You are on page 1of 3

Gender roles in Malaysia have changed over the years. How far do you agree with the statement?

Discuss. Gender role can be defined as the behaviour or norms that are considered appropriate for members of two sexes in a society. For example, in Malaysia or even in most of the countries, men always wear pants to show masculine, dominant over workplace, economics and politics. In the mean time, women are said to be as non-competitive, passive, feminine and they dominant the household work. However, in my opinion, I believe that gender roles in Malaysia have change over time. The barriers that determine the gender roles in Malaysia have slowly been removed. Now, both genders can be seen at par with each other. One of the changes in gender roles in Malaysia can be seen through roles of women in technology industry. Years ago, technology and masculinity were connected. Thus, more men dominated the work in the technology industry. It was rare to see women working in this industry. However, as time goes by, technology industry is seen as a women-friendly profession and more appropriate for women. Men nowadays do not perceive indoor profession to be masculine. On the other hand, women prefer to work in technology industry as it is convenient for them as there is no need for them to do labour job. As more men chose to left the job in this industry, women started to take over their jobs. Many managed to hold mid and upper level management positions. They act as the role model for other women. They show to other women that women can actually excel in the field. Thus, more and more women start to work and dominate the technology industry. Women nowadays have not been regarded as the vulnerable group anymore. It is proven when most of the women these days are able to do the mens job. For example, there are already a group of women who is working as policewomen, women fire fighter, female soldiers, female technician and engineer which is dominated by men. Women are often discriminated as feminine and weak while men are strong and masculine. But, all of those perceptions have been changed over time because men have also involved in the career that is conquered by women. We can see that there are more male teachers and nurses and they can also do all the chores just like the women did. So, there are not much different between both of the gender roles, as they are on a par, not like the old days. In education, the roles of women and also men have totally changed. Before this, if we go to university or college, we could see a lot of men there rather than women. This is because it was said that, men are supposed to study in higher education while women are not needed in higher education as their jobs are to manage the households. However, things have changed nowadays. Women dominates the higher education institutes such as university and colleges. If we go to the university or colleges, we

could see that a lot of women there compared to men. This shows that women play an important role in education. Even though people still give the priority to men, but still, the number of men in higher education institutes are less than women. If only people are not giving the priority to men to go to the university, then, women would take over all the universities and colleges. This situation would make men in disadvantages as they will be far behind women in education. Domestically, women were restricted to be a full time housekeeper. Their jobs were only specified for cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children and all of the house chores. This was a familiar role of women back in the old days while as the role for men; they were only focusing to find money for the family. This situation happened because women were lacking in education. Education is very important qualification to apply for a job. However, women were denied and they seem to be stereotyped to only serve for their family. As the time changes, a lot of things change too. Women are currently getting the full access in the education by the government. As the result, women are leading in the education system and proven to be somehow better than man. For example, the percentage of women in the university is higher than man in certain area such as in medical line. Now, they can find money on their own and even can get more income than man. So, the gender roles have changed whereby man does not mind to stay at home and look after the children. Men have to step down because they have to think about the economic state of their family. If men are working, they have to send their children into the nursery and it might costs more than the earning of the man itself. Many of the traditional behaviours expected of men are also becoming less emphasized in our culture. For examples, an increased willingness to share feelings and express fears and concerns may be one way mens behaviours have changed. While counsellors say women have never hesitated in sharing the emotional aspect of joblessness, traditionally, mens groups have focused on networking and the job search. But that seems to be changing. New support groups are helping long-term unemployed males explore their feelings about their situations. Now, men are more open to share and express their feelings and emotions as they are not afraid to be seen as weak like what have happened years ago.

In conclusion, parents should expose their children to adapt to the changes of gender role as it is formed during the socialisation phases of childhood and adolescence. It will affect them throughout their life as it will become part of the belief on how males and females should think, speak, dress and interact within the context of society. Both men and women should be treated equally and they have their own rights and roles which is very important to the country. People do change as the time flies just

like the gender role. They changed according to the situation in order to fit in with their needs. Parents play an important role in shaping their children. They should teach their children the importance of gender roles since small so that when they grow up they can react to their situation correctly.