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Essay on Gender Inequalities, Past and Present

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In current society, social divisions feature a lot on the prospects of people within each society. This essay will explain how the in such concepts as women being forced into unpaid labour, male dominance over females in employment, the sexualisation of women in the media as well as briefly looking into inequalities within violence. Through discussing each of these concepts, we can compare the historical context of gender inequalities to the present day to see if things have improved or deteriorated in modern society.

Before looking into the concepts of gender inequalities, we must first explore gender itself which is the division into two groups - men and women. In sociological terms, it has been pointed out by transgender activist Leslie Feinberg that: ‘gender is a key factor that shapes social behaviour and social institutions.’ and ‘gender is ‘understood culturally and theoretically as a dualism.’ (Marsh et al, 216) Gender inequality is definitely something that we often take for granted; it is accepted and seems so normal in society. These differences often seem invisible to us even though it happens in our everyday life in everything from employment and education to politics and the media without us being aware of it. (Davis, K. 2006) explains: ‘Society shows us that gender is a system that privileges some men and disadvantages most women.’ I agree with this and believe that social differences significantly changes male and female attitudes and views on life more than biological differences in gender.

Before we look at the gender inequalities in paid employment, it is vital to look at unpaid labour and the discriminations that women face. History has shown us that the roles and respon...


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...Gender: A Review of Research, Women and Equalities Unit: London, http://www.womenandequalityunit.gov.uk/research/factsheets/ypgsumm.htm

Davis, K. (eds) (2006) Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies. Sage.

Furnham, A. Mak, T. (1999) ‘Sex-Role Stereotyping in Television Commercials’,
pp. 414 – 435.

Gow, J. (1996). Reconsidering gender roles on MTV: Depictions in the most popular music videos of the early 1990s.

Lader, D, Short, S and Gershuny, J (2006)
The Time Use Survey 2005: how we spend our time. London: ONS.
http://www.gender-agenda.co.uk/downloads/GenderEqualityIndex.pdf

Marsh et al (eds) (2009) Sociology: Making Sense of Society, Pearson Longman
Chapter 5 – ‘Gender’ pp. 217 – 248

Office of National Statistics - ONS (2008) – Simplification plan
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/uncategorised/office-for-national-statistics-simplification-plan


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