Among the oldest forms of social injustice in the world, gender inequality has been around the scene for quite a while. From the earlier centuries, men or the male gender was considered superior in most societies. This, however, didn’t stop there. With this in the public domain, there soon ensued a systematic and open manifestation of such discrimination. It went on until a time came when calls for gender equality rang so high. The girl child was an endangered species. Various movements, therefore, set in to try and strike a balance between the two genders. With time, however, the scales have tipped. With increased and more focus directed towards the girl child, the boy child has slowly been neglected.
Gender-related issues have become a global concern and require to be curbed to promote equality which in turn yields peace and togetherness. Gender inequality is the situation where human beings are treated party or wholly unequally due to their gender. Typically gender inequality stems up for the different gender roles within our social setups. Gender inequality mainly arises from distinctions either socially or empirically constructed. Many organizations focus on institutions that assign women and men’s different positions, behaviours and roles. Gender inequality not only inhibits growth but also leads to low literacy levels among women, poverty, unequal chances in the workplace and also the low representation of women in various aspects, for instance, economics and politics.
What causes gender inequality?
The materialistic theory explains that gender inequality stems from the different ways in which men and women are tied to society’s economic structure (Giddens et al. 2016). The theory argues that the distribution and control of the valued resources in our community is a crucial factor in establishing stratification. The woman’s role is presented as only being a wife and a mother and thus are devalued and denied the full access of the valued resources within the community. The belief is that gender stratification works best when a man is out trading in the marketplace, and the woman works within the family, which is not right. Therefore women are seen to enter the labor market later in their lives and later have to drop out to take responsibilities for instance watch over the kids. History also records that women have had the lowest education levels compared to men even though this is changing in the modern world. The division of public and domestic work constraints women and favours men.
The society frees men from the domestic responsibilities which give them a chance to be part of various economic obligations within the public sphere, and this gives them access and control over highly valuable resources, and this gives rise to male privilege. According to Giddens et al. (2016), occupational segregation is also a source of gender disparities where human beings are given occupations based on the ascribed features which are gender. Gender inequality in the workplace is common, and women are underrepresented in the senior positions or careers in their work institutions. The disparities are evident in the medical field where we have fewer women professionals compared to men.
How to eradicate gender inequality
Methods of eliminating gender inequality are highly recommended that the interviews should stop asking the “how much should your salary be question” as women usually ask for less pay. Instead, the interviewer should give a transparent and fair salary range and ask the job applicants to position themselves in that given range. The government should also ensure that gender equality is made part of the education and training, so that young individuals have the awareness and freedom to choose jobs and careers regardless of sex. The society should also be welcoming towards women, and the firms should take it as their initiative to hire, promote and support women. Jacobs (2016) assert that promotions and salaries should be monitored efficiently and evaluated regularly to boosts equal treatment employing networking power should create opportunities that can boost a woman’s confidence and develop their career.
Offering high education and involving women in politics and social activities would also curb gender inequality. The government should also see to provide scholarships to girls, increase their employment and establish social protection programs for women. The non-government organizations should also seek to educate society on the adverse effects of gender inequality and how to curb it (Jayachandran, 2015). Currently, the young generation has a different view regarding careers and their meanings. Most of them demand equality at all spheres of their lives be it be personal or professional, and most believe that healthy work life is key to achieving happiness. The challenge is to address gender equality in all aspects, for instance, politics, business, and education as it’s the only way we can shape the future generation and ensure success regardless of one’s gender.
It is all about women now in society. While it is not a bad thing, it speaks a lot about how gender inequality misstep happened in the first place. There were too much focus and too much chauvinism towards one gender that resulted in some temporary ‘forgetting’ about the other gender. In the near future, the cries and awareness efforts are bound to slowly shift again, towards the boy child, until the graph levels off, as far as gender equality goes.
The struggle for gender equality is certainly the best way to restore parity as pertains to gender in society. Different societies might practice different cultures, but what is for sure is that there is always bound to be a bargaining ground for everything, including the sociology of the setup itself. Gender inequality, having been there for ages, has only managed to get this far as a result of the vested interests and imbalanced attention rendered by the so-called gender and social activists in general. It is good to note, however, that there have been tremendous gains made by all the key players, to ensure that the gap has been greatly reduced. There is still more to be done, especially within community setups, to continue with the efforts to ensure gender equality, and this can only happen with even more goodwill from the players.
- Giddens, A., Duneier, M., Appelbaum, R. P., & Carr, D. S. (2016). Introduction to sociology. WW Norton.
- Jacobs, J. A. (2016). Gender inequality and higher education. Annual review of sociology, 22(1).
- Jayachandran, S. (2015). The roots of gender inequality in developing countries. Economics, 7(1)
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