Lecture 7 Gender inequality terms definition
Social roles: are the expectations and behaviors associated with particular positions
Part 1: Understanding gender inequality:
1. Gender stereotype: are a set of prejudicial generalizations about men and
women based on the oversimplified belief that sex determined distinct personality
traits and, as a result, causes men and women to experience the world and behave in
2. Gender inequality: are inequalities between men and women in the distribution
of prestige, material well-being, and power. They are also inequalities in relations
of male domination and female subordination.
3. Dimensions of inequality:
1) Power: is the capacity to influence and control others, regardless of any
resistance they might offer.
2) Material well-being: refers to having access to the economic resources
necessary to pay for adequate food, clothing, housing and possessions.
(two important sources of material well-being are work-related earnings and
3) Prestige: is the social evaluation or ranking, by general consensus, of occupational
activities and positions in a hierarchical order that reflects the degree of respect,
honor, or deference the person engaged in the activity or occupying the position is to
Part 2: Explaining gender inequality:
1. Feminism: refers both to the body of knowledge about the causes and nature of
women’s subordination to men in society, and to the various agendas, often involving
political action, for removing that subordination
2. Feminist theories:
1) Liberal feminism:
A. Definition: It assumes that human beings are rational and will correct inequalities
when they know about them. Liberalism assumes that a good society is one in which
men and women enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
B. Gender inequalities causes by gender stereotyping and the division of work into
“women’s” and “men’s” jobs.
C. Two main ways to achieve gender equality: Removing gender stereotyping and discrimination in education and paid work.
Changing laws so that men and women have equal opportunities in the labor force
and in politics.
2) Marxist feminists: writings of Karl Marx:
A. Idea: Women’s unpaid work in the home maintains and reproduces the labor force.
Capitalists benefit because they obtain refreshed workers at the beginning of
each day and mothers raise children who will become future laborers.
B. Gender equality is possible once socialism replaces capitalism.
3) Socialist feminists:
A. Idea: Gender inequality is caused by the gendered division of labor and its
exploitation by capitalism. And the system of male domination over women.
B. Decreasing inequality:
government-subsidized maternal benefits and child care, and the payment of equal
wages and salaries to people who do equally valued work.
Eradication of male dominance as expressed in the legal system, the educational
system,the family and the economy.
4) Multiracial feminism:
A. Idea: multiracial feminism emphasized the importance of race in understanding
gender inequality. (Observing that hierarchical systems of domination incorporate
B. Patricia Hill Collins: race , class and gender combine to form a “matrix of
C. Understanding of gender inequality in three ways:
Highlights differences among women in terms of gender inequality.
Women of specific races and in certain class locations are in positions of power and
domination over other groups of women
Solutions to gender inequality vary according to the location of groups of women in
the matrix of domination.
3. Labor-force participation rate: for women is the proportion of women over the
age of 14 who work for money, are seeking to work fo