Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women

By Eschel M. Rhoodie | Go to book overview

2. The Status of Women: A Global View

Some 1,500 years separate the date of birth of Hypatia, a remarkable woman who lived and studied in the city of Alexandria, and that of Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. Still virtually unknown to most men and women, Hypatia, astronomer, mathematician and mechanical genius, is now mentioned by leading scientists and historians in the same breath as Archimedes, Ptolemy, Euclid, Eratosthenes, and the other great men whose genius flourished in the city founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Considered by many as the single greatest center of learning and creative genius in history, the Bibliotheca Alexandriana eventually contained some 700,000 works. Hypatia, who developed the process of distilling fluids, was one of many women who were outstanding scientists during the past 3,000 years but whose names and achievements are only now beginning to emerge in the wake of new historical research. 1

As a woman, Hypatia had her share of enemies. In Cosmos Carl Sagan wrote that Cyril, the Archbishop of Alexandria, despised her because of her close friendship with the Roman governor and because she was a symbol of learning and science. Unfortunately for her, any learning and science not wholly controlled by the church was tagged as paganism. In the year 415 Hypatia was ambushed by a mob of Cyril's parishioners. They dragged her from her chariot, tore off her clothes and flayed her flesh from her bones. Hypatia's remains were burned and her documents, writings and other works destroyed. Cyril was made a saint. 2 On the order of the Christian Emperor Theodosius the entire library of books in Alexandria was also subsequently destroyed. The Emperor considered the library and its scientists, where Eratosthenes some 600 years earlier had first accurately determined the circumference of the earth, a nest of paganism. In 1988, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt laid the cornerstone for the reconstruction of the great library.

There is nothing new about battered women. When Dr. Monique Fouant of the Medical College of Virginia studied Chilean mummies from the Azapa culture (circa 1000 B.C.) she found that 36 percent of the women, but only 9 percent of the men, had broken bones and over half were skull fractures. The nature of the fractures indicated that in 45 percent of the mummies examined, death had been inflicted by lethal blows. It was the same story 750 years later, in the Alto-Ramirez culture. Of the women, 50 percent had fractures; of the men, only 20 percent. 3

Kidnapping or the sale of younger women for prostitution, cruelty

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Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Part One Introduction 1
  • 1. the Evaluation and Presentation of Data 2
  • 2. the Status of Women: A Global View 13
  • 3. the Environment of Discrimination 34
  • Part Two: Legal and International Aspects 61
  • 4. the International World 62
  • 5. Constitutional and Statutory Differentiation 79
  • Part Three: the African World 99
  • 6. General Survey. 100
  • 7. Case Study: Nigeria 115
  • 8. Case Study: Kenya Introduction 125
  • 9. Case Study: South Africa 136
  • Part Four: the European Community 165
  • 10. General Survey 166
  • 11. Case Study: United Kingdom 191
  • 12. Case Study: France 201
  • 13. Case Study: West Germany 214
  • 14. Case Study: Switzerland 227
  • Part Five: North America 239
  • 15. Case Study: Canada 240
  • Conclusion 247
  • 16 Case Study: The United States 248
  • Part Six: the Communist East Bloc 289
  • 17. General Survey 290
  • 18. Case Study: the Soviet Union 304
  • Part Seven: Latin America 321
  • 19. General Survey 322
  • 20. Brief Case Studies of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru 332
  • Part Eight: the Arab-Muslim World 345
  • 21. General Survey 346
  • 22. Case Study: Egypt 363
  • 23. Case Study: Tunisia 369
  • 24. Case Study: Iran 375
  • Part Nine: the Asian World 383
  • 25. General Survey 384
  • 26. Case Study: India 395
  • 27. Case Study: Japan 402
  • 28. Case Study: the People's Republic of China 417
  • Part Ten: Conclusions, Recommendations, Guide to Data, and Research Proposals 431
  • 29. Summary and Conclusions 432
  • 31. Data: Guide to Information Sources 481
  • 32. Research Proposals 505
  • Notes 519
  • Bibliography 587
  • Index 601
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