We have stepped into the age of globalization. Like anything new, globalization is double-sided. On the one hand, globalization is brewing new changes so fast in so many fields that many challenges and opportunities are presented to us. On the other hand, instead of spreading wealth around, globalization and its current macro-economic policies have brought Asian countries a strong negative impact, such as the financial crisis and unemployment. The Asian woman is the most direct victim.
Before many people overcome their “future shock” aroused by globalization, some Asian women have already risen to the positive and negative challenges of globalization, and they have become role models for a new generation in the context of globalization. Globalization is characterized by the worldwide development of technology and economy to make the whole world into a global village. This knowledge-based context underscores the importance of education. The Asian woman has realized it and striven for the same right to receive education.
At school, female students work on the same subjects in the same class as male students do. They, together with men, learn advanced mathematics, physics, economy, politics, and sociology. As smart as men, the Asian woman has demonstrated the same capability in learning. Because it is really uneasy to get the precious opportunity of receiving education like men, the women work very hard. They get scholarships and win prizes in various academic contests that reward intelligence and diligence. In addition, because of globalization, the world is becoming smaller and smaller, which makes overseas education easier than ever before.
So some Asian women not only break away from their traditional household duties, but also tend to leave their own country and set foot on foreign soil. They begin to seek overseas education. With education, domestic and overseas alike, the Asian woman has become broad-minded and better equipped. They are able to go with the tide of globalization and cope with the rapidly changing world successfully. Through education, the Asian woman has mastered skills that are necessary in modern society. For example, the Asian woman learns communication skills in class.
And when they step into society, they have opportunities to communicate with various people, other than their family members, thereby improving their communication skills. Therefore, women prove competent in the management of departments, such as, human relations, PR and marketing. However, among these skills is the computer skills, especially the familiarity with Internet. Globalization cannot stand alone without Internet. The networking is going on internationally in all fields, ranging from economy to politics, and from science to art.
To survive in the context of globalization, it is a prerequisite for the Asian woman to achieve a good command of Internet knowledge. Computer is a compulsory course where women learn to surf on line, receive and send e-mails, and even carry out e-commerce. By Internet, they keep well-informed of the latest development of the outside world and manage to hold an invincible position, regardless of the fast paces of modern life. What is more, Internet helps the Asian woman rise to the negative challenges of globalization.
It is this burgeoning industry that makes it possible for the Asian woman to blaze new careers, especially when the Asian financial crisis occured. Women were the hardest hit during the financial crisis. They are the last to be hired and the first to be fired. And now, they are forced into unprotected economic positions where social security and other benefits do not apply to them. Fortunately, Internet opens up a new world of possibilities. Propelled out of the regular job market, many smart and talented women turn to the IT industry, mainly involving the Internet. In the field of the Internet, gender and old-boy networks matters less.
Of course, to survive the negative challenges of globalization by blazing new careers, the Asian woman needs both courage and aggressive spirit. Recently in China, Shen Yuming, a middle-aged woman, after she was laid off in the Asian crisis, has employed some laid-off women and set up an Internet company of her own. The company acts as go-between for job hunters and recruiters from companies. These strong-minded and hard-working women are carrying out their business enthusiastically, and they have managed to create a unique business culture characteristic of the aggressive spirit of the Asian woman.
Therefore, Shen Yuming has become a familiar face in advertisements and magazines as a model of success against the impact of globalization. However, though some of the Asian women have risen and proved themselves, the majority are still up against plenty of social constraints. Some old customs and prejudices are still in the way. When the economy contracts, for example, families either assume that women should stay at home and therefore require less education, or financial hardship may prelude families from providing education for both their sons and daughters.
When forced to choose who will attend school, families tend to favor sons. In poverty-stricken areas, women are still denied rights to receive education. When women seek employment, they are often hired for “soft” or “traditional female” jobs, such as clerical work, service work, or low-skilled manufacturing jobs. And they have less opportunity for promotion then men. This shows that the society still turns a blind eye to the capability of the Asian woman and their will to rise in the context of globalization.
Therefore, there is a long way to go for ALL the Asian women to rise in the context of globalization. A change in social attitudes is urgently needed. The Asian woman should no longer be prejudiced against or their capability ignored. In the high-tech economy brought on by globalization, society should give all women the right to receive education so as to enable them to go with the latest developing trend. Meanwhile, instead of confining women to their traditional job roles, society should create a vaster world where women can bring into their talents into full play.
So what is needed is a mental revolution. In conclusion, in spite of its strong impact on the economy of Asian countries, globalization is rich in challenges and opportunities. Through education, communications skills, the Internet knowledge and aggressive spirit, some Asian women have risen to the challenges of globalization, and have become the role models for a new generation. But they still have to fight against social constraints and prejudices. So to realize the rise of all the Asian women, the social attitudes must thoroughly be changed.