Solutions to Gender Inequality in the Workplace
It is indisputable that gender biasness exists in different forms at workplace. For example, there are cases where people of the same gender are paid different salaries after performing the same task. In some scenarios, employers hire and train people of the same gender, with the belief that certain jobs are meant for men or women. There are numerous cases where companies fail to promote expectant women and favor those who are not pregnant. History is further replete with cases of sexual harassment at workplaces, most of which are directed to women. With all these, the impact of gender inequality is dire and there is need to tame the situation. This essay explores solutions to gender inequality in the workplace.
The first step towards stumping out gender inequalities in our offices is embracing actions, which promote equality at workplace. For example, it is necessary to empower the management through training. It is true that there are managers who do not understand the basics of gender inequity and have no idea of how to resolve issues relating to this topic. Thus, educate managers in all aspects of discrimination, including common and subtle areas of management. Of great significance is equipping them with knowledge on how to identify discrimination among the staff and be able to deal with the situation. Above all, the management should how measures in place on how to prevent possible cases of gender unfairness at workplace in future.
Additionally, it is paramount to provide childcare support and facilities at workplace for fathers and mothers working for you. Through this, employees get motivated and work hard to achieve their objectives. To obtain better results, it is vital to make family leave available to men and women without favoring any gender. Moreover, empowering women and recognizing their impact at workplace is a practical way of dealing with gender inequalities in business. How do you do this? The easiest approach is showcasing successful women of the organization. This should cut across departments and levels, regardless of the positions these women hold.
While these efforts are important, they should not go unnoticed by everyone else at workplace. This calls for publicizing efforts to augment gender balance. Besides making it known to the employees, external publics like other companies and vendors ought to be aware of these efforts. You can achieve this through media adverts in newspaper editorials, ads or on the company website for everyone to know what you are doing about gender inequality.
Nonetheless, legislation that promotes gender equality is vital. It is the role of the management to develop and implement gender equality policies. For instance, the company should hold the view that men and women deserve the same pay as long as they are performing the same tasks for the company. Besides this, the policies should embrace all-round equality. For such, men and women should be treated fairly and equally during recruitment, training and promotion at all times. However, most companies focusing on maximum utilization of workers, the management should strike a balance between their employees’ duties and their personal lives. For example, there should be equal opportunities for employees to pursue further studies to better their careers without losing their jobs.
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Examples of Gender Inequality in the Workplace
Gender inequality is an issue that affects women in almost every aspect of life. The workplace is not an exception. It is for this reason that the government has been working hard to ensure women lead a fulfilling professional life. A number of policies and state legislations have been put in place to protect women against gender inequality.
Some of the examples of gender inequality in the workplace include
Stereotype in form of interview questions
In the workplace, women are prejudiced. There are jobs that are specifically set aside for men and women. Even though an employer may not directly discriminate you as a woman from certain jobs, he may ask questions that put you off on jobs set aside for men. An employer may ask you questions such as are you married or are you planning to have kids. Such questions suggest that the employer is not interested in hiring a mother because of responsibilities that come with motherhood.
Discrimination and gender inequality in the workplace also comes in the form of low pay. Many women are paid less than what they should really earn. Even if you enforce policies such as performance review with an aim of earning more, your employer will not pay attention. Women are often reprimanded and criticized when they request for a high pay or a similar amount that male employees earn.
Responsibilities being diminished
Women often complain of fewer responsibilities at place of work. This is based on the fact that there is an outdated notion that women are only best suited for negotiation related duties as opposed to managerial duties. At the end of the day, women are given tasks that may not even equal their academic credentials.
Last minute and impossible deadlines are also examples of gender inequality in the workplace. Bosses can give you as a woman impossible deadline just to prove that you cannot deliver on time. Such deadlines or tasks are a way of discriminating women and in most cases; a boss will use child care issues to prevent you from achieving your goals.
In addition, women do not get rightful promotions because of gender inequality. A woman may be passed over a promotion just because she is married and has kids. Such occurrences in the place of work demean women and waste their skills.
Male colleagues and bosses can also use abusive language or blurt demeaning comments in the office against women. Such comments are aimed at preventing women from communicating efficiently with their bosses and with their colleagues.
Similarly, bosses and superiors cut off women as they talk out their points on regular basis and do not do the same to male employees. By doing so, women feel embarrassed and undervalued in the workplace.
The workplace is full of gender issues. However, it is imperative to note that women and men have different conversation styles. Women are collaborative and men are more informative and do not often ask questions.
Therefore, there is need to implement policies that prevent gender inequality and stop employers acting on bias.
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Sample Essay on Gender Wage Gap
Gender gap is an issue that has generated fierce debate in the US and many other countries across the globe. It is the difference between the wages earned by women and wages earned by men. It can be measured in different ways but the commonly used strategy has been evaluation of full time and full year wages.
Gender wage gap can also be measured based on hourly wages. Recent research carried out in Canada and parts of the US reveals that gender gap is estimated at 26 percent for women that work on full time basis. This is an equivalent of $1.00 earned by a male worker and only 74 cents earned by a female employee.
Because of gender wage gap, a Pay Equity Act was passed in 1987. The gender gap was then estimated at 36 percent. The research also shows that the gap has been narrowing slowly over the past few years.
Common causes of gender wage gap
Gender wage gap is caused by a number of factors including the need to leave, choose or re-enter a work place because of family responsibilities. Many women are care givers at home and such responsibilities prevent them from earning a good amount. Such responsibilities also result in loss of seniority at place of work, in wages and advancement in technology or opportunity.
Low paying jobs including clerical work and childcare also cause gender wage gap. There has been historical segregation and women are undervalued because they are seen as the only ones who can take up such jobs.
Lower education levels also contribute to gender wage gap. Today, this is becoming less of a gender wage gap factor because many women have advanced in education. There are many graduate women across different parts of the globe.
Less unionization especially amongst the women also contributes to gender wage gap.
There is also discrimination in the workplace especially when it comes to hiring, promotion and compensation practices in different companies.
Closing the gender wage gap
The United States has been employing different strategies to help fight gender wage gap because of the alarming statistics on women who are affected by wage gap. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of gender wage gap is caused by discrimination.
Therefore, there are different policy options that the government has been pursuing to address the issue. Pay Equity Act is one of the policies put in place to address gender wage gap. This is because of systematic discrimination of women in the workplace especially in terms of compensation practices.
The act works by putting on onus on all employers to establish compensation practices that favor men and women. It also expects employers to maintain the same practices over a long period of time.
The policy also states that employers should adjust job rates and compare job classes of men and women. This is to ensure that job classes allow women to earn the same amount as men depending on their efforts, skills, working conditions and responsibilities in the work place.
Compensation practices help to address gender wage gap. By adopting pay equity initiatives in the states, the wage gap can also be addressed effectively.
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Reasons for Gender Wage
Gender wage is an issue that has not been fully addressed in different parts of the globe. The US is one of the countries that have been trying to close gender wage gap over the past years to no success. This is largely attributed to the fact that there are complex and interrelated causes of gender pay gap including
Research shows that many women earn less compared to males even if they have the same credentials and doing the same job. This is a factor that explains why gender pay gap has been hard to close both in developed and developing countries. Direct discrimination is also common because of the effectiveness of national legislation and effectiveness of the European Union.
Undervaluing the work of women
Undervaluing the work of women is also a leading cause of gender wage. Women earn less because of the value of the work they do. This affects their competitiveness because they cannot put their skills into practice fully.
Additionally, jobs that require similar skills, experience and qualifications pay poorly. Such jobs are often designed for women. Such jobs include cashiers in supermarkets among other low paying jobs.
Similarly, evaluation of employee performance is often biased. It favors men when it comes to the level of pay as well as career progression. In cases where men and women are qualified, you will realize that more value is attached to men’s responsibilities.
Labor market segregation
Segregation in the labor market also causes gender wage. Women and men are offered different jobs even on the same sector. As a result, women are known to predominate low paying and less valuable jobs.
Additionally, women are offered jobs that pay low even in sectors that are known to be profitable. This includes health, public administration and education sector. For instance, in the health sector, there are many nurses and up to 80 percent are women.
Similarly, women are often under represented in senior and managerial positions. Women only represent 17 percent of board members in big public companies in the European Union.
Segregation linked to stereotypes and traditions are also one of the reasons behind gender wage. Women may take up certain educational paths because of stereotype. There are also careers that are believed to be best suited for women than men.
There are a minority of women in computing, engineering and mathematics among other related fields because of stereotype. As a result, women work in less valuable and less paying jobs because these traditions and stereotypes reduce their working hours. This often occurs so that women can provide elderly or childcare services.
The need to balance private and work life
The need to balance private and work life also causes gender wage. Women experience difficulties when balancing work and private life.
What’s more, family care, domestic responsibilities and the freedom to enjoy a more private life is not equal between men and women. Women are often expected to stay home and take care of kids among other household chores. Men on the other hand have all the time they need to hang out with friends.
Women also have more interruptions on their careers compared to men thus, negatively impacting their pay.
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Wage Gap in America
Wage Gap in America addresses many issues. Over the past years, there have been many questions surrounding wage gap in the states including why men are often paid more than women, whether women work part time hence the wage gap and whether women have the sole responsibility of taking care of their children that’s why they earn less.
The truth is that all the above questions can be answered by understanding wage gap in America. Research shows that wage gap in the US affects many women of all ages. It also affects women despite their educational level. This is why the state has been trying to find the most ideal solutions to address or close wage gap.
Wage gap in America has not been budgeted over the past years. Therefore, women suffered a great deal and they were paid only 77 percent of what men were paid in a decade. This included women who worked whole year and full time.
Wage gap in America also affects women in every state. However, some states are worse compared to others. Women in Washington DC are paid well, 90 percent of what men are paid especially in the past decade. The worst state where the effects of wage gap are greatly felt is Wyoming where women are only paid 64 percent of what men earn.
The wage gap in America is also worse depending on the color of women. Even though it affects all women in the states, Hispanic and Black women are greatly affected. It is also worse on Asian American women as they receive 87 percent of what white men are paid in the country.
Hispanic women earn 53 percent of what white men earn. This means that whites are used in the states as a benchmark because they cover the largest demographic group.
Wage gap in America-occupation
Wage gap in America affects women in all professions. It doesn’t discriminate against the type of work that a woman handles year in year out. Middle and elementary school teachers are paid less compared to their male counterparts. This is also common in female dominated, male dominated and gender balanced workplaces.
Wage gap also affects women without children. Those that work full time earn up to 82 percent of what men earn.
Educated women are not an exception. Even though many women have advanced in education, they stand a chance to earn good salaries. However, wage gap affects them negatively leading to low salaries compared to what men earn. This means that education cannot be used as an effective tool to close wage gap in America.
Changes that can help close wage gap in America
Over the past years, the US has been looking for effective tools against wage gap. This includes
Carrying out salary audits in companies to monitor the earnings of men and women because it helps to find the difference and pay women well.
For individuals, the states suggest that women should learn to bargain for good salaries.
Policy makers on the other hand can use executive order to promote women’s earnings.
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Difference between First and Second Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution era means a lot to every human. Whether born during the first or second industrial revolution, there are great innovations made that changed lives for better. However, there are number of similarities and differences that define these eras of industrial revolution. Both First and Second Industrial Revolution saw great development in the world that changed the way humans perceived things. They opened ways for many innovations taking place today.
Without these two industrial revolution eras, the great innovations in the transport, agricultural, economy and technology sector would never exist. All in all, both First and Second Industrial Revolution have vast differences that make it easy to understand what industrial revolution was all about and they include;
- First industrial revolution was the change to new and exceptional manufacturing processes and took place between 1760 and 1870 while the second industrial revolution or technological revolution that corresponded to the latter half of the 19th century until the World War I that is between 1870 and 1960.
- The transition experienced during the first industrial revolution included going from hand production methods to machines, iron production processes, use of steam power and new chemical manufacturing. It also entailed change from use of wood and bio-fuels to coal. In the second industrial revolution, it was characterized by the extensive building out of railroads, far-fetching use of machinery in manufacturing, immense use of steam power, large scale production of steel and iron and electrical communications.
- The industrial revolution started in United Kingdom and spread to Western Europe and North America while second industrial revolution spread to other areas like Russia, japan and Germany and all developed in respective areas of interest.
- During the first industrial revolution developments were made in textile industry where mechanized cotton spinning powered by steam or water took place. Steam power became the main source of power industries as they were more efficient. The use of coke for charcoal during this era lowered the cost of iron making and even allowed vast blast furnaces to be used. On the other hand, during the second industrial revolution iron making was improved by the use of Hot Blast technique as it reduced fuel use. Mass production of steel also took place and better techniques were used.
- At the beginning of the first industrial revolution, inland transport was effective by navigable rivers and roads. Railways and wagon were used for conveying coal to rivers for shipment. Animals were used to motive power to land and sails aided on the sea. Britain transport infrastructure with canal and waterway network, railway network and turnpike road network. When it comes to the second industrial revolution, great changes were made on the existing means of transport due to the advent of electricity. Road transport was also improved through the advent of automobiles making it faster to move from one place to another.
- Lastly, communication became easy during the second industrial revolution due to the invention of telegraph system that was improved to other means of communication like telephone and radio. During the industrial revolution era, many people relied on messengers or other application means.
A lot of economic changes were experienced during these two distinctive eras. There was expansion of factor system, increased unemployment due to eradication of man power, industrial capitalism and led to mass production of goods. Social, industrial revolution increased leisure time, led to development of more cities and increased population. Above all, these eras led to increased power of the industrialized countries.
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Causes and Effects of Battle of Plassey
There many battles that have been fought and won or lost since time age-old. The battle of Plassey was one of the greatest battles ever written in the ancient texts. It was a decisive victory of the British East India Company over the ruler of Bengal and his French partners on the 23rd June 1757. The battle took place at Plassey on the banks of Bhagirathi River which was approximately 150 kilometers north of Calcutta and south of Murshidabad capital of Bengal.4
The British had come up with a great strategy of befriending themselves with various princes and rulers of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to triumph. They would promise security against the rebels and usurpers. In return the Nawabs would promise them concessions for security. A lot took place during this era, but here are notable causes of the battle of Plassey, and they include;
- The British wanted to establishment themselves administratively, politically and economically in India and over Bengal and make it easy to wage war against the Nawabs.
- The British wanted to dethrone Sirajuddaula [The last sovereign Nawab of Bengal] after he began to follow their every move and wanted them to stop their activities, but failed and support Shaukat Jang. Siraj relatives later opposed his undertakings against decided to get rid of him.
- The British had no respect for the Nawab although he wanted to strike a compromise, but hatred has already settled between the parties.
- The British knew that there were traitors within the Sirajuddaulua army despite the power and efficiency he possessed. Hence, they considered a secret treaty with Mir Jafar on 4th June1757. The army was too strong to defeat but their friend Mir Jafar disclosed Sirajuddaula.
- Sirajuddaula believed in the French and thought they were more trustworthy than the Englishmen. He was also devastated by the loss of Chandernagar and his defeat by the British. The war became more imminent as Sirajuddaula was pressurized by the British not to allow the French from India to continue with trade in the nation. Some of the Frenchmen were serving the Nawab and so he could not forbid them from trading India.
- Robert Clive, the colonel in-charge of the British army had overpowered the Indian army twice and felt that it was weak and scared. He felts safe and victories because he had two traitors close to Sirajuddaula; Mir Jar [the commander of the India army] and Durlabh Rai and other military personnel. Hence, he had all the Sirajuddaula move or strategy watched.
With strong desire and confidence to win the war, Clive searched for an opportunity to attack the Indians. He accused Sirajuddaula of violating the term of the treaty of Alinagar and he sent an army through. The battle began! Mir Jar two-timed his leader and sent a message to Clive of a pending attack anytime of the day. On the other hand, Durlab Rai floated a rumor that the English are winning and the soldiers of Nawab are fleeing for their lives. Nawab was defeated and retreated and Mir Jafar took over after Sirajuddaula was killed by his confidants.
As a result of the battle of Plassey, the French were no longer a force to reckon in Bengal as they were later defeated by the British and the Northern Circars was secured by Clive. Things went bad for Mir Jafar and he spurred the Dutch to attack the British and banish them from Bengal. However, Robert Clive used is mastery and artillery and defeated the Dutch. Mir Jafar was unseated and Mir Qasim to lead Bengal. About 18 British men were lost and estimated 500 Nawabs were known to have dead. The British also got a lot of wealth and valuables from after securing every station.
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Causes and Effects of Chinese Civil War
China is one of the great nations that have gone through a lot of revolutions. By the half of the 20th century, politics had dominated the nation and everything was chaotic. The revolution of 1911 led to the fall of the Manchu dynasty and the new state could not prevent China from exploitation by the foreign nations. Conflicts between the Chinese nationalist and communists over power led to the famous Chinese Civil War.
This struggle for power and control over china took place from 1927 to 1937 and commenced again in 1946 to 1949 when the Sino-Japanese was culminated and the civil war and major impact on China. In the event of a civil war, there are many factors that may have led to the start of the war. These factors may be long-term or short-term but all have horrendous impacts on the affected countries or individuals. In the case of the Chinese Civil War, there are several factors that instigated the conflict, and they include;
- Socio-economic factors- The vast majorities of the people in China were peasants and had to work harder on ways to eradicate poverty. Taxes imposed on the peasants were used to support the Manchu imperial court. Population increased rapidly on daily basis, but there was no enough to feed these large families. Many lost their lands, there were no jobs as machines replaced human labor and most cities were languishing in poverty.
- Political weakness and foreign power influence- The inability of the China central government to protect its people and humiliation from prompted the war. The Britain had defeated the Chinese in the Opium wars and the great empire was divided due to the influence of Americans, Europeans and Japanese. China had been forced to sign many treaties that made it easy for the imperialist to control trade the only source of revenues. Missionaries were also interest in the country and flooded to spread Christianity. Due to increased corruption and inflation, the Manchu dynast was weak to defend and take care of its people.
- Overthrowing of the Manchu empire- The defeat of the Manchu dynasty during the Double Tenth revolution also caused the Chinese civil war. A new republic was formed in 1911. With no real democracy and most of the imperial officer maintaining their positions, an all Chinese revolution was imminent.
- Mao Zedong influence- Mao had great influence on the Chinese and as the leader for the communists he came up with great strategies such as use of guerrilla, the long march, to rule the Nationalists into communists’ zones and propaganda. Many peasants joined his troops making it clear that they were set for a winning battle.
- Support from communist allies- China’s transition to communism build relationships with other nations. After Russia followed the suit, other opportunistic nations feared a revolution from the rest of Asia in case of similar transition. China received financial support and weaponry industries were constructed to aid in mass production of artillery.
The Mao dominance in the war and victory led to globalization of the cold war which spread for Europe to Asia and it was not easy for the superpowers to control Asian countries anymore. The war also inspired revolts in Malaya, Indonesia, Thailand and Indochina. It also led to the Korean war of 1950 to 1953. A treaty between china and USSR was also signed, but the relations worsened later. Mao victory also terrified the USA as many in the USA never believed of Chinese could emerge victories.
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Effects of Gender Inequality in Africa
In Africa, gender inequality is not a new thing. It is an issue that has been raising eyebrows on what should be done to eradicate this collective problem. Gender discrimination is mostly violated in Africa and many countries have not been able to minimize its effects. Gender inequality is a social process whereby people are treated differently and disadvantageously under similar circumstances on the basis of whether they a man or woman. It is a vice that should be condemned by the young, old and even those holding big positions in companies or government.
Gender inequality issues have always focused on the many woes that women have to go through to defend their rights. This is an issue that has impact Africa in many ways and with the greatest magnitude. In many Africa countries, cases of physical, emotional and psychological abuse are reported while others go unheard. Surprisingly, gender discrimination has become the main concern for many governments across Africa, but only a few have hit a considerate scale in the battle with the vice.
There different examples of inequality in Africa that many victims have to endure or succumb to. For instance, some of the Africa nations especially west Africa use rape as a weapon. Militias have kidnapped and raped girls as young as eight years in order to stuck deals with government for the release of the captives.
Another example of gender inequality is fistula and young African girls especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Many husbands have abandoned their women in case of such complications and they are stigmatized and rejected by their communities. For young girls in Africa nations, their fathers see them as bargaining tools to yearn for fat dowries. Their mothers cannot talk as they have gone through same mores. Female genital mutilation has led to deaths, loss of fertility and reduced sexual feelings. Lack of access to good education, domestic violence, lack of custody and citizenship rights are many other examples to look at.
Besides unexpected deaths, there are many other effects of gender inequality. This includes poverty. Many countries in Africa are poor because discrimination of a certain gender has made it had to increase productivity in a country. For instance, when hold incomparable household an intra-household know-how and if allowed to work in companies or do chores that are designated to men only aid improve the economy.
Increased infant mortality rate is another horrendous effect of gender inequality. Women are the caregivers in many homes, but many a times, they are not provided proper training on how to prepare build their families and have as many children as they want. In some communities, women are not allowed to go to college, but wedded to bring instant wealth. Health-related courses are helpful in the society if pursued by women as they are usually in-charge of their families. However, men too have a chance to pursue similar courses if interested and bring healthcare services to their homes.
Some Africa countries deprive women from accessing modern information and communication technologies as they are seen as technophobic. In essence, women embrace technology than men and if granted opportunity to learn they can help in industries and help improve economy and general living standards of a community. Gender discrimination hinders development not only in the education sector but also in the health, finance and agriculture sectors. Surprisingly, men like and enjoy women’s work as they contributed to economy wholeheartedly, but they are the first ones to discriminate them. Hence, as human beings, it is wide to mind welfare of person regardless of gender and status and kick gender inequality out of Africa.
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Effects of Gender Inequality in Education
Education is the key to success in one’s lifetime. It is considered as the most valuable possession for mankind in the today’s world. It is also the most important tool for human development. Regardless of where one comes from, education is a universal human right as it presents many opportunities in life. One issue that has made it had for many people to access education is gender inequality. Evidently, like in any other areas, gender discrimination is both formal and informal. In some cases, it does affect both men and women depending on place of origin.
Gender inequality in education exists in almost every underdeveloped country and among those languishing in poverty. From a report presented by the World Bank in 2001, there has been a considerable increase in gender disparity in education in the low income countries over the last three eras. Inequality in the education sector starts from the word “go” as some people fail to access even the least education services that can be offered in a learning institution. Hence, many people fighting for equality in the education have never left any stone unturned for better and educated societies in the future.
There are different ways through which gender inequality has been practiced. For instance, there have been disparities on how boys and girls have to access school or university. Primarily schooling became a universal right from 1877, but girls’ secondary school opened 15 years later after boys’ school. Women were allowed to attend university is they make it through secondary school, but there are areas that prohibit boys from attending universities. Educating girl child has been seen by many 19th century parents as waste time and money. Daughters were to marry, raise children and keep houses. Today, the number of girls graduating with degrees is high than that of men.
In the early 20th century, girls were limited to undertaking areas that include motherhood like sex education, health, hygiene and domestic skills. For boys, they had to pursue those areas that would help take care of their families socially and economically. The move a parent or government made on education had effect on the society and the nation in general. For instance, lack of education meant that there will be disparities in income among men and women. Those who were undertaking taxing jobs were to be paid more than the rest of the group and this led to discrimination of women as they were seen as the minority jobwise.
Uneducated women were discriminated in the society and at workplace as they were seen as passive, less assertive and quite due to the impact of hidden skills and curriculum. Education inequality also affected economic growth of a nation. Women are seen to be more productive than men in regard to the many chores that they undertake on daily basis. Hence, if this group is despised, it means that there will be less labor force and less output is expected.
By promoting equality in education, it means that a nation is encouraging economic growth and promoting important development goals that entail lower child mortality and low fertility. By giving every individual an opportunity to learn, inequality will be a long gone vice. Men are the promoters of inequality in the society, but if there educated or re-educated, both socially and professionally, it will be easy to improve productivity, economic and our living standards.
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An Analysis of the Economic Importance of the Amazon River
The Amazon River is the second largest in the world. Found in South America, the river is 4,200 km long and holds a fifth of the whole world’s fresh water. Experts state that the Amazon flows at more than ten times the speed of the Mississippi river and every minute 12 billion liters of water flow in this river.
There are many benefits that the Amazon River offers the people who live around it. Amongst the key economic gains from this river include:
- Fishing activities. The Amazon River has over 1,500 species of fish and some of these are harvested for trade purposes. These include the cat fish, turtles and other rare species of fish which are found in this fresh water river. These fish species are usually traded within the Amazon basin or outside to hotels and other traders in search of rare fish species.
- Trade channels. The governments of countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia have constructed transport systems especially roads around the Amazon River area to facilitate development projects and trade within these areas.
- The Amazon River has thousands of species of flora and fauna, most of which are exotic and rare. This has attracted several tourists to the area who come in search of adventure as well as research. These tourists come to see fish, animals, plants, flowers, insects and different species of living organisms. This has generated revenue for countries which are visited with Brazil reaping the most benefits.
- Mining and energy. Since the discovery of gold along the Amazon River in the 1980s, there have been several miners migrating into the area surrounding the river. Apart from gold, among the major minerals being mined includes bauxite. Research shows that 15% of bauxite in the world originates from the Amazon River basin. Other minerals include iron, steel, tin, nickel, manganese and copper. Additionally, the Amazon River is also known for hydro energy. Many companies are settling within the area in order to exploit the high potential of hydroelectric power supply.
- The Amazon River is surrounded by tropical rainforests which have a huge variety of trees. Some of the trees that have attracted several developers are the mahoganies which are usually harvested for their popularity in building furniture. The rubber trees in the rain forest are also very popular because of their high quality rubber products. There are also rose woods, Tonka bean woods and other scented trees that are used in making perfumes and other scented products. Lumbering is thus a popular economic activity along the Amazon River.
- A lot of land along the Amazon River has been turned to commercial farming purposes. This is because there are parts of the river basin which are highly fertile. Some of the crops that are grown on large scale are soybeans and corn. These are actually sold locally and exported. Farming of rice, manioc and other crops is also very popular.
Unfortunately, there have also been illegal economic activities within the Amazon River basin. For instance, illegal extraction of cocaine from the coca trees is one of the most lucrative economic activities that go on along the banks of river Amazon.
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The Most Endangered Species of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is home to many unique animals and plants. Even though this biome has a rich biodiversity, many of its species are considered endangered. This is because of the ongoing developmental activities that have significantly reduced the number of animals and plants in this habitat. The following are some of the endangered species of the Amazon rainforest:
- Golden Faced Lion Tamarin Monkeys. The Golden faced lion tamarin monkey is the tiniest monkey in the world. It is the size of a squirrel and is covered in long, reddish brown silky fur. They feed on flowers, fruit and insects. They also sap gum and nectar from flowers, plants and trees. These monkeys are carnivorous and sometimes eat frogs, lizards and snails. They are hunted down for their silky fur hence considered an endangered species. Scientists and researchers speculate that there are only 800 golden faced lion monkeys in the world.
- Poison Dart Frog. The poison dart frog is one of the rarest amphibians on earth that is found in the Amazon rainforest. Though colorful, these frogs are highly poisonous and produce toxic substances from their flesh. They feed on ants, termites, crickets and fruit flies. They can be found near the Amazon River and are considered endangered species because their natural habitat is at risk of massive destruction.
- The Harpy Eagle. The Harpy Eagle is considered one of the most powerful and largest species of eagles in the planet. These animals feed on animals such as monkeys and sloths. They also feed on different birds and reptiles. It lives in nests made up of twigs and is considered endangered because most of its habitat is being destroyed. It is also hunted down.
- The Jaguar. The jaguar is the biggest cat in the world. It is also the only animal in the panther family that lives in South America. This jungle cat looks very similar to the leopard. However, the jaguar is more stout and shorter in length as compared to the leopard. It cannot run as fast as the leopard and as such sneaks upon its prey before pouncing on it. Jaguars are mostly hunted down for their beautiful fur and experts estimate that only 150,000 of these animals are remaining.
- Hyacinth Macaws. These birds are a species of parrots. They thrive in the Amazon Rainforest because of their feeding habits. Their tough beaks can easily break the hard nuts found on trees growing in the forest. They also have strong feet that hold on to different branches of the trees. Hyacinth macaws are very social animals that live in large groups of 10-30 birds. They are endangered because the nut trees which they depend on for food are being cut down. Additionally, many of these birds are being captured by hunters and sold as domesticated pets.
- Three-Toed Sloth. The three-toed sloth is one of the few animals that rarely move. These animals spend most of their time hanging upside down like bats and can sleep for up to 20 hours. Experts state that the male sloth may live in one particular tree for their entire life. These animals have a hard time controlling their body temperatures and hence thrive in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon. They are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed through deforestation.
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Ancient and Modern Importance of Euphrates River
About the Euphrates River
Found between Turkey, Iraq and Syria, the Euphrates River is part of the Mesopotamia River. It joins up with the Tigris River to form the Mesopotamia River. This river is 2,800 square kilometers long and it originates from Turkey, flowing through Syria before joining the Tigris River in Iraq. This river flows into the Persian Gulf where it ends.
Being the longest river in western Asia, it is regarded as an important part of the ecosystem. The importance of the Euphrates River dates back to the ancient times. Even though the river and its surrounding environment have changed, it continues to play a major role in the countries through which it flows.
Roles of the Euphrates River
The roles of the Euphrates River can be divided according to ancient and modern times. In both instances, the river has been the source of water for its environs and played a huge role in their livelihoods. The following are reasons why the Euphrates River is considered very important:
- Source of water. From time immemorial, the people of turkey, Syria and Iraq have been depending on this river for all their water needs. Indeed, the river has provided a means for irrigating their lands which are arid and thus cannot sustain plants on their own. To date, water from this river has also been piped and is used in homes for day to day needs. There are also dams that have been constructed to harvest water from the river and divert it into manmade reservoirs.
- Source of food. The Euphrates River is one of the sources of foods in the Mesopotamia region. Fish and other small water animals are obtained from this river. Most of the people still depend on the river for fish despite the fact that the numbers of the fish have reduced.
- Archaeological site. Some of the remains of the early man have been excavated from the Euphrates River. This makes it an important archaeological and historical site. Many archaeologists still visit this river in search of other important historical artifacts.
- Transport mode. The Euphrates River has been used as a transport route from the ancient time. In fact, together with the Tigris River, the Euphrates is regarded as one of the major transport routes that led to civilization during the ancient times. At the time, the river was used as a transport channel for merchants from Babylon, Assyria, Persia and other areas within the Middle East. In the modern era, there are many people and traders that still use the river as a transport channel.
- Source of energy. One of the modern day reasons why the Euphrates River is so important is because of its role in the supply of electricity within the region. The river is used in production of hydroelectric power in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. This makes it very important as the people around the area benefit from electrical supply.
- In the ancient days, the Euphrates River was used as a boundary between Syria and Turkey. Even though this is no longer the case, this waterway remains an important landmark in the region.
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The Main Importance of Tigris River
A brief background about the Tigris River
The Tigris River is one of two rivers that flow in Mesopotamia which is modern day Iraq. Even though it starts on the eastern part, it joins River Euphrates and flows from Turkey into Iraq. The river is 1,900 km long and is one of the more important sources of water in the Middle East.
The major benefits of the Tigris River
There are several key roles that Tigris River plays. These include:
- Source of water. The Tigris River has always been regarded as an important source of water for the arid and semi arid lands in both Turkey and Iraq. Both Iraq and Turkey have diverted some of the water from this river to create irrigation channels for their lands. Dams and water reservoirs have been constructed to harvest some of the water from the river for human activities. It is possible to farm using this water despite the arid conditions of the land along which it flows. This river has indeed sustained crops and human being in the dry areas.
- Source of food. Tigris River is a major source of fish of different species. Many of the inhabitants who live along the river have relied on this river for food for many years. It is not just human beings that rely on the river for food, animals and birds as well get food from it.
- Transport mode. From time immemorial, Tigris River has been considered a major mode of transport. During the civilization era, most goods and people were transported through this river. This has not changed and today water channels such as canals have been constructed to accommodate different vessels that pass through the Tigris River.
- Source of livelihood. Many people who live along the Tigris River consider it a source of revenue. There are fishermen who obtain fish from the river and sell it to consumers. There are also those who operate different vessels across the river and help to ferry both people and goods. During constructions of dams and waterways, many people get employment from activities related to the river.
- Source of energy. Hydro power from the Tigris River has helped to save energy while providing electricity to different parts of the region surrounding the river. Many people who live near the river can get cheap hydroelectric power because of its role as a source of energy.
- Means of recreation. There are also many people who use the Tigris River as a means of recreation. These include both inhabitants of the regions around the river and tourists who visit the region. These people engage in a range of water activities that include swimming, sailing, kayaking and fishing amongst other things.
In the recent past, many controversies have arisen concerning the Tigris River. This is because there are environmental concerns surrounding it. With Turkey constructing major dams at the mouth of the river, Iraq is worried about interference with the normal flow of the river. The government has also relaxed its laws and the river has become a dumping site for both dirt and sometimes dead bodies.
Environmental Degradation and Pollution of the Sahara Desert
Brief Overview of the Sahara Desert
The Sahara desert is the located in North Africa and is the largest hot desert in the world. It is spread across a number of countries within the continent and occupies approximately 10% of Africa. It is 9,100,000 km2.The desert has arid and hyper arid conditions. It is also known for extreme temperatures.
There is minimal vegetation cover in the Sahara desert and precipitation in most of the parts is low and scanty. Rainfall precipitation is between 0-25mm per annum and it can take a couple of years before the desert experiences rain. The desert’s surface is also divided into different ranges of surfaces. There are parts of the desert that are composed of gravel plains while others are made up of stone plateaus, salt flats and sand dunes.
Temperatures vary in the desert. Days and nights usually have extreme temperature ranges. A day can be as hot as 37 degrees while nights can get as cold as below zero degrees. The hot winds also tend to make the days seem hotter as the blow hot dust over the desert. Areas in the desert that have stone plateaus also experience colder weather especially during the night. Both the northern and southern ends of the Sahara have more vegetation because these experience precipitation more often.
Pollution within the Sahara Desert
Despite the extreme conditions in the Sahara, there are animals and plants that grow and thrive in this desert. Pollution within the deserts is that of great concern. The Sahara was not always a hot hyper arid mass of land. In the previous 5000 years, the whole of North Africa, including the Sahara was covered with water. However, degradation of the environment slowly eroded the water and created the desert. In the recent past, the following are some of the concerns that environmentalists have raised over pollution within the Sahara desert:
- Diversion of water from aquifers. Despite the extreme lack of water in the Sahara desert, there exist aquifers below the hard desert rocks. These are underground rocks that store water deep within the earth. Algeria and Tunisia have recently begun projects that divert the water from these aquifers to the countries’ water reservoirs in a bid to meet their citizens’ needs. Environmentalists have warned that these projects will drain the desert further and cause soil degradation as well as massive erosion.
- Hunting of endemic desert animals. Animals such as desert antelopes and the sand cat have always thrived in the desert. Yet they remain an endangered species because of the amount of hunting that goes on in the desert. Hunters in the Sahara range from the inhabitants of the desert who live on its edges to visitors who tour the desert for hunting purposes. There are some animals which have already become extinct because of the hunting activities.
- Desiccation of the land. The fact that the Sahara desert is not well protected makes it susceptible to encroachment. There are North African tribes that live off the desert. These are mainly nomadic tribes and they continue to deplete the scanty resources of the desert even further. Resources such as the oases are fast draining because of occupation of the desert.
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