Roles Of Men and Women
MAIN FACTS: A hundred years ago, women did not have many rights in the UK, but during the 20th century women gained:
- the right to vote
- the right to equal pay
- the right to act against discrimination
These changes have also altered the roles of men and women. In 1994, almost as many women as men were in paid jobs (but more of the women's jobs were part time). It's now accepted that men and women have equal rights and should both have the chance of a career. This also means that men and women have to share equally in running the home and bringing up children.
WHY ATITUDES HAVE CHANGED:
- Women took on jobs previously done by men, during WW1 AND WW2
- The development of equal rights for women in other countries.
- Women successful ans councillors.
- The suffragettes movement
- Social and industrial developments meant more women were needed.
- The UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Christianity and the roles of Men and Women
MAIN FACTS There are different attitides to the roles of men and women in Christianity:
1. The traditional attitude (held mainly by some Evangelical Protestants): This teaches that men should be the head of the family and women should not speak in church or be ministers or priests. The reasons for this view are:
- St Paul’s statements in the Bible about women not being allowed to speak in church, and having to submit to their husbands;
- their belief that the Bible is the unalterable word of God.
2. The modern attitude: This teaches that men and women should have equal roles in life including religion. Many Protestant Churches (e.g. Church of England, Methodist, United Reformed Church) not only have equal roles for men and women ministers and priests. They believe this because:
Christianity and the roles of Men and Women 2
- St Paul said ‘There is neither . . .male nor female for you are all one person in Christ’
- Jesus treated women as his equals and had women followers like Martha and her sister Mary
- Jesus’ women followers were the only people to stay with him for his crucifixion and Mary Magdalene was the first to see him when he rose from the dead;
- They believe that Jesus chose men as his apostles because of the culture of the time and not for any theological reason.
3. The Catholic attitude: This teaches that men and women should have equal roles and equal rights because men and women have equal status in the eyes of God. However, the Catholic Church teaches that only men can become priests. They believe this because:
- Jesus only chose men to be successors;
- Jesus was a man and priest represents Jesus in the Mass
Multi Ethnic Britain and racial Harmony
Britain has always had immigrants, but after World War II, a shortage of workers led to many different cultures coming to Britain: Afro-Caribbean’s, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Bangladeshis. Even so, in the 1991 Census only 4.8% of Britain’s population came from ethnic minorities and half of this 4.85 was born and educated in Britain.
To help with racial harmony, the Race Relations Act 1976 banned all forms of racial discrimination and any attempts to stir up racial hatred.
The benefits of multi-ethnic societies:
- less chance of war because people of different races and nationalities will get to know and like each other;
- more progress because new people will bring new ideas and new ways of doing things to the country;
- it helps people to see there are many races following a religion;
- life is more interesting with a much greater variety of food, music fashion and entertainment.
Christianity and racial Harmony
Christianity teaches that all forms of racism are wrong and that Christians should work to bring about racial harmony. It teaches this because:
- Jesus treated people of different races equally;
- St Peter had a vision from God telling him that God has no favourites among the races;
- In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus showed that races who hated each other (as did the Jews and Samaritans) should love each other as neighbours;
- God created all races in his image;
- all the Christian Churches have made statements recently condemning any form of racism or racial discrimination;
- all Christian Churches have members, ministers and priests of all races
Multi Faith Britain
Britain has had believers in different faiths for many years and all religions now have equal rights. As Britain became used to being a multi-faith society, people begin to realise that it is possible to worship God and be a good person without being a Christian. A multi-faith society has many benefits:
- It increases tolerance and understanding;
- It gives people an insight into different religions;
- It makes believers think seriously about their own beliefs.
- However a multi-faith society can cause problems for religion because:
- all faiths must be treated equally and not discriminated against;
- religious people attempting to convert each other could be a form of discrimination, as they are saying that the members of the other faith are inferior because they need converting.
- Some members and leaders of the different faiths in Britain do try to work together and show love and respect for each other. At official functions leaders of all Britain’s faith communities appear together and sometimes pray together.
Issues of a Multi Faith Britain
A multi-faith society can raise problems for religious people because:
Conversion – Many religions feel it is their duty to convert everyone because they believe theirs is the only true religion and holy books teach them to convert other people. Trying to convert other people causes problems because it can cause discrimination and lead to arguments if people are told their religion is wrong.
Bringing up children – A multi-faith society requires everyone to be able to choose their own religion and children should learn about all religions. This causes problems because most religions encourage parents to bring their child up in their religion and children educated in state schools can be tempted away from religious lifestyles when they see the lifestyles of other non-religious teenagers.
Interfaith marriages – In a multi-faith society, young people from different faiths will meet and fall in love. This can cause problems because it is difficult to have a religious wedding ceremony with two people marrying from different faiths, the parents of the couple may feel betrayed and what religion will their children be brought up in.
A common vision and shared sense of belonging for all groups in society.
What are the government doing to promote community cohesion?
- Made community cohesion part of the National Curriculum in schools.
- Appointed cabinet ministers from ethnic minorities.
- Passed the Race Relations Act to make it illegal to discriminate against anyone because of their race, colour etc.
Why is community cohesion important?
- Without community cohesion, different groups may have different ideas about what society should be like and this can lead to violence eg Burnley/Oldham riots.
- Lack of community cohesion makes a civilised society very difficult.
Community Cohesion and religion
1. Different religions in the UK are beginning to work with other religions to discover what they have in common.
2. Some religious groups are helping to develop interfaith marriage ceremonies.
3. They are trying to deal with the issues of bringing up children by agreeing to all religions being taught in religious education lessons.
4. They are working in special groups like the inter-faith network to promote good relationships between people of different faiths in the UK.
Multi ethnic society = many different races and cultures living together in one society
Prejudice = believing some people are inferior or superior without even knowing them.
Discrimintaion = putting prejudice into practice and treating people less favourably because of their race gender or class.
Ethnic Minority = A member of an ethnic group which is much smaller than the majority group.
Racism = the belief that some races are superior to others.
Multi-faith society = many different religions living together in one society.
Religious Pluralism = accepting all religions as having an equal right to co-exist.
Religious freedom = the right to practise your religion and change your religion.