To, 2018). Such people tend to grow up to be selfish and stubborn as well as not being able to act socially with others. Moreover, the birth control policies tend to also negatively affect the natural propagation of the families and this is something that can be seen in China as well.
Thus, in conclusion, it can be said that both Pakistan and China have several different issues with regards to their families and this can be said to be cause for concern for the overall society and culture of the two countries. The thing to note is that solution for both the countries rest on spreading information and awareness. It is extremely important, for instance, for the Pakistani government to ensure that the men are not indulging in any violence against women and at the same time, it is important for the Chinese government to ensure that the men are not abandoning their families. In this regard, we find that this is something that would require a lot of awareness to be spread by both the governments and it is important that such messages are embedded in the society to ensure that these problems and issues can be solved.
Arshad, F. M. A. K. I., & Gill, S. (2018). Work-family Conflict: An Innovative
Exploration of Factors Affecting Female Workforce in Pakistan. Work, 10(16).
Hadi, A. (2017). Patriarchy and gender-based violence in Pakistan. European Journal of
Social Science Education and Research, 4(4), 297-304.
Hu, Y., & Scott, J. (2016). Family and gender values in China: Generational, geographic,
and gender differences. Journal of Family Issues, 37(9), 1267-1293.
Hu, Y., & To, S. (2018). Family Relations and Remarriage Postdivorce and
Postwidowhood in China. Journal of Family Issues, 39(8), 2286-2310.
Rago, M. (2016). Family Development Theory. Encyclopedia of Family Studies, 1-6.
Saltzman, J. A., Fiese, B. H., Bost, K. K., & McBride, B. A. (2018). Development of
appetite self‐regulation: Integrating perspectives from attachment and family systems theory. Child Development Perspectives, 12(1), 51-57.
Zakar, R., Zakar, M. Z., & Abbas, S. (2016). Domestic violence against rural women in
Pakistan: an issue of health and human rights. Journal of family violence, 31(1), 15-25