Culture and Gender Essay

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The distinctive patterns of ideas, beliefs, and norms which characterise the way of life and relations of a society or group within a society. Culturally determined gender ideologies define rights and responsibilities and what is ‘appropriate’ behaviour for women and men.They also influence access to and control over resources, and participation in decision-making.These gender ideologies often reinforce male power and the idea of women’s inferiority.Culture is sometimes interpreted narrowly as ‘custom’ or ‘tradition’, and assumed to be natural and unchangeable. Dominant cultures reinforce the position of those with economic, political and social power, and therefore tend to reinforce male power. Across the world, women are treated unequally and less value is placed on their lives because of their gender. Women’s differential access to power and control of resources is central to this discrimination in all institutional spheres, i.e. the household, community, market, and state. In the labour market, unequal pay, occupational exclusion or segregation into low skill and low paid work limit women’s earnings in comparison to those of men of similar education levels. Women’s lack of representation and voice in decision making bodies in the community and the state perpetuates discrimination, in terms of access to public services, such as schooling and health care or discriminatory laws. Religion and other customary law. Even where constitutional or national legal provisions uphold gender equality principles, religious or other customary laws that privilege men may take precedence in practice The unequal relationship between men and women however, is a fundamental way in which humankind has fallen short of God’s plan. As Christians, we must acknowledge that the Church, through its patriarchal structures and interpretation of the Bible, has shared in this sin of

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