Gender Critical Analysis

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From the very moment we are born, our gender plays a vital role in shaping our lives. It determines our identity through our attitudes, our behaviours, and the path in which our life is going to take due to status, stereotyping, gender roles (McDermott & Hatemi 2011). Whilst gender and sex are commonly grouped together, they do not mean the same thing. A person’s sex refers to the biological characteristics distinguishing male and female, whereas gender refers to the social, cultural and psychological components of what it means to be feminine or masculine. This implies that all people can be placed into either category, when it isn’t in fact this simple. Sex is an attributed status, whereas gender must be learned. The learned behaviours of what it is to be a ‘woman’ in society is one engulfed in many inequalities. In this analysis of gender issues, I would like to particularly focus on women and gender equality. The question to be looked at is ‘What does it mean to be a woman?’Although there has been some progress in the past 30 years, particularly in women’s education and employment equality, there are still many inequalities and also more inconspicuous issues affecting the women of today including domestic violence and rape and sexual abuse and I would like to look further into this. So, what does it mean to be female in today’s society? Though there has been some improvement in gender equality, women are still oppressed. Today’s women earn one-tenth of the worlds income, occupy only 18% of seats in the worlds parliaments, comprise two-thirds of the exploited informal workforce, and for women aged 15-44 gender violence accounts for more deaths and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war (World Health Organisation 2005). Studies show women are paid less even when doing the same job with the same experience as their male counterparts

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