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Gender is the cultural construct attached to the fact of biological sex. The construct of gender has come to carry significant meaning with regard to the valuing of people or behaviors according to gender qualifications. There is much evidence that suggest that gendered inequality is the product of female oppression in a world dominated by global male hegemony within and across institutions including family, school, politics, and the labor market.
Gender inequality is generally manifested in unequal rights for women of access to basic social services such as education; unequal rights for equal work in the employment sector, and unequal opportunities in sports. This paper is a brief discussion of the specific problems commonly identified within the issue of gender inequality in the mentioned areas, along with a number of potential solutions to ease, if not to totally eradicate the said inequities. Gender Issues in Education
The literature on women’s and girls’ education frequently focuses o gendered inequalities in educational opportunities, educational attainment, and status of women in social, political and economic arenas both within and across nations. This problem may seem relatively straightforward, but gendered educational inequity is a complex phenomenon. Women’s education is strongly contextualized by the social and cultural environment of the local schools and national educational systems.
Schools are the locus for much of the progress that is being made towards a culture of equality, although there is still much more to be done in order for gender equality to be a consistent characteristic of educational systems around the world (Valian, 2004). A solution seen for this is to institutionalize gender equity standards as components of school policy and structure, which will make it more likely that gendered inequalities will be both observed and identified as inequity.
In this way, a heightened sense of awareness in gendered educational inequality could work on behalf of women. Gender Issues in Sports Gender differentiation has also been powerfully constructed through sports and the culture of sports. Moreover, Scraton and Flintoff (2002) asserted that organized sport has been a powerful cultural arena for reinforcing the ideology and actuality of male superiority and dominance; its traditions, symbols, and values have tended to preserve patriarchy and women’s subordinate position in society.
Sport was an activity that serves two purposes for men: it meets their recreational needs, and it is a perfect antidote for their anxieties about effeminacy. Sport thus became a popular means for men to reaffirm their masculinity, and hence, a powerful tool for maintaining patriarchal gender relations. These social conditions made being both a woman and an athlete an anomaly in life. Female athletes did not suit society’s ideal of femininity, and those who persisted in sport suffers various aversive sanctions, especially derogation and public ridicule.
A solution seen about this issue is for sports organizations to be prepared to analyze critically the ways they operate, the ways they make policy, and the ways in which national and international policy processes influence or are influenced by these sites of power. Gender Issues in Employment Gender inequality in employment begins with the gender labeling of workers. Gender categorization in workplace primes workers and employers alike to infuse stereotypic assumptions about gender into the institutional scripts by which a job is enacted and represented to others (Blakemore and Griggs, 2007).
Employers often begin the process by implicitly or explicitly seeking workers of a particular gender on the basis of assumptions about labor costs that are themselves suffused by the effect of gender status beliefs. On the occasions that they hire a woman for a certain position, the pay is lower compared to a man employed in the exact same position. As a further result, women are inclined to be concentrated in casual occupations, where salary and work environment are poorer than in formal and public positions.
The understanding of how to work towards gender equality is that people need to change inequitable social systems and institutions. Generally, ‘institutional change’ is the requirement for addressing the root causes of gender inequality. It means changing organizations which, in their programs, policies, structures, and ways of working, discriminate against women. Organizations should work on legal and policy change, or change material conditions.
In order to bring about gender equality in employment, change must occur at the personal level and at the social level. It must occur in formal and informal relations. References Scraton, S. & Flintoff, A. (2002). Gender and Sport: A Reader. New York: Routledge. Blakemore, K. & Griggs, E. (2007). Social Policy: An Introduction. New York: Open University Press. Valian, V. (2004). Beyond Gender Schemas: Improving the Advancement of Women in Academia. NWSA Journal, 16 (1): 207-220.