Gender Inequality: Understanding Social Problems

The Emergence of Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is a social problem that affects gender relationships in society. It is considered to be described by subjective and objective principles that differ over historical periods and cultures. Mooney et al. (2017) maintain no absolute or general definition of a social problem. Therefore, the meaning and reason for the emergence of gender inequality are different across cultures. Gender inequality, which intersects amongst individuals’ gendered experiences, includes various aspects of intersectionality, such as sexuality and class perspective. Mooney et al. (2017) also indicate that gender inequality affects both men and women through career advancement, sexual harassment, income, and physical illness (p. 320).

The issues around gender roles often result in discrimination and prejudice towards a specific gender group in society, which is the primary reason for the emergence of gender inequality. Girls and women are frequently restricted to accomplishing roles as mothers, spouses, and caregivers. Gender norms place ladies as caregivers, resulting in gender inequality regarding how responsibilities are spread in the household.

Sexism is also a significant aspect when discussing gender inequality. It is essentially the discrimination or prejudice against a given gender in society and considering one superior to the other (Mooney et al., 2017, p. 320), leading to gender inequality amongst the gender groups. Moreover, gender is a term used to refer to the expectations and social meanings linked to being a male or female, while sex is an individual’s biological identity (p. 321). Men and women are physically dissimilar from the moment they are born, leading to their behavioral differences. Therefore, both sexism and aspects of gender help explain how and why gender inequality is said to have emerged

Changing of Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is an issue experienced in different areas of human life, such as education and employment. Mooney et al. (2017) examine the status of men and women in the global context. Gender inequality is still being experienced in different societies globally. However, there is a considerable advancement in minimizing the gender gap in areas considered to cause inequality, like education (Mooney et al., 2017, p. 321). An evaluation of the gender gap in different countries by the World Economic Forum provided by Mooney et al. determines the extent of equality in other areas, including education, economic involvement and health, and subsistence. The issue varies across cultures, and presently, some laws aim to enforce gender equality in different countries, such as the US.

Furthermore, different movements and scholars have strongly discouraged prejudice and discrimination relating to gender in recent periods. Various sociological theories of inequality try to explain the causes of gender inequalities. Some of these theories, such as the feminist theory, try to examine the existence of gender inequality. Therefore, changes in the general perspective of gender inequality concerning research and how society views the different genders are considered dissimilar across cultures.

Reproduction of Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is related to other social inequalities, such as race, which may lead to multiple jeopardies in some instances. Nevertheless, gender equality is regarded as a human right, and every individual should be subject to equal treatment in all spheres of life. The symbolic interactionist perspective of gender inequality emphasizes the aspect of individuals being taught the connotations attached to being either feminine or masculine through the process of socialization (Mooney et al., 2017, p. 326). Therefore, the cultural views of gender and gender roles may be primarily associated with the symbolic interaction theories. For example, girls are often shown provocatively on billboards and other forms of advertisement to promote various brands, such as fashion.

Structural sexism also describes the different ways in which gender inequality continues to be reproduced today. The various aspects of society, including education and employment, still reproduce gender inequality through their concentration of men and women (Mooney et al., 2017, p. 329). Gender inequality is represented by various aspects of the current society, such as occupational sex segregation, glass elevator effect, and pink-collar jobs. Mooney et al. maintain that occupational sex segregation still exists for several reasons, like the continued existence of social beliefs concerning appropriate employment for a female or male.

Plan of Action for Tackling the Problem of Gender Inequality

Gender equality is an essential building block for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous world. There has already been improved in the past, with more girls attending school, fewer girls being compelled into child marriages, more ladies serving in government and leadership roles, and laws becoming restructured to promote gender equality. However, gender inequality continues to be reproduced today. Therefore, the best plan of action would be to implement more rigorous public policies (Mooney et al., 2017, p. 351).

Gender equality and inclusivity policies show societies’ efforts to improve measurable gender equality result in protecting workers, value, security, and acknowledgment. Policies can resolve hiring and progression practices to ensure quality among males and females, equal pay for equal work, and unbiased reward and recognition depending on participation and efficiency within certain classifications. By discarding gender-based constraints, they could also help tackle non-discriminatory strategies to care and family obligations and open access to different positions and levels of governance.


Mooney, L. A., Knox, D., & Schacht, C. (2017). Understanding social problems. Cengage learning. Web.

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