Gender can be defined as the socially constructed roles and duties society constructs, assigns and expects of males and females on the basis of their biological and physical characteristics. Gender is learnt, not permanent and differs from one community to another. Gender roles and responsibilities are found in all spheres of society be it economic, social, political or religious. Gender roles are affected by age, social class, ability, ethnicity and race. The gender roles help society to determine men and women access to rights, resources and opportunities. Gender in this perspective is not just a concept, but about perceptions and understanding concerning the affiliation between males and females in society and how gender influences their attitudes, behavior and responsibilities. Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment of men and women that are against the legal and constitutional requirement such as the human rights provisions as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 & The Convention on the Eradication of all forms of discrimination against females (1979). Most countries have, however, fallen short of entitling human rights and freedoms to everyone in society regardless of their sex (Michael 12). Gender inequality varies from developed countries to developing countries.
Also considering that the world is comprised of different tribes and races that have distinct values and beliefs, gender inequality will vary with the same intensity. Such inequalities include the professional obstacles that women encounter in their workplaces. It is evident that women’s lack of leadership positions because such roles are considered to be meant for men. Those who are mothers may be penalized or discriminated for taking time off to attend to their children. The controversial issue concerning gender inequality is the need to acknowledge the unequal power relations between men and women in society and to work for greater gender equality and the advancement of women. It does not only mean the identification of specific areas that are important for women’s advancements, but also attempts to introduce a dimension of gender in all activities. It also means there is recognition of how important it is to work with both men and women to change the existing gender relations. According to the United States Census data, there is a gender wage gap in which women earn 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man.
The gap is a matter of concern that has prompted President Obama to announce the Paycheck fairness Act on Equal Pay Day. However, according to the one of the lead economist the statistics behind the gender wage gap are flawed. The flawed statistics have acted hindrance and distracter to the legislator and concerned public from finding the solutions that would solve the real problem-the gender jobs gap. The Census data that give the 77 cents on dollar comparison is based on aggregate earning of men and women thus ignoring job choice, education, experience, industry, and other factors that contribute to a person’s wage. If a comparison is made between men and women with the same background such as education and experience, same employer, among other the gender gap disappears. The reasons why the gender job gap exists is the due to low number of female occupying high executive levels and director positions. Men also are earning higher than women despite being in the same senior-level jobs. The choice of work is a major that determine potential earnings. Men tend to take relatively high-paying jobs in engineering and IT, while women take low-paying jobs like education and human resources.
The gender gap persists because men and women choose to pursue different careers (Autor et al, 2008). The gender job gap can be closed, if women are encouraged to pursue high-paying career in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering. Legislation should be formulated to bridge the gap in men and women career choice. An enabling environment should create in the workplace where women can be empowered and helped to rise to top executive positions. Comparing the job to job is not tenable solution in addressing the gender wage gap; more need to be done to bring women earning close to that of men (Juhn et al, 2014). Gender inequality also involves feticide and infanticide. For instance, in India and China, a male child is more appreciated than a female child. Parents have to find out the sex of the baby they are carrying so as to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy or kill the child after its birth (Kristoff, 69). One of my family members in China, my cousin who has a bias that boys better than girls. I was very angry that he convinced his wife went to abortion because his wife pregnant with a girl when I knew he did that. He explained that China has the birth control policy and he just want to a boy to continue his family name. In the legal area at China, it wasn’t involve in crime for what he did.
However, in the ethical area, he deprive his wife’s thought and the baby who didn’t has chance come to the world. I think he against the humanity and nature. There are also a number of organizations in society that play key roles in the construction of gender. These organizations need to be gender sensitive so as to ensure they continue in the positive construction of gender equality. Such organizations include the family, the most imperative socializing proxy, school, media and religion. Several theoretical perspectives exist that tend to explain the origin of gender inequalities. Radical feminists argue that the gender inequalities arise from the biological differences among individuals that produce a form of social organization that equip men and women with the different roles they play in society. For example, women are handicapped by their biology in terms of pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding that makes them dependent on men. This dependence creates an unequal power relationships and power psychology. They also argue that, in every society, a high value is placed on culture rather than nature. Through culture, supernatural forces can be sought in order to achieve success, hence it is considered a means by which humanity governs and regulates nature.
Women are seen closer to nature than men because of their social roles as mothers and reproduction (Hekman 52). Men, on the other hand, participate in activities such as warfare, politics that involve culture. This makes them better to women. From a Marxist perspective, gender inequality arose during the earlier stages of development when there was ownership of private property. Men gained control over the women and property hence the patriarchal system of family where property was passed down through the male’s line. Marxists thought this would change with the capitalist system but women still continue to be disadvantaged compared to men. On the contrary, liberal feminists approached gender inequality in a more elaborate way. They argued that nobody benefits from the existing gender inequalities since both men and women are harmed by inequalities. While women do not get opportunities to develop their talents and become successful and skilled members, men are also denied the opportunity of having a close relationship with their children. Gender inequality is caused by the general credence that males are superior to females; because of this idea, women have spent some significant amount of years suffering under their counterparts.
Males also tend to be more emphatic and absolute because of their natal hormones or intuitive intellect. Sexual discrimination is also another major cause of gender inequality where women are viewed by men as just sex objects rather than real human beings with standards and morals. Other general contributing factors of gender inequality include unequal power relations, assumptions about male and female behavior, insufficient laws against gender inequality, cultural, traditional and religious practices. I became aware of this problem through the campaigns that the government and other Non-Governmental Organizations have held. Their efforts are directed towards ensuring that gender inequality is minimized all over the world. Awareness is being created among women where they get to be educated on their rights and freedoms (Hurst, 96). The women are being empowered through sponsoring women projects as a way of generating income that makes them less dependable on women. The media is also playing a vital role on the sensitization of ways of minimizing gender inequality in the societies.
Higher education in universities and colleges also promotes women support and all levels of society. The government is doing everything in its power to increase the productivity of women by initiating income generating projects. However, they do not take into account that women are already overburdened with work, they do not control family budgets and many of them have difficulties of freedom and movement. It is evident that the informal sector has limited employment opportunities and these projects will not be taken with the seriousness it deserves despite having the ability to empower the women. It is also easy to mobilize individuals or groups for a specific goal such as a political action or assisting members who are in need. In this case curbing, the menace of gender inequality in the society will be of great help. This is because it has charged most nations more harm than good. Most people have depicted that certain duties and tasks are to be performed by certain persons making gender imbalance. Heavy duties are usually dedicated to men while the simple ones are left to the females creating a huge difference in genders. Until all these issues are addressed there is no way that the nation and the globe will ever achieve gender balance.
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