Gender Inequality

Topics: Gender, Pregnancy, Infant Pages: 7 (2417 words) Published: November 15, 2008
According to Maguire (1995:1), “The inequality between the sexes is one of the most intractable features of human culture.”Frankly, it is undeniable that gender inequality exists in every part of the world. Macionis (2006:252) also admits that “In most aspects, men are still in charge.” Nowadays, women keep on fighting for their right, urging for equal opportunity and fair treatment. Gender stratification, which is the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege between men and women, seems to be narrowed, but it actually remains its existence to some extends. (Macionis, John. J. 2006: 256)

Socialization creates gender stereotyping. In a family, parents treat male and female children differently from birth. They teach male child to be strong, aggressive and smart. And they should have an ability to support their own family in the future. On the other hand, parents handle female that they should live in a world of passivity and emotion and being a good wife or mother in the future ( Macionis, John. J. 2006: 256). Macionis (2006), Peterson and Runyan (1993) and Maguire (1995) note that men are actually defined as masculine while women are feminine. In peer groups, Male peer group reinforces masculine traits of aggression and control in school when playing games. Female peer groups promote interpersonal skills of communication and cooperation.( Macionis, John. J. 2006: 257)In school, school always has different demand on costume and speech and deportment of boys and girls. For example, male need to wear shirt and trousers. Female need to wear dresses. Male should be smart and have a definite view. But female should be cultured. Moreover, texts and curriculum in schools further reinforce a culture’s gender role. For example, the text is showing that male should wear suit and work outside. Female should stay at home to do housework. ( Macionis, John. J. 2006: 257) In mass media, it also reinforces the gender role. Male plays the capable roles in the TV or in the advertisements associating with cars, successful businessman and etc. women plays less capable characters except sexually explicit role in movies or TV programs, or otherwise as a housewife or mother.( Macionis, John. J. 2006: 257). Because of gender stereotyping, we always have a gender role expectation to male and female and create gender division of labour. It means that under the gender stereotype, we think that one gender is particular good at some jobs. So, it makes people believe that only that gender of people are able to do that job well. As a result, it hinders the development of other gender on that job. Gender inequality is still prevailing in our society nowadays. Frank Parkin ("Class, Inequality and Political Order") notes that, "Female status certainly carries with it many disadvantages compared with that of males in various areas of social life, including employment opportunities, property ownership, income and so on.”

Social inequality is more obvious in working field. Women are discriminated in different aspect, e.g. salary, welfare and promotion prospect. For a same post, women usually get a lower salary level than men. And occupation ceiling hinder the career development of women. Whenever women get pregnant, the situation becomes worse. Women are commonly discriminated by employers because of pregnancy.

Protection for working women
Women are physically different from men. They can bear child. So protection is needed for protecting women. Since 1919, there was Maternity Protection Convention built up by International Labour Organization. However, the rules were comparatively simple and rough. Up until 2000, the convention have been revised and updated for times.

The law points out that with medical certificate provided, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave. Cash benefits shall be provided for pregnant women who are absent from work.

Apart from that, it’s illegal for...
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