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Gender inequality is the social process by which men and women are not treated as equals. The treatment may arise from distinctions regarding biology, psychology, or cultural norms. Some of these distinctions are empirically-grounded while others appear to be socially constructed.

Gender inequality also affects non-binary people. Studies show the different lived experiences of genders across many domains including education, life expectancy, personality, interests, family life, careers, and political affiliations. Gender inequality is experienced differently across different cultures

One example of the continued existence of gender inequality in Asia is the "missing girls" phenomenon.[112] "Many families desire male children in order to ensure an extra source of income. In China, females are perceived as less valuable for labor and unable to provide sustenance." [113] Moreover, gender inequality is also reflected in the educational aspect of rural China. Gender inequality exists because of gender stereotypes in rural China. For example, families may consider that it is useless for girls to acquire knowledge at school because they will marry someone eventually, and their major responsibility is to take care of housework.[114]

Furthermore, the current formal education in Asia might be also a result of the historical tendencies. For instance, insufficient supply and demand for education of women reflect the development of numeracy levels throughout Asia between 1900-1960. Regions like missing girls" phenomenon.[112] "Many families desire male children in order to ensure an extra source of income. In China, females are perceived as less valuable for labor and unable to provide sustenance." [113] Moreover, gender inequality is also reflected in the educational aspect of rural China. Gender inequality exists because of gender stereotypes in rural China. For example, families may consider that it is useless for girls to acquire knowledge at school because they will marry someone eventually, and their major responsibility is to take care of housework.[114]

Furthermore, the current formal education in Asia might be also a result of the historical tendencies. For instance, insufficient supply and demand for education of women reflect the development of numeracy levels throughout Asia between 1900-1960. Regions like South and formal education in Asia might be also a result of the historical tendencies. For instance, insufficient supply and demand for education of women reflect the development of numeracy levels throughout Asia between 1900-1960. Regions like South and West Asia had low numeracy levels during the early and mid-20th century. As a consequence, there were no significant gender equality trends. East Asia in its turn was characterized by a high numeracy level and gender equality. The success of this region is related to the higher education and hence higher participation rate of females in the economic life of the region.[115]

Gender inequality in China derives from deeply rooted Confucian beliefs about gender roles in society.[116] However, despite the existence of state programs, women still face discrimination in China.[117] According to the United Nations Development Program, China was ranked 39 out of 162 countries on the Gender Inequality Index in 2018,[118] while it was ranked 91 out of 187 in 2014.[119] According to the World Economic Forum’s global gender gap index, China’s gap has widened and its rank has dropped to 106 out of 153 countries in 2020.[120] It ranked last in terms of health and survival.[120] According to Human Rights Watch, job discrimination remains a significant issue as 11% of postings specify a preference or requirement of men.[121] In fact, Chinese women are often asked whether they expect to have children during interview as it is considered an obstacle to the job application, and as women generally retire around 40, it is difficult for them to advance.[122] In addition, Chinese women earn 78.2% for every dollar paid to a man in 2019, according to a study conducted by Boss Zhipin.[122]

South Korea

A Cambodian said, "Men are gold, women are white cloth", emphasizing that women had a lower value and importance compared to men.

A Cambodian said, "Men are gold, women are white cloth", emphasizing that women had a lower value and importance compared to men.[42] In Cambodia, approximately 15% (485,000 hectares) of land was owned by women.[127] In Asian culture, there is a stereotype that women usually have lower status than men because males carry on the family name and hold the responsibilities to take care of the family. Females have a less important role, mainly to carry out domestic chores, and taking care of husbands and children.[128] Women are also the main victims of poverty as they have little or no access to education, low pay and low chances owning assets such as lands, homes or even basic items.[42]

In Cambodia, the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA) was formed in 1998 with the role of improving women's overall power and status in the country.[129]


IndiaIn Cambodia, the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MoWA) was formed in 1998 with the role of improving women's overall power and status in the country.[129]


India ranking remains low in gender equality measures by the World Economic Forum, although the rank has been improving in recent years.[109][130] When broken down into components that contribute the rank, India performs well on political empowerment, but is scored near the bottom with China on sex selective abortion. India also scores poorly on overall female to male literacy and health rankings. India with a 2013 ranking of 101 out of 136 countries had an overall score of 0.6551, while Iceland, the nation that topped the list, had an overall score of 0.8731 (no gender gap would yield a score of 1.0).[131] Gender inequalities impact India's sex ratio, women's health over their lifetimes, their educational attainment, and economic conditions. It is a multifaceted issue that concerns men and women alike.

The labor force participation rate of women was 80.7% in 2013.[132] Nancy Lockwood of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest human resources association with members in 140 countries, in a 2009 report wrote that female labor participation is lower than men, but

The labor force participation rate of women was 80.7% in 2013.[132] Nancy Lockwood of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world's largest human resources association with members in 140 countries, in a 2009 report wrote that female labor participation is lower than men, but has been rapidly increasing since the 1990s. Out of India's 397 million workers in 2001, 124 million were women, states Lockwood.[133]

India is on target to meet its Millennium Development Goal of gender parity in education before 2016.[134][needs update] UNICEF's measures of attendance rate and Gender Equality in Education Index (GEEI) attempt to capture the quality of education.[135] Despite some gains, India needs to triple its rate of improvement to reach GEEI score of 95% by 2015 under the Millennium Development Goals.[needs update] A 1998 report stated that rural India girls continue to be less educated than the boys.[136][needs update]

Although African nations have made considerable strides towards improving gender parity, the World Economic Forum's 2018 Global Gender Gap Index reported that sub-Saharan African and North African countries have only bridged 66% and 60% of their gender inequality.[137] Women face considerable barriers to attending equal status to men in terms of property ownership, gainful employment, political power, credit, education, and health outcomes.[138] In addition, women are disproportionately affected by poverty and HIV/AIDs because of their lack of access to resources and cultural influences.[139] Other key issues are adolescent births, maternal mortality, gender-based violence, child marriage, and female genital mutilation.[140] It's estimated that 50% of adolescent childbirths and 66% of all maternal deaths occurred in sub-Saharan African nations.[140] Women have few rights and legal protections which have led to the highest numbers of child marriage and female genital mutilation than any other continent.[140] Furthermore, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Lesotho, Mali, and Niger do not have any legal protections for gender-based domestic violence.[140]

Europe

The Global Gender Gap Report put out by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2013 ranks nations on a scale of 0 to 1, with a score of 1.0 indicating full gender equality. A nation with 35 wom

The Global Gender Gap Report put out by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2013 ranks nations on a scale of 0 to 1, with a score of 1.0 indicating full gender equality. A nation with 35 women and 65 men in political office would get a score of 0.538 as the WEF is measuring the gap between the two figures and not the actual percentage of women in a given category. While Europe holds the top four spots for gender equality, with Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden ranking 1st through 4th respectively, it also contains two nations ranked in the bottom 30 countries, Albania at 108 and Turkey at 120. The Nordic Countries, for several years, have been at the forefront of bridging the gap in gender inequality. Every Nordic country, aside from Denmark which is at 0.778, has reached above a 0.800 score. In contrast to the Nordic nations, the countries of Albania and Turkey continue to struggle with gender inequality. Albania and Turkey failed to break the top 100 nations in 2 of 4 and 3 of 4 factors, respectively. However, despite the disparity, European nations continue to make advances in the many factors that are used to determine a nation's gender gap score.[109]

Western Europe

According to According to United Nations Development Programme, Russia’s gender inequality index is 0.255, ranking it 54 out of 162 countries in 2018. Women hold 16.1% of parliamentary seats and 96.3% have reached at least a secondary level of education.[145] Researchers calculate the loss to the annual budget due to gender segregation to be roughly 40-50%.[146] Although women hold prominent positions in Russia’s government, traditional gender roles are still prevalent, and there is room for improvement when dealing with gender pay gap, domestic violence and sexual harassment.[147]

United States

Existing research on the topic of gender/sex and politics has found differences in political affiliation, beliefs, and voting behavior between men and w

Existing research on the topic of gender/sex and politics has found differences in political affiliation, beliefs, and voting behavior between men and women, although these differences vary across cultures. Gender is omnipresent in every culture, and while there are many factors to consider when labeling people "Democrat" or "Republican"—such as race and religion—gender is especially prominent in politics.[152][153] Studying gender and political behavior poses challenges, as it can be difficult to determine if men and women actually differ in substantial ways in their political views and voting behavior, or if biases and stereotypes about gender cause people to make assumptions.[154] However, trends in voting behavior among men and women have been proven through research.

Research shows that women in postindustrial countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany primarily identified as conservative before the 1960s; however, as time has progressed and new waves of feminism have occurred, women have become more left-wing due to shared beliefs and values between women and parties more on the left.[155] Women in these countries typically oppose war and the death penalty, favor gun control, support environment protection, and are more supportive of programs that help people of lower socioeconomic statuses.[152] Voting behaviors of men have not experienced as drastic of a shift over the last fifty years as women in their voting behavior and political affiliations. These behaviors tend to consistently be more conservative than women overall.[155] These trends change with every generation, and factors such as culture, race, and religion also must be considered when discussing political affiliation. These factors make the connection between gender and political affiliation complex due to intersectionality.[156]

Candidate gender also plays a role in voting behavior. Women candidates are far more likely than male candidates to be scrutinized and have their competence questioned by both men and women when they are seeking information on candidates in the beginning stages of election campaigns.[154] Democrat male voters tend to seek more information about female Democrat candidates over male Democrat candidates. Female Republican voters tend to seek more information about female Republican candidates.[154] For this reason, female candidates in either party typically need to work harder to prove themselves competent more than their male counterparts.[154]

Overall, politics in the United States is dominated by men, which can pose many challenges to women who decide to enter the political sphere. As the number of women participants in politics continue to increase around the world, the gender of female candidates serves as both a benefit and a hindrance within their campaign themes and advertising practices.[157] The overarching challenge seems to be that—no matter their actions—women are unable to win in the political sphere as different standards are used to judge them when compared to their male counterparts.[158]

One area in particular that exemplifies varying perceptions between male and female candidates is the way female candidates decide to dress and how their choice is evaluated. When women decide to dress more masculine, they are perceived as being "conspicuous." When they decide to dress more feminine, they are perceived as "deficient."[159] At the same time, however, women in politics are generally expected to adhere to the masculine standard, thereby validating the idea that gender is binary and that power is associated with masculinity.[160] As illustrated by the points above, these simultaneous, mixed messages create a "double-bind" for women. Some scholars go on to claim that this masculine standard represents symbolic violence against women in politics.[159]

Political knowledge is a second area where male and female candidates are evaluated differently and where political science research has consistently shown women with a lower level of knowledge than their male counterparts.[161] One reason for this finding is the argument that there are different areas of political knowledge that different groups consider.[162] Due to this line of thought, scholars are advocating the replacement of traditional political knowledge with gender-relevant political knowledge because women are not as politically disadvantaged as it may appear.[161]

A third area that affects women's engagement in politics is their low level of political interest and perception of politics as a "men's game."[163] Despite female candidates' political contributions being equal to that of male candidates, research has shown that women perceive more barriers to office in the form of rigorous campaigns, less overall recruitment, inability to balance office and family commitments, hesitancy to enter competitive environments, and a general lack of belief in their own merit and competence.[164] Male candidates are evaluated most heavily on their achievements, while female candidates are evaluated on their appearance, voice, verbal dexterity, and facial features in addition to their achievements.[159]

Several forms of action have been taken to combat institutionalized sexism. People are beginning to speak up or "talk back" in a constructive way to expose gender inequality in politics, as well as gender inequality and under-representation in other institutions.[165] Researchers who have delved into the topic of institutionalized sexism in politics have introduced the term "undoing gender." This term focuses on education and an overarching understanding of gender by encouraging "social interactions that reduce gender difference."[160] Some feminists argue that "undoing gender" is problematic because it is context-dependent and may actually reinforce gender. For this reason, researchers suggest "doing gender differently" by dismantling gender norms and expectations in politics, but this can also depend on culture and level of government (e.g. local versus federal).[160]

Another key to combating institutionalized sexism in politics is to diffuse gender norms through "gender-balanced decision-making," particularly at the international level, which "establishes expectations about appropriate levels of women in decision-making positions."[166]Another key to combating institutionalized sexism in politics is to diffuse gender norms through "gender-balanced decision-making," particularly at the international level, which "establishes expectations about appropriate levels of women in decision-making positions."[166] In conjunction with this solution, scholars have started placing emphasis on "the value of the individual and the importance of capturing individual experience." This is done throughout a candidate's political career—whether that candidate is male or female—instead of the collective male or female candidate experience.[167] Five recommended areas of further study for examining the role of gender in U.S. political participation are (1) realizing the "intersection between gender and perceptions"; (2) investigating the influence of "local electoral politics"; (3) examining "gender socialization"; (4) discerning the connection "between gender and political conservatism"; and (5) recognizing the influence of female political role models in recent years.[168] Due to the fact that gender is intricately entwined in every societal institution, gender in politics can only change once gender norms in other institutions change, as well.