Gender Inequality, a Global Perspective

Some analysts speculate that in hunting and gathering societies, women and men were social equals, as agricultural societies had less gender discrimination.  During this time women controlled 60 percent of the group’s total food intake.  Historian Gerda Lerner (1986) concluded that “there is not a single society known where women-as-a-group have decision-making power over men (as a group).”

How did females become a minority? 

How did females become a minority? 

Around the world, gender is the primary division between people.   Every society has set up boundaries and barriers that are unequal in status.  Access, property, prestige, and power are set up on the basis of sex.  
Even though female population set out numbers the males, women are
considered a minority group because women are discriminated against based on their abilities and cultural characteristics, regardless of their numbers. 

The major theory of the origin begins with patriarchy – men dominating society.  Life was short back in the early life and to maintain the population children were looked at as a necessity.   With children everywhere, women were physically tied to the care and the nurturing of their children for most of their lives because at one point in a woman’s life, she could be carrying a child on her back, breastfeeding another one and be pregnant with one more, or two.   This is how the woman assumed the role of homemaker and care giver, as it was not productive in the fields and hunting. 
As a result, men became the dominant.  Men:

-          Hunted
-          Contacted neighboring villages
-          Waged war
-          Men made the weapons
-          They accumulated possessions for trade
-          Fed the family and or tribe with food 

The reason the above is glamorized by society is that men were considered to be risking their lives for their families and or community.  Women were “safe” at home.  “Women became second class citizens, subject to men’s decisions.  

Areas of Gender Discrimination

The Global Gap in Education:  Almost 1 billion adults around the world cannot read; two thirds are women.   

Country                                                      Women           Men

Niger                                                              92%                   76%
Burkina Faso                                              86%                   66% 
Guinea-Bissau                                          81%                    40%
Pakistan                                                       79%                    40% 
Afghanistan                                               78%                    48%
Sierra Leone                                             77%                    49%
Nepal                                                            76%                     41%
Benin                                                             75%                    43%
Yemen                                                         75%                     32%
Senegal                                                        72%                    53%
Mozambique                                           71%                     40%
Bangladesh                                               70%                      48%
Mauritania                                                68%                      47%
Ethiopia                                                      67%                       56%
Laos                                                              67%                        36%
Mali                                                              66%                       51%
Chad                                                            66%                        48%
Bhutan                                                      66%                         39%
Libya                                                           64%                        38%
Morocco                                                  64%                        38%
Liberia                                                       62%                        30%
Cote d’Ivoire                                         61%                        45%
Burundi                                                    59%                       43%
Togo                                                            59%                       43%
Egypt                                                          56%                        33%
Central African Republic               55%                        33%
Eritrea                                                       55%                        33%
India                                                           55%                        32%
Iraq                                                              54%                        34%
Sudan                                                         54%                        30%
Malawi                                                      53%                        25%
Haiti                                                            52%                       48%

The Global Gap in Politics:  Around the world women have not access to national decision making.  No national legislature has as many women representing society as men.  Women come close but they do not dominate this area (Sweden, 43% of their legislature is women).  In some countries, women still cannot vote.   In most nations, women only hold about 11% of all seats in either parliament or congress.