Gender Inequality

Topics: Discrimination, Gender, Feminism Pages: 7 (2469 words) Published: May 12, 2013
How can we explain continuing gender inequalities within the employment relationship and how might they be overcome through managerial initiative?

Business Management Studies
Module: People Management

Submission Date: 15th March 2013
Submitted to: Prof Ralph Darlington
Table of Contents
Historic context:3
Emancipation in the UK:4
Direct and indirect discrimination:5

In the 21st century women are more educated and powerful than they have ever been. They are integrated into every work sector, from labour intensive jobs, middle class jobs up to the highest professional engineering, medical, legal and political positions. However, there still remain high gender inequalities within the workplace, which will be covered in this report through several articles and studies in respects to top management positions and payments imbalance. As gender inequality is not a specific event rather a continuously forming process from the beginning of the humanity until present day, and beyond that. To understand the current state of affairs we have to firstly talk about the processes which have occurred during the past. Historic context:

Several studies talk about the division of labour between men and women already in the prehistory. All the evidence shows that from the very beginning, women had the simpler and easier jobs, which was manifested in fruits, eggs and berry gathering, while men had the more dangerous and intensive duties such as hunting and fishing. The subordinate role of women had already appeared in that time. According to anthropologists, the nomadic lifestyle continues as hordes’ communities, women had the role of carrying the pickings, while men were waiting for any attacks from outside the community. As women were not able to protect themselves while carrying the foods, men became the protectors of the community. Although there were some warrior women, who were called “amazons”, they still are physically weaker. As race preservation is a function of women, when they became pregnant they were not able to support both the community and their duties together, within the hordes eyes, they were considered of no significant importance and the infants and young children worsened this situation. They had to be supported (fed, protected) which slowed down the community, but in the same time until a certain age the horde had no important role for them. However the prehistoric humans had no knowledge about the biology of insemination, therefore they considered the pregnancy as a magical wonder. This is evidenced by the first artworks, for example the female statues which they highlighted the body parts referring to fertility, of which the best known is the Venus of Willendorf. Nevertheless after time they have realised that, the participation of men is also necessary to fertilization and women lost the surrounding admiration, therefore they became even more subordinated. Later in history, several communities with the emergence of the ancient slavery society and monogamy had become widespread. All the men could have only one wife yet posses several bond slaves. Women could have sexual relationship, only with their husbands. If they breached this rule it had serious consequences. Men regarded not only their slave women as their property, but also the female members of the family, over whom men controlled absolute power. In the early feudalism era, the Church had said women cannot be equal to men, as God created Adam first from his own image and only after this created Eve from the ‘rest of the materials’. Women have been created for men, and not inversely. Further more women have to consider their husbands as God. In the middle Ages children had been socially educated to respect their fathers more than their mothers. The male children, from a certain age received adult rights, to treat their mothers and sisters in the same manner as...
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