Gender inequality is historically formed and is grounded in gender roles and stereotypes. This issue is closely connected with such concepts as sexism, feminism, wage gap and glass ceiling. The routes of inequality of genders lay in biological and social qualities, which make up a notion of gender. Here is a range of questions you can raise in your paper about gender inequality.
The Basis of Gender Inequality
Gender inequality is caused by biological and social factors. First of all, we should take into account that a woman possesses an exclusive opportunity to give a birth to a child; consequently, she needs to take care of it. Due to this biologically caused condition, women automatically receive a set of limited rights which concern the questions of career, profession, education etc.
According to the Freud's theory, gender roles are developed since the early childhood. Main part in this process is played by parents that select toys for their children. If boys typically get fake guns and cars, which symbolize competitiveness, independence or aggression, girls would get dolls and toys that imitate cooking, curing, housekeeping and so on. This forms the future behavioral patterns for males and females.
Gender stereotypes are based on the gender roles, which have been explicated above. The key to understanding of gender stereotyping lies in socially formed norms: women are meant to give a birth to children, take care of and nurture them, while men are supposed to be workers or breadwinners, which is more valuable from economic point of view. This reason leads to the problems, such as wage gap and glass ceiling.
Gender Issues at the Workplace
The chief problems, which appear at work and in career are generally the pay gap, glass ceiling and profession separation. These issues take their roots from the point of getting education by men and women when professions are typically gender specified, and qualification, according to the popular stereotype, is largely important for men only as they possess the major political and economic power.
Wage Gap Theory
It is considered that when women begin to select a certain profession, it loses prestige as this specialization starts to seem as an easy one. For this reason, the payment for it decreases and men leave this profession. Because of this factor, women typically apply for the jobs from the service sector and men are involved in managerial work.
Glass ceiling, also called "sticky floor", is a concept which describes a tendency in women promotion at work. It appears that due to gender characteristics only females do not manage to get higher on their career ladders and get paid less than men doing the same jobs.
Methods to Handle Gender Inequality Effects
- Women must get an opportunity to plan their family life, especially the number of children they want to have.
- Easy access to reproductive and sexual medical services is needed. This will provide women with the access to reproductive and sexual rights, which are essential for avoiding discrimination on the level of gender.
- Sexuality education is essential for effective protection against AIDS and HIV. Gender based violence is a common issue, which women have to face.
- Illegal and unsafe abortions have become one of the expressions of gender inequality.
A Few Words About What Gender Equality Is Then
Nowadays there are quite a lot of considerations about the concept of gender inequality and most of them definitely deserve positive assessment. However, if we all agree that such inequality must be not just reduced but eliminated from the life of the modern society, it means that our ideal is gender equality and our aim is to maintain and protect it. This idea is great provided that we understand clearly what gender equality implies and what it should never be associated with.
This Is Not Rejection of Traditions
When it comes to making out what gender equality actually is, sometimes rather radical thoughts may be expressed. Mostly they concern very traditional ethical principles of behavior which are typical either of men or of women. For example, there may be an opinion that if men and women are equal, then a man mustn’t give up a seat for a pregnant woman when riding public transportation. Equality is never conservatism, but clear understanding of what politeness and care about other people are.
This Is Mutual Respect to Natural Divergences
Men and women are different both physically and mentally. This has been proved by numerous researches conducted all over the world, so we cannot disregard such fact. Of course, the natural differences don’t imply that boys are better at playing football and solving math problems than girls. However, it’s absolutely normal a boy can carry much heavier things than a girl of the same age as he. So, the approach like “we are equal, so I don’t have to help you carry those books” seems quite rough, doesn’t it?
This Is Adherence to Human Rights
Such claim can certainly speak for itself. Nobody and nothing can prevent a woman from becoming a doctor if she wants to. The example may be too simple, but it illustrates clearly your right to self-expression and self-realization if you were born a girl. At the same time, a boy can choose to be a chef or a model, and again, he can’t be criticized for such a choice.
P.S.: One Final Remark
There is one very essential thing you should remember when writing about the issues of gender inequality: despite the fact that the global society tends to move towards liberalization of many restrictions from our common past, we must take into consideration a range of cultural and religious beliefs concerning the ideas of equality and inequality between men and women. What is already acceptable for an average American may still be inconceivable for some Eastern cultures.