Gender Stratification and Inequality

Gender stratification is recognised as the inequalities between females and males regarding to wealth, power and privilege, typically in the workplace, social life and family life but can also be identified in additional areas. Gender stratification was introduced in the 1970's and can be exemplified by the figures of unequal participation of women in the labour market, incomes, politics and more. (Danaj, 2016) Gender inequality is especially evident in the economic realm. Despite women making up close to half (49.8 percent) of the payroll employment, men evidently outnumber women in authoritative, powerful and higher-earning jobs.

Although a woman's employment status may be equal to a man's, she will only make 87.6 cents for every dollar made by a male. On top of unequal pay, women also do majority of the unpaid housework. On average, 84 percent of women spend their free time doing housework, compared to 67 percent of men. (Lumen, no date) How does gender inequality arise?

Unequal pay- as stated above, women earn 87.6 cents for every dollar made by a man.

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Bad mentality- some workplaces think women are unable to perform serious work and secure top positions, compared to men, who are seen as being capable of achieving anything. Sexual harassment- 38 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and 81 percent reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, including verbal or physical assault. (Wilson, 2019) What are the consequences? Gender inequality, in particular gender pay and pension gaps (16.3% and 38%), put older women at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Not only does it affect women but it also affects men, with men having all these stereotypes, they feel pressured to live up to them.

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Men feel they have to be physically and emotionally strong and provide for themselves and their families. Several workplaces don't provide men with extended parental leave or flexible hours. The stereotypes placed on men can have a significant impact on their mental health and studies show that when the pressure becomes too much, men are more likely to commit suicide. (Vic, 2018) The table shows the three major perspectives in sociology.

Symbolic interactionism is when sociologists study the symbols and details of everyday life, what the symbols mean and how people interact with each other. Studies show that people attach meanings to symbols and then act the way they interpret them. (Cliffnotes, 2016) Functionalism states that each component of society is symbiotic and contributes to societies functioning as a whole, mainly focusing on social stability and public values. Disorganisation in the system- deviant behaviour- leads to change as societal components must adjust to achieve stability. For example; the government organizes education for children of families, which then pays taxes which the state depends on to keep running. (Cliffnotes, 2016)

The Conflict Theory focuses on the negative side of the continuously changing nature of society. The conflict theorists want social change and believe that the rich and powerful people force social order on the poor and weak. For example; when viewing the relationship between a housing complex owner and their tenant as consisting mostly of conflict instead of balance and harmony, even though there may be more harmony than conflict. It is believed they are defined as getting whatever resources they can from each other. (Cliffnotes, 2016) The Feminist perspective (not shown on table) focuses on gender and its relation to power, at the level of face-to-face interaction and reflexivity within a social structure. This perspective mainly focuses on, sexual orientation, race, economic status and nationality. The feminist theory supports equal rights for men and women, for example; if a woman wants to be a mechanic, she should have the right to do so, despite the stereotypes. A woman should receive the same pay as men and be allowed to have the same educational and career opportunities as men.

The Sociology perspectives in society are important because they allow us to view the world outside of ourselves and understand how social factors influence the lives, of not just ourselves, but everyone around us. We are able to view the connections between societal issues and personal issues and recognise that without sociology perspective, we would not appreciate the numerous interpretations of words, the difference in norms and cultural traditions. (Lumen, no date)

The feminist perspective and gender stratification and inequality both hold the same beliefs. Gender stratification regards to the inequality of wealth, power and privilege for women in the workplace and how a woman's pay is determined on how much a man earns. The feminist perspective is a belief that this should be altered, so a woman is provided the same opportunities in society and is given equal pay.


Danaj, E. (2016). Gender stratification. [Online] Wiley online library. Available at: [accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. (no date). Reading: Gender Inequality | Sociology. [Online] Available at: [accessed 29 Oct. 2019].

As You Sow. (2019). 5 Top Issues Fuelling Gender Inequality in the Workplace ” As You Sow. [online] Available at: [accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. (2018). Gender inequality affects everyone. [Online] Available at: [accessed 29 Oct. 2019]. (2016). Three Major Perspectives in Sociology. [Online] Available at: [accessed 4 Nov.2019]. (no date). The Feminist Perspective | Introduction to Sociology. [Online] Available at: [accessed 4 Nov.2019].

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Gender Stratification and Inequality. (2016, Apr 21). Retrieved from

Gender Stratification and Inequality
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