Gender Inequality and Discrimination


Gender Inequality and Discrimination

A look at the perceptions

Dr Rajkumar

In every society, people as male and as female are expected to make an exclusive role performance. This role internalisation is done through a process of gender socialisation. Irrespective of gender, people have equal access to resources and services necessary to achieve their individual potential and fulfil their obligations to their household, community, and more broadly, society.

Traditionally, the expected role performance of the female places her in a secondary position in the social structure. All institutions-social, economic, political, religious, and ideological-have been dominated by men. Despite legislative steps, prejudices, traditional attitudes and practices continue to perpetrate discrimination against women, and no country in the world can claim to have fully achieved gender equality. Significantly enough, national efforts and international movements received momentum in the previous decades, and organisations have started adopting measures for integrating women into the development process. The present position is a step forward but far from satisfactory or set goals in this sphere.

The term ‘gender’ arose as a tool for analysing the inequalities between the sexes due to patriarchal institutional structures. It started with assessing the gender role, gender analysis, gender needs, gender interests, and gender perspectives. At present, globally, in developed and developing nations, like India in particular, attention is focused on matters relating to gender discrimination that leads to societal imbalances. Realisation of the necessity of bringing to the limelight the issues of gender, gender equality and inequality has been primarily due to the fact that women constitute one of the crucial segments of the human population. It is widely accepted that without the active participation of women all developmental programmes remain fruitless.

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