Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Countries - Essay Example

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Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Countries Institution’s Name Gender refers to personal traits and positions the society places on being male or female. Gender stratification refers to unequal distribution of power, wealth, and privilege between the sexes…
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Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Countries
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Download file to see previous pages In the labor market, women face occupational exclusion and unequal pay. Lack of representation of women in decision-making bodies and the state has led to discrimination in terms of access to public services. The laws of any country are assumed to be gender sensitive; however, they are a product of culture. In addition, even in cases where there are national legal provisions to uphold gender principles, religious or customary laws take precedence over the national provisions in practice. Gender division of labor determines the ideas and practices that define roles and activities deemed to be suitable for men and women. These ideas and practices are socially constructed, which has resulted to defined roles for women, men, and placement of values on such activities. Roles designated as female are normally less valued than those of men are. Women are expected to fulfill the productive role of child bearing and rearing and household management. In the labor market, as much as women participation has risen; they are still confined to the narrower range of occupation and are concentrated in lower grades. Thus, women in the labor market earn less than men do. Women productive roles have been ignored and undervalued particularly in the informal sector. Culture defines the distinctive pattern of ideas, norms, and beliefs that characterize the way of life in a society. Gender ideologies are culturally determined, and these define rights and responsibilities of male or female. They influence access to and control over resources. Culturally determine gender ideology often reinforce male power and in the process bring about the idea of women’s inferiority (Reeves, & Baden, 2000). Gender inequality exists when women or men enjoy a large share of some valued commodity like education, long life, and power unequally. Women in few domains, like life expectancy have an advantage over men. Investing in human capital is fundamental in reducing poverty. Women in developing countries, however, receive less education than men do. Additionally men enjoy far more employment opportunities than women do. Any efforts to eliminate poverty will show results if the issue of gender stratification is addressed. In South Asia, for example, men have twice as many years in school than women. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa obtain land rights only through their husbands. If the marriage fails or the husband dies, the land reverts to the in laws. In parliament, women account for only ten percent of the total seats. In India, where women are highly educated, some to the level of a master degree, most of them become homemakers (Sharma, n.d). In Africa and the Arab world, Millennium Development Goal number three, promoting gender equality and empowering women is perhaps the most important. The method to achieve this is to eliminate gender disparity in education particularly primary and secondary education. In economic theory, education is a significant factor of human capital and has a positive co-efficient on the production function. Lower education levels translate in to lower human capital. Therefore, in theory there is a direct effect of between economic growth and female education. Highly educated females make better and informed mothers and could, therefore, contribute to lowering child mortality rates and malnutrition. Overpopulation is a vital issue in developing cou ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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