Gender and Inequality – Essay Example

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The paper "Gender and Inequality" is an outstanding example of an essay on gender and sexual studies. Feminism is an element that is popping up in almost each and every corner of society because the elements of gender inequality are still rampant in modern-day society. Since back then when women were only confined to the household roles and kitchen duties while the men were charged with the sole responsibility of providing for the family the issues of gender inequality have steadily come to light ((Longwe 1998, p. 19). Empowering women is one discussion that is inevitable considering how critical they are to the society not only in the household but also beyond the household.

While some refuse to acknowledge this fact the few women who have managed to empower themselves or have been empowered by their societies have gone ahead to show that they are far much better at what they do (Eduards 1992, p. 90). Gender inequalities generally revolve around the need for equal sharing and allocation of the socially valuable resources of the society to both the men and the women and it is the shift away from this that forms the basis for what is regarded are gender inequality (Strathern 1982, p.

307). At a glance, it seems that the women are the most aggrieved party with regard to this due to the rigid traditional structures that oppressed them, although the glaring truth is this has spilled over to the modern society to a larger extent. The gender inequality vice is reflected in the restrictions which are socially generated that disadvantage one sex from being able to access or enjoy certain good and services offered by the society, in the society or to the society (Villareal 1990, p.

45). As such limitations prevent one from fully being able to exploit the opportunities and resources of the society to reach their goals and desires which in the short or long run puts them at a disadvantage. Division of labor in the household is one key area from which gender inequality is propagated and later spread to the workplace and other areas as observed by Kabeer (2000) in his study of Bangladesh. In his study, he notes that the roles of men and women in the household vary greatly, but what alarming is the amount of responsibility that is heaped on the women in the house.

The extent of accountability heaped on the women in the household by far supersedes what is expected of the men in the household. Take for instance the case of responsibility of children in the household, which is entirely the woman’ s affair across the different continents of the world. This is one of the traditional responsibilities that has stuck and survived all the attempts to rebuff it through the years. Gates (2002) in his study of the women of the northern Mexico border also notes that the amount of work and responsibility of the woman on a daily basis is the highest in the household compared to any other member of the household.

References

Godelier, M. 1986 ‘Women’s Subordinate Position’ in The Making of Great Men: Male Domination and Power Among the New Guinea Baruya (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) pp. 9-31

Li, TM. 1998 ‘Working separately but eating together: personhood, property, and power in conjugal relations’ American Ethnologist 25 (4): 675-94.

Gates, LC. 2002 ‘The Strategic Uses of Gender in Household Negotiations: Women Workers on Mexico's Northern Border’ Bulletin of Latin American Research, Vol. 21, No. 4,pp. 507-526, 2002

Strathern, M. 1985 ‘Kinship and Economy: Constitutive Orders of a Provisional Kind’ American Ethnologist 12, No. 2 (May, 1985) (pp. 191-209)

Strathern, A. 1982 The division of labor and processes of social change in Mount Hagen.American Ethnologist 9 (2) pp. 307-319.

Eduards, M. 1992, ‘Against the Rules of the Game. On the Importance of Women’s Collective Actions’, in M. Eduards etal. (eds), Rethinking Change. Current Swedish Feminist Research, Upsala: Swedish Science Press, pp. 90 – 99.

Kabeer, N. 2000, The Power to Choose: Bangladeshi Women and Labour Market Decisions in London and Dhaka, Verso, London and New York, pp. 24 - 35.

Villareal, M. 1990, ‘A Struggle over Images: Issues on Power, Gender and Intervention in a Mexican Village’, PhD dissertation, University of Wangingen, Wangingen, pp. 45 - 76.

Longwe, S. 1998, ‘Education for Women’s Empowerment or Schooling for Women’s Subordination?’ Gender and Development, 6:2, p 19-26.

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