Gender Inequality in Europe
Impact and counteractions3 3. Conclusion4 REFERENCES5 1. 2. Introduction: Gender equality means an equal recognisability, encouragement and involvement of both genders in all areas of community and personal life. It calls for the acquiescence and gratitude of the complementarity of male and female and their own part in culture (Council of Europe). A gender-balanced society requires that no individual should be place upon anyone else by any benefit of their gender identity. In Europe, ever since the 19 century, the authorities have made a lot of effort to counter sexism, but the result is till far from visible. The problem can be traced back to the experience or social construction. This essay, with the purpose of providing information about gender inequality, will reveal some gender imbalance in European countries from the 19th century until now, as well as provide possible solutions. 3. Discussion of Finding: 4. 1. History: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) Despite what has been said, nothing much has been done. From home to office, European women are still suffering from gender discrimination. The problem is not just some recent issue, but it has a long history, dated back to the 19 century.
Gender Inequality in Europe Essay Example
For example, in UK, a European country, there is the political oratory about Britain’s conventions of ‘liberty’ and ‘tolerance’, but the UK actually has a long history of inequality and discrimination on grounds of age, race, religion, disability, and specially gender, sexual orientation (Thane, 2010). 4. 2. Natural Differences: The natural differences between the sexes based on biological and structural factors, remarkably in reproductive roles. Biological differences include chromosomes, brain structure and hormonal differences (Wood, 2005).
There is also a basic difference in physical strengths on average of the sexes. According to a study done by professor Linda Babcock, shows that men are eight times more likely to demand higher wages, claiming that wage inequality is at least partially a result of innate behavioral differences between the sexes. 4. 3. The problem in different places: In work place, wage discrimination exists when employees are equally qualified and have done similar work, but a particular group is paid more than others. Generally men receive more priority than women at a similar qualification level.
The glass ceiling effect is also considered as a potential contributor to wage disparity. The term glass ceiling means the invisible or unnatural barriers created to prevent women from furtherance of their career or promotions. Despite achievements or qualifications or other job-related characteristics such as experience, education and abilities, these barriers still exist. The glass ceiling also limits the chances of pay raises and promotion (Bakalar, N. 2009). Not only in salary issue, but also in workplace partnership do women receive such discrimination. People tend to be in favor of male partner rather than female.
They usually think of men to be more reliable than women, even though they have the same ability and qualification. When it comes to promotion, men are more likely to have the chances to further their career. Now someone may argue that men have a family to feed, so favoring men in this issue is understandable, but in fact the argument is irrelevant. Because in this modern age, women also go to work just like men, they have a family to feed too, especially single mother, things are even harder for them, they do not have a husband to share their works, they have to take all the difficulty, and still receive such injustice.
At home, the gender differences show even more clearly. From birth, parents treat differently with children depending on their sex, and through this interaction parents can make the children act differently on the basis of what is normal for their sexes. This can be most obvious in the way parents pick toys for their children. While girl’s toys (such as dolls) tend to tell children to be nice and sweet, boy’s toys (such as car and fake gun) tell them to be aggressive and competitive (Yerkes Researchers Find Sex Differences in Monkey Toy Preferences Similar to Humans, 2008).
Gender role are not always the determinative factor but they somehow signal the idea that the husband has to be the one who goes to work and makes the money, and the wife has to be the one who stays at home, takes care of the house and the children. When the children are bad, or naughty, women usually are the one to blame. In Vietnam there is an old saying that can appropriately be implied to this context: “Con hu tai me, chau hu tai ba” (it basically means that if the child is spoilt then it is because of the mother; if the grandchild is spoilt then it is because of the grandmother).
People know this is stereotypical, yet no one tries to fix it, or at least avoid it. 4. 4. Explanations: Marginalization is defined as a concept used to describe many forms of social disadvantage and relegation to the margin of the society (Silver, 1994). Marginalization happens on a personal level when someone feels as if they are on the sidelines of their society. This is a process that shows how the surrounding can affect people. For example, TV advertisements show young girls using easy bake ovens (encouraging being a housewife) or with dolls that they can feed and change clothes of (encouraging being a mother).
When women do not follow social order, they will have to face the consequences that come along. Women have traditionally been viewed as being loving and affectionate and are defined to jobs which require such skills (such as nurse or kindergarten teacher). Men, otherwise, have been seen as the workers, so men’s jobs consequently are higher valued and higher paid. Gender inequality can be further understood by the mechanism of sexism. Discrimination takes place in this manner as men and women are subject to hurtful treatment on the basis of gender alone. Sexism occurs when men and women are put in two different dimensions of social perception. . 5. Impact and counteractions Gender inequality together with discrimination is argued to cause and constant poverty and vulnerability in society (Jones et al. 2008). Although recognized by organizations such as the World Bank that gender inequality is bad for economic growth, there are many difficulties in creating a comprehensive response (Jones & Holmes 2010). European Union also has adopted some proposals to better the situation. Article 13 EC had already been the spring board for the adoption of two directives, namely the Race Directive 2000/43 and the Framework Directive 2000/78.
The Race Directive implements the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin in and outside the field of employment. The Framework Directive prohibits discrimination on grounds of religious and belief, disability, age and sexual orientation in the labour market. (Masselot) These expectations did not come into reality, however. The Proposed Directive is poorly replica of the Race Directive. A first version of the Proposed Directive was leaked out to the press during mid-2003, triggering a series of complaints and vicious objections to the approval of the draft proposal by a number of industries.
Following consultation in particular with the media and the insurance industries in the autumn, a watered down proposal was adopted in December 2003. 4. Conclusion The finding above reveal that Europe has made some efforts to counter the long-dragging sexism, but again, nothing much has been done. Women are still suffering from wage discrimination, glass ceiling effect at work, parenting responsibility at home. If the European Union remains to be the strongest confederation in the world, they have to change how they approach this problem.
The solution for this does not have to be complicated and on a large scale, sometimes a simple thing can solve complicated issue. For example, high education levels and social integration significantly improve the productivity of all members in the house and improve equality throughout society. Undoubtedly, this will take time, but it is worth pursuing by greatest efforts. Word count: 1400. REFERENCES Bakalar, N. 2009, A Customer Bias in Favor of White Men, New York Times, June 23, 2009, page D6, viewed 5 March 2013, http://www. nytimes. om/2009/06/23/health/research/23perc. html? ref=science Council of Europe, Gender equality, viewed 5 March 2013, http://hub. coe. int/what-we-do/democracy/gender-equality Jones, N. Holmes, R. and Espey, J. 2008, Gender and the MDGs: A gender lens is vital for pro-poor results, publisher: London: Overseas Development Institute. Jones, N. Holmes, R. 2010, Gender, politics and social protection, London: Overseas Development Institute. Silver, H. 1994, Social Exclusion and Social Solidarity, International Labor Review vol. 133, nos. 5/6 p. 531. Thane, P. 010, Unequal Britain: equalities in Britain since 1945, March 2010, viewed 5 March 2013, http://www. historyandpolicy. org/papers/policy-paper-99. html United Nation 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948, viewed 5 March 2013, http://www. un. org/en/documents/udhr/index. shtml Wood, Julia. Gendered Lives. 6th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2005. Yerkes Researchers Find Sex Differences in Monkey Toy Preferences Similar to Humans, 2008, viewed 5 March 2013, http://www. yerkes. emory. edu/about/news/developmental_cognitive_neuroscience/toy_preferences. html