Gender Inequality

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Gender equality is a hot topic that stirs up a multitude of emotions on both sides of the argument. For women to be seen as equals from all perspectives, there needs to be further restructuring of the social policies that perpetuate gender roles and the functions that they serve in society (Zimmerman, 2012). Structural functionalists posit that gender roles arise from the need to establish a division of labor that will help maintain the smooth running of the family and will therefore contribute to the stability of society. In this view, girls and boys are taught different approaches to life. Boys are taught to be goal oriented, to focus on tasks, and to be the provider as well as the protector of the family and society. Girls, on the other …show more content…
While inequality is an issue wherever it is found, there are many developing countries where women must face harsher discrimination and stricter gender role enforcements. While it is known that gender inequality exists, why it exists is not completely understood. As a complex issue with many underlying determinants, there are a number of different perspectives on why it occurs. It is important to investigate these differing perspectives as each provides different suggestions for solving the gender inequality problem. The structural functionalist perspective is one such view that highlights some theories as to why gender inequality occurs; these are discussed in the following …show more content…
According to the functionalist perspective, these divergent ways of interacting with the world are mutually supportive. For example, by being expressive and maintaining a harmonious home and family life, women free men from such responsibilities, thereby enabling them to go out into the world and focus on long-term tasks and goals. Similarly, by men having an instrumental outlook and interacting with the larger society, women are freed to focus on creating a harmonious home and family life. Although functionalists do not suggest that such traditional gender roles are the only way in which to bring about a stable society, they posit that traditional roles do have this

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