Gender Inequality: Men and Women

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Introduction

Gender inequality has become an issue of concern in the modern day. For many years, the society has been highly patriarchal giving regard to men and overlooking roles of women in the society. Social norms determine the perception of men and women towards their roles. Young girls and boys are socialized to view men as superior human beings while women are inferior. From a tender age, the boys and girls nurture this conviction that one gender is better than the other.  Boys grow up regarding themselves as the most powerful and influential gender. On the other hand, girls grow up with the conviction that they are less significant and that their voice in the society does not matter. Numerous barriers prevent women from achieving similar goals to men. It is time for the society to recognize that a person’s strength depends on his or her inner energy and character and not just the physical attributes.

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Discussion

As highlighted above, gender inequality is one of the issues of concern that has prevented women from achieving their goals. The highly patriarchal society explicitly defines the roles of men and women. Due to the patriarchal attitudes, society begins to perceive men as being better in some occupations, deserving a higher salary, and enjoying more rights. The physical appearance of men has been one of the factors that have motivated the society to view them as strong, resilient, enduring, and highly capable of completing different tasks (Milkman 56). Unfortunately, the society views women as weak and lacking the necessary strength or resilience to carry out some roles. The patriarchal attitudes have been supporting the differential treatment and perception of men and women. Men have been enjoying the superior treatment and the common perception that they are better than women (Evans 78). On the other hand, women have been striving to break the glass ceiling associated with gender inequality and prove that women have the character and resilience required to venture into different occupations. However, it has not been easy to break the glass ceiling and overcome the negative attitudes associated with women who pursue certain careers.

It is unfortunate that the society reserves certain careers for men and forbids women from exhibiting interest in them. The society views men as competent in careers such as engineering, heavy machinery operations, tool making, cement and concrete workers, preparing and developing of home appliances, as well a crane and tower operations (Evans 21). All these occupations are physically involving and require certain technical skills. As a result, the society believes that men are suited for these occupations because of their physical appearance. The perception that men look strong, enduring, and aggressive motivates the society to consider them better candidates for these careers. On the other hand, the society has regarded some occupations as highly feminine. These include kindergarten teaching, secretaries and administrative assistants, child care workers, nurses, serving as receptionists, information clerks, hairdressers, and hair stylists (Flynn, Haynes, and Kilgour 102). Moreover, the society considers women fit for other occupations such as dental hygienists, assistants, and payroll keepers. The feminine nature of these jobs motivates the society to believe that they are more suitable for women. However, it is apparent that men can pursue these occupations while women can venture into occupations previously reserved for men.

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An individual’s ability to succeed in a certain occupation depends on their skills and competencies. The physical appearance may not be a determinant of a person’s ability to complete certain tasks. The person’s interest and passion towards a certain career may contribute significantly to excelling in that career. For this reason, women can exhibit the interest and passions for careers reserved for men and demonstrate their unique competencies in such occupations (Milkman 72). For example, some women have outstanding competencies in the repair of automobiles. Other women have exhibited their expertise in technical occupations previously regarded as masculine. Women have broken the glass ceiling and venture into the construction and heavy machinery operations. Although such women face a measure of social stigma due to their careers, the most important aspect is that they have the competencies to meet the specific objectives of their jobs. Contrary to the perception of many, some men have been unable to take up these occupations. Despite their physical appearance, some men are unable to demonstrate the required strength and resilience that they need for certain occupations (Evans 90). On the other hand, men have joined feminine careers such as nursing and administrative jobs. Currently, there are male hairdressers, hairstylists, receptionist, as well as preschool teachers. Men venturing into these occupations have demonstrated that it is possible for men to exhibit the required skills for each of these occupations. Undoubtedly, the fact that any gender can succeed in some occupations has rigorously challenged the common belief that some careers are good for men or women.

For many years, the labor market has held outstanding patriarchal attitudes. Specifically, the labor market believes that men deserve high wages and that they are more deserving for well-paying positions than women. Such a perception leaves women with no choice but to accept limited salaries and to miss the chances of occupying well-paying positions. While both men and women may be putting in a similar number of hours, men receive a higher pay. A comparison of executives, their roles, and the amount they earn reveals that men in managerial positions are likely to earn a significantly higher percentage than female managers in the same sector (Milkman 83). The female managers need to develop outstanding skills in exercising their authority because of the potential resistance from male subordinates. However, men easily accept their increased pay and enjoy the opportunity to exercise authority in managerial positions. However, there is evidence suggesting that the enrollment of women as boards of directors and executives has significantly transformed the performance of organizations. Recent studies have revealed that organizations with an increasing number of women in managerial and executive positions are likely to perform better in the industry (Evans 104). These findings depict that women have certain desirable attributes that make them better leaders compared to men. Such studies should create a better platform for men and women to work together to create a collaborative pattern of completing tasks. Such collaboration will tap the outstanding strengths of men and women and discourage the patriarchal attitudes.

A great percentage of women form part of the marginalized group. Over the years, women have lacked opportunities in the education and employment sectors. The level of illiteracy among women is significantly higher than the rate exhibited by men. Moreover, many parents give attention to educating the male child and neglecting the girl child. Men have an unfair advantage in every sector. On the other hand, women must battle with a significant disadvantage in every sector of life simply because they are women (Evans 42). It is unfortunate that many people judge men and women based on their physical appearance without taking the time to assess their unique skills and abilities. Some women have been able to beat the odds and pursue higher education. They have competed successfully with men and highlighted that they could excel if they receive the right opportunities. It is time to empower women by providing them with an equal access to various opportunities. The accessibility of opportunities does not need to be based on the physical appearance of men and women (Milkman 36). On the contrary, there should be reliable criteria used to determine individuals who qualify for certain positions or opportunities. Using the relevant criteria to access the suitability of individuals for various jobs and positions will serve in minimizing the gender disadvantage that women face.

It is time for the society to move beyond the superficial appearance and the patriarchal attitudes that do not have any evidence to support them. The society must recognize that men and women can excel in different fields despite their biological differences. Specifically, the society needs to change its perspective and recognize that women may exhibit outstanding competencies, inner energy, personal drive, and better organization than men. Women who train themselves to have discipline qualify to serve as security officers and venture into other occupations reserved for men (Flynn, Haynes, and Kilgour 98). Women have demonstrated that they have inner resilience and other desirable attributes that people rarely notice. Some women have become legends after demonstrating that they have a compelling inner drive that leads to great success and achievement. The society should do away with patriarchal attitudes and socialize boys and girls who recognize that they can pursue any occupation of their interest. The government must play an important role in supporting policies that target the inclusion of women and promote a higher sense of gender equality (Milkman 66). The society has exhibited an increasing awareness that some women can break the glass ceiling due to their inner motivation and drive. The government should focus on establishing frameworks that promote the accessibility of opportunities for both men and women.

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Conclusion

Gender inequality has only served to drag the society behind through the emphasis on patriarchal attitudes. As a result, women lack the opportunities to put their unique qualities into practice. The pervasive patriarchal attitudes determine what men and women can achieve in the society. In the twenty-first century, there is a focus on promoting gender equality and providing men and women with equal opportunities. The gender bias that has proven dominant over the years has only registered undesirable effects. The patriarchal attitudes that the society promotes introduce barrier for women, making it difficult for them to achieve their dreams. On the other hand, the unfair advantage that these patriarchal attitudes give to men explains why they earn higher salaries and have more access to well-paying job positions. The society needs to move beyond these patriarchal attitudes and establish a better foundation that appreciates both men and women. Although men and women exhibit certain biological differences, this does not limit women from exhibiting competence in certain areas of life. Empowering women will make it easier for them to break the glass ceiling that has prevented them from becoming successful.

Did you like this sample?
  1. Evans, Mary. The Persistence of Gender Inequality. Cambridge, UK ; Malden, MA : Polity Press, 2017. Print.
  2. Flynn, Patricia M, Kathryn Haynes, and Maureen A. Kilgour. Overcoming Challenges to Gender Equality in the Workplace: Leadership and Innovation. Abindon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2017. Print.
  3. Milkman, Ruth. On Gender, Labor, and Inequality. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2017. Print.
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