How Economic Freedom Helps Women Achieve Equality

By Julia Song··  5 min read
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How Economic Freedom Helps Women Achieve Equality

Modern women feel as if they just can't catch up with men in the business world. So in a free-market country, what's the strongest force actually contributing to women’s independence and equality?

Women face various gender-specific challenges when it comes to joining the workforce and thriving financially on their own. A market that allows women to develop themselves to become skilled professionals and to have a flexible work schedule is exactly what we need.

Making a Choice

Many of us choose to have children, and it shouldn’t be a choice of whether we become mothers or career women. We should be able to have fulfilling careers while caring for our young, as long as the market is willing to adapt to that. In a free country, the market demands good conditions for workers, and many consumers prefer brands that are conscientious about how they treat their employees. The employees, too, have the freedom to search for work elsewhere if they want. Having that ability to negotiate is key for women’s empowerment.

Daycare can often be expensive, especially if you have more than one child. The business hours of such facilities don't always match work schedules, which adds stress and frustration to mothers. If the children are newborns, there's an expectation that women will go up to a few months without work to take care of their baby. 

We should be able to have fulfilling careers while caring for our young, as long as the market is willing to adapt to that.

In a perfect world, we would work like robots. But we’re humans, and the burden of stress can affect our capacity to do work, which could trigger termination of employment and financial hardships. Companies need to adapt to the employment market and consumer market by ensuring they have a reputation for fairness with their employees, which trickles down to consumer approval rates, more sales, and better positioning of their brand.

Job Market Evolving with Working Women

Among the flexibilities women are afforded, there are the options to work from home, extended work leave, flexible hours, etc. All this can only exist in a consumer-driven market. In contrast, in a market that's focused solely on manufacturing and selling goods without fair competition, companies have no incentive to treat employees fairly or well; therefore, you become simply a number, overworked and mistreated until you can be replaced by the next person.

Economic freedom is the greatest equalizer for women.

This is the reality of many women who work in Socialist societies in which the government determines how much of the workforce and the market should behave. In China, many women have their jobs picked for them by the government, and they have no say in what career they would like to pursue. Survival and self-preservation become their top concern. Leading a healthy life as a woman is only possible in a society that rejects these ideals.

Entrepreneurship Requires Freedom

Another tool of empowerment for women is the ability to create their own business. Around the world, many women have started small businesses, and are seen by lenders as reliable and hard-working customers. By owning their own business, there's a lot of potential for women to determine their work schedule, their income, and their lifestyle.  In a free market, entrepreneurship is incentivized, and the roadblocks to creating and operating your business are lessened to ensure that the process is user-friendly and fast. This supports the creation of jobs and the economic thriving of society, essentially lifting many out of poverty.

In Socialist societies, in which the government is the main actor at play, you can expect high levels of bureaucracy and taxation, which even European countries can’t escape from. The amount of taxes those businesses are forced to pay makes it very difficult for small businesses that must retain cash flow to survive.

The laws in a Socialist country surrounding the creation of new companies are also not clear, and often present a challenge for those who are not educated in law. Having to pay a lawyer to translate all of the legal verbiage can be expensive and expose the client to liability from many sources, including the possibility of being defrauded by their legal counsel, accounting department, and government officials.

By owning their own business, there's a lot of potential for women to determine their work schedule, income, and lifestyle.

Socialist work laws are not moved by the skill of the worker or the ability of the worker to negotiate. Rather, they're moved by bureaucratic government requirements that take the choice away from the employer and the employee. Work laws tend to be overreaching by focusing on unions, extreme work benefits, and many taxes that involve the hiring and keeping of each worker. As such, starting a business under these conditions becomes challenging to say the least.

Economic freedom is the greatest equalizer for women. In a world where everyone is trying to survive and make a living for themselves, giving women the leverage to be able to have their personal lives while contributing to the workforce the best they can and for as long as they can ensures that women are productive, companies have a positive brand image, and consumers feel comfortable supporting those businesses.

Closing Thoughts

A society that prevents women from having the freedom to pursue their professional or entrepreneurial life is anti-woman. Economic persecutions ensure that we will never get ahead. The free market may not be perfect, but at least women are free to decide. As freedom is all that women have fought for, for many years, we must not give it up.

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