Gender inequality is a social phenomenon studied by sociology that occurs when there is discrimination and/or prejudice against another person because of their gender (female or male). Gender Inequality definition
This discrimination is observed mainly with regard to the professional sphere (female people with lower salaries than men; both exercising the same function).
There is also discrimination when there is creation of family hierarchies (women subordinated to a male person), especially with regard to domestic tasks.
For some international institutions, the fight against gender inequality is directly related to human rights .
These institutions consider that it is necessary to guarantee that all citizens have the same civil and political rights, regardless of race, social status or gender.
Despite being a subject increasingly discussed by society, the concept of gender still entails many doubts.
It is common, for example, to have confusion between the concepts of gender and sex.
What is gender?
According to the traditional concept, the word gender can be defined as a synonym for the word sex, that is, a female person is also female. Gender Inequality definition
In fact, it is a social concept that indicates cultural and social aspects associated with a particular gender.
It is important to mention that the particularities of each genus are not stony. They can vary, for example, depending on a given cultural reality.
Some habits and customs can be considered characteristic of a certain gender in one place and of another gender in a different place.
An example of this is the use of the skirt, which in most countries is characteristic of the female gender, but which in Scotland, for example, is also part of the reality of male individuals.
In other words, we cannot say that wearing a skirt is an exclusive feature of the female gender.
Another relevant factor with regard to the concept of gender is an individual’s gender identity .
What is gender identity?
Gender identity is the way in which an individual identifies with the sex to which they belong biologically, and may or may not comply with this biological factor. Gender Inequality definition
A person born with the female biological sex, for example, may not feel at ease socially and identify more with the male gender, thus choosing to live in accordance with this identification.
We can say that gender defines an individual’s sexual identity.
What is sex?
The sex of an individual is related to the biological scope, that is, it defines the sex with which a person was born, regardless of the sex with which that person identifies.
This mainly encompasses biological characteristics common to a given sex, such as, for example, the reproductive system (male or female), certain physical characteristics (such as musculature, voice, …)
Fight for equality rights
The feminism is a major precursor of the struggle to combat gender inequality.
The concept of feminism is often related to the concept of machismo, as a kind of synonym.
Contrary to what many people think, while machismo actually preaches the idea that men are superior to women, feminism does not advocate that women are better than men or that they have more rights than men.
In fact, the struggle of the feminist revolution is for the right to equality; it is for females to have the same political and social rights as males. Gender Inequality definition
Many of the rights acquired by women, such as the right to vote, are the result of the feminist struggle.
The fight against gender inequality is also a fight against patriarchy, which institutes a male-dominated society, where women play secondary roles.
Gender and ethnic inequality
Studies in different contexts show that within the scope of gender inequality, it is possible to notice a disadvantage that affects people of the female gender and black ethnicity.
In the educational context, the percentage of females who complete elementary school corresponds to 21.5%.
However, when analyzing the ethnicities of these 21.5%, only 10.4% correspond to women of black ethnicity. Even so, it consists of a number higher than the percentage of 7% corresponding to black men who complete this segment of education.
In the labor field, according to the 2017 IBGE results, the unemployment rate for black women corresponds to 15.9%, while that for white women corresponds to 10.6%.
Gender inequality in the world
In 2017, the World Economic Forum registered an increase in the gender inequality index.
In the world ranking of gender equality, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden occupy the first places, while Iran, Chad, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen occupy the last, respectively.
See below some data from UN Women on gender inequality in the world.
- Females represent two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population.
- Women represent only 21.8% of the world’s national parliamentarians.
- The probability of a woman holding leadership positions in business and companies is less than the probability of men achieving the same.
- Three-quarters of trafficked persons are female. Gender Inequality definition