SO 206 Week 4 Assignment – Gender Inequality

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Gender Inequality






Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is a common topic in the media and has been addressed widely, especially in the 21st century. Gender inequality refers to the social, economic and political stratification of the role of males and females in the society, whereby males are in a better position as compared to males in various aspects. As a result, there are several movements by many organizations worldwide to fight gender inequality. Despite this revolution, gender inequality continues to be experienced especially in the work place and even in social places.

There are three sociological theories which have been put forward in an attempt to explain gender inequality. These include the structural-functionalist perspective which describes that traditionally there was division of labor based on gender while in the industrialized society there is opportunity for everyone regardless of their sex. The conflict perspective argues that the dominance of males and the subordination of females are shaped by their relationship to the production process, where the social and economic way of life of a society has a great impact on the presence of gender inequality in that society. Communities which practiced hunting and gathering had minimal gender inequality as compared to those that practiced agriculture and pastoralism. The symbolic interactionist perspective describes an argument based on the socialization process in life whereby females are taught to be feminine and males to be masculine by the society, the media, in school and by their peers. This theory also incorporates the feminist theory whereby individuals of various sexes grow up and develop behavior and roles which meet societal expectations. (England, 1993)

There are several problems which are a result of gender inequality. Among these are social problems caused by discrimination against women and the subordinate role played by women in various sectors. Poverty is one of these problems and is because of the low wages given to women at the work place. Majority of minimum wage workers in the United States of America are women and this is because of the association of female gender with lower productivity as compared to male gender. Another social problem caused by gender inequality is gender violence. Women are considered to be weak and helpless, and the society also teaches and expects them to be submissive. This has made women victims of gender violence. (England, 1993)

Actions of gender inequality have not been completely wiped out are very evident even in today’s society. An observed experience was in a maternity ward where a woman in labor who could not have a normal delivery and required a caesarean section could not give consent in order to have the operation and save her life. Her husband who was not around at the time was the only person who could give consent and this put both the life of the mother and the baby in danger. This reflects the gender inequality in the society whereby the female gender is not entrusted with decision making and is required to expect their decisions to be made by men. The most common display of gender inequality of this form is in the society today is in households where men are considered the heads of the family and the ultimate decision makers.

The fight against gender inequality can be implemented using various strategies. Socially, these strategies can be implemented by creating awareness against gender inequality through both audio and visual media. This will inform women to be confident in themselves and reach out to men to show them that women are capable of these tasks. Public education can be done to educate the society on ways to embrace gender and roles of females and males, in order to wipe out the traditional views and practices which promoted gender inequality. Legislation can also be helpful in the reduction of gender inequality. Passing of laws which govern job allocation and wage regulation in various sectors will enable women get an equal chance with men in terms of job opportunities and amount of wage received for work done.


England P. (1993) Theory on Gender/Feminism on Theory: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. NewYork

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