Gender Stratification & Women

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Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations|
Sociology – SOC/120Michelle March, PhDMarch 20, 2011Charlene W.| |


Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations
Gender stratification and women in developing nations is a serious issue women struggle to overcome. They are not respected by their own husbands let alone others within their communities. Women are forced to work in deplorable conditions with no financial rewards. They are denied jobs, education, healthcare and resources to provide good healthy homes for their children. Even in the United States where women are independent and hold many male-dominated professions there are still situation of gender discrimination. “Developing” nation is a word often used to describe underdeveloped, peripheral, or less developed countries. Women constantly struggle to hold their own in these developing nations. The responsibility to care for and support their families along with the added burden of finding the resources to accomplish it makes life hard on women in these countries. In 1960 The Modernization Theory was introduced to these countries encouraging the change from traditional, technologically simple to the modern industrialized nation. The theory was to provide these nations with the technological knowledge to develop “Western-style institutions and market-based economies.” Policymakers based their theory on statistic from Europe and the United States as a basis for establishing standard economic and political policies. The developing nations found the theory to have little association with the experiences of their countries. In response to the push for modernization theory, the development of the dependency theory came about. Clearly this push for development was to come at the expense of the host country. These countries began producing their own goods so they were not dependent on the developed nations. The view of the dependency theory was that developed nations found it beneficial for these countries to remain underdeveloped. Whereas big corporations often relied on the natural resources and cheap labor, found in these countries, to maximize their profits (Wermuth & Monges, 2002). The role that women play in developing nations, such as Africa, is very important. However, women are not given credit for their contribution to the development taking place. “Unrecognized as full partners either in the family or in society, women have been denied equal access to education, job training, employment, health care, ownership and political power” (Anunobi, 2003, p. 62). The effects of economical and political problems in Africa make life difficult for men and women. The societal concerns of their community include the lack of opportunity, poverty, and inequality within their countries. The female is generally the main supporter of the family, she is responsible for the children and making sure they are fed and cared for. The increased establishment of commercialized agriculture has added to the burden of these women. The men were provided with commercial opportunities by selling their crops for money, and acting on their rights to land and the labor of their wives for their own benefit. In some areas men have many wives to work their land as free labor, and they are not obligated to share their profits with the family. “Gender bias is especially pernicious in African nations where most of women’s activity takes place in the non-wage economy” (Anunobi, 2003, p.69). Womens’ work was basically for survival and not wage earning therefore they were not seen as being economically productive. The men used their wives and children as laborers in their family fields to produce crops taken into town and sold from money. The wife was forced to perform the domestic duties for her husband and yet she was not able to claim any share of his income. This gave further opportunity for men to expand their land...
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