Article

Global Gender Inequality

Melissa B. Littlefield, Denise McLane-Davison and Halaevalu F. O. Vakalahi

in Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press


Published online February 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199975839 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.932

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • International and Global Issues in Social Work

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Mechanisms of oppression that serve to subordinate the strengths, knowledge, experiences, and needs of women in families, communities, and societies to those of men are at the root of gender inequality. Grounded in the strengths perspective of social work, the basic premise of the present discussion emphasizes gender equality as opposed to inequality. At the core of gender equality is the value of womanhood and the need to ensure the health and well-being of women and girls. Women’s participation in different societal domains including economic opportunities, political empowerment, educational attainment, health, and well-being are all impacted by their roles. Thus, structural weaknesses are major barriers for reforming efforts on global gender equality. Challenging traditional notions of gender, which is defined as behavioral, cultural, and social characteristics that are linked to womanhood or manhood, is the basis for achieving gender equality by attending to how these characteristics govern the relationship between women and men and the power differences that impact choices and agency to choose. Further, both equality of opportunity and equality of outcome are imperative for achieving gender equality among women and girls. Although progress has been made toward gender equality for many women, lower income women—as well as women who face social exclusion stemming from their caste, disability, location, ethnicity, and sexual orientation––have not experienced improvements in gender equality to the same extent as other women. Broad outcomes of gender equality around the globe include decreased poverty, increased social and economic justice, and better well-being and empowerment among men and women. Gender equality is a smart tool for economic development because it can remove barriers to access and enhance productivity gains in a competitive world.

Keywords: gender; inequality; social justice; women; diversity; cultural competence; human rights

Article.  5764 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality ; International and Global Issues in Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.