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Gender Equality within the Household

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What is gender?
Different sociologists have given different definitions for gender. However, in its simplest term, gender refers to the socially expected roles and relation between men and women. For example, boys are expected to be the strong ones, aggressive and competitive and girls are to be sweet, caring, and gentle and handled with care. These characteristics, amongst others, are what the society actually expects from individuals based on their sex, but it does not mean that it is imperative for a girl to be feminine or a boy to be masculine which implies that gender is independent of sex. Robert Stoller, an American psychoanalyst, is the first person to have made this observation. While gender is closely linked to sex, they do not have the same meaning. Stoller differentiated between sex and gender by stating that the physical characteristics of a being makes him either a male or a female contrary to gender which makes an individual either masculine or feminine. In other words, it means that sex is what we are born with; either a male or a female and is difficult to change, whereas gender is the character given to us by the society.
Indeed, nowadays, it is not a surprise to see man behaving in a feminine way or a woman acting like a man. Some people do not feel comfortable in their actual skin to the extent that they want to do sex change operation.
Gender inequality
Gender is an important aspect of our social life; it comprises of power relations, the division of labour, symbolic forms and emotional relations (Connel, 2000).
Wharton (2005:21) views gender as a ‘system of social practices’ which gives rise to gender distinctions and maintains it. What Wharton wants to say is that gender involves the creation of both diffe...

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... through organizations which help improve the standard of living of females. Women’s participation in community-related activities has proved to be of great benefit for them.
Conclusion
Gender discrimination existed in greater amounts in the past than in today’s society. While the past tells us the story of women being of subordinate nature, always dependent on the men, being submissive to them and accepting men’s aggressive nature and living under their rule in the household, today’s society tells us the story of women’s empowerment and gender equity. However, we cannot say that gender equity exists in all household which brings us to the purpose of this research. The main aim of doing this research is to compare gender equality within the household in the past with that of the present and find out to what extent has gender equality been achieved in the house.
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