Roles of Women: Norms and Culture
Roles of Women
Ellen Gracie Northfleet
Judge, Tribunal Regional Federal da 4a Regiao, Porto Alegre, Brazil

The twentieth century witnessed an enormous improvement in the status of women. These gains unfortunately have not been dispersed in equal shares in different cultures around the world. For the first part of the next millennium, the feminine question will remain a civil rights issue for women in developed countries and for those women in the top of the socio-economic pyramid in developing countries. And, it will still be a human rights issue for most women in the Third World as well as for those in the lowest tiers of the socio-economic pyramid in developed countries. Bare survival for these women will continue to be their first and only worry: famine, disease, ignorance and violence will be very present for them. For the ones at the top echelons, as well as for most women in countries of strong economic presence in the world, the big concern will be access to power. From this vantage point they are expected to contribute effectively in order to ensure that a new world order of peace and well being may come to light for humanity.