In many communities, women are regarded as weaker sex and discriminated in daily duties and social interaction. The issue of gender has made men feel more superior and women inferior hence causing discrimination. Discrimination of women starts from birth when a newborn baby boy is given more priority than a baby girl. In many traditions, women were supposed to be submissive. Many religions encourage men to hold the high positions and decide for their wives. According to Christian doctrine, women are supposed to remain silent as their husbands talk, and they should not make any decision. Men are regarded as head and women as neck, and this shows that women cannot make any decision for men but to wait for men to decide and give directions (Julia, 2005). In workplaces, the issue of stereotyping exists as well, and women are referred to as a weaker sex; and there is a division of labor accordingly. Women are not hired for challenging tasks and sensitive roles in some organizations, with men being preferred for such positions. Stereotyping and discrimination makes women feel inferior and afraid to interact with men. Majority of women in the world decide to act inferior and let men rule. Many women feel that they have no right to stand against men, however, there are some who have progressed and competed against men and managed to hold powerful roles in both government and private sectors. Cultural stereotypes, social discrimination, and gender roles have resulted to the aspect of gender inequality. Women are socialized in a way that they feel they cannot rule over men. Women who have managed to hold positions in offices work without confidence while enquiring what to do from their male counterpart. Normally, it is women who nurture children and as such they are responsible for inculcating the female gender discriminating stereotypes on their young boys and girls.
Women condone the stark division of labor along sex lines. In job market today, there are some professions which are regarded as men’s jobs while others are for women. This is due to socialization and the way people have been brought up. For example, profession like military officer is regarded as men’s profession, and as a result there are few women in the military. Other professions involving machine operation like engineering and driving are regarded as men’s province as well. Women are given the light jobs like nursing and cleaning. At family level, there is a division of labor. Children are told how to work according to their sex. Boys are given heavy duties like carrying garbage while girls are given shallow duties like sweeping the house and cleaning utensils among others. The division of roles by parents has made children grow up noting the difference in their sexes. The division of labor and allocation of light duties by parents has made girls grow up knowing that they are weaker sex (Jerry, 1995). Over-emphasis on biological differences by women is a source of gender discrimination against women. Biologically, men are stronger than women, and this difference makes boys and girls have dissimilar in playing games. Games are divided and boys do not play together with girls. For example, football, basketball, handball, and volleyball games are played by members of the same sex. When women interact with men in games, they realize their weakness and let men to rule (David, 2000). The problem gets overboard when the differences are wrongly interpreted as intellectual capacity disparity.
The practice of either granting or denying rights and/or privileges to individuals on the basis of their gender has thus been almost the trend of the day for most societies. Though some religious groups have come up in support of gender discrimination as part of their code of belief, the more progressive denominations have more respect for women. On the contrary, there are others - and more especially in the industrialized countries - who have branded gender-based discrimination as inappropriate or even illegal. Notably, the attitude toward gender-based discrimination is exclusively traceable to the roots of various specific society segments (Nair, 2011). Undeniably though, a great percentage of this form of discrimination emanates from such beliefs as the creation of a woman from the rib of a man as well as perspectives such as the receiving of dowries by the fathers of a lady being given for marriage to a potential husband which is actually regarded as the price at which the woman is being bought. Traditionally, gender discrimination was looked from the perspective that the female segments in the society were the ones to be exposed to and this was being practiced on them by their male counterparts. Both historically and customarily, women were being denied to men on the basis of social stigmas. Among the most common jobs falling into their category included such as flight attendants, childcare providers and nurses (Worell, 2001).
Right from their childhood, women do face a lot of challenges that sideline them. Despite the fact that the ratio between sexes has continuously been improving, most societies and nations have increasingly practiced discrimination against the girl child. Many have even resulted in embracing the advances in technology in order to be certain that they woman conceives with the much desired Y-chromosome even if the couple has to travel far and wide. These advances have also facilitated the determination of the sex of the unborn as early as one and a half months after pregnancy (Cusack & Cook, 2009). The most shocking thin is that most of such tests have been initiated by the women and would be more than willing to receive the best treatments and medications so as to be pregnant with a male child. In other parts of the world where this technology has not yet reached or in the event that the couples are not financially well up to afford such services, the situation may be quite pathetic. During birth, if the new born happen to be a girl, the mother may break in tears because in the understanding, the child is just but another expenses as contract to if the newborn was a male; who is viewed as an insurance to the family by the virtue of one time being the one inheriting his father’s property. In countries such as India, in the event that the newborn is a girl, even the greeting changes to one that expresses the birth of a servant in the household. This is actually the extent to which the women in the contemporary society have become discriminative even to members of their sex- the girl child (Wolf, n.d.).
Factually, discrimination of the girl child has been there all through. In the eyes of many, girls are a liability to the society especially on when it comes to poverty and dowry. This has also been strengthened by various religious beliefs. For instance among the Hindus, it is believed that it is only a boy who is able to light the pyre of his parents and/or elders. Besides, some of the women have no other alternative other than agreeing to be partakers of the discrimination (Coombs & King, 2005). According to some psychological studies carried out by Dr. Chhavi Khanna (a psychologist based in Mumbai), there are tendencies of women being involved in aborting the female fetus. He goes ahead and states that in most cases of such incidents; these women have at one time in their life been victims of gender discrimination. Throughout their lives, they have been undergoing oppression and there is likelihood that they have stopped being proud being women. As a result they are even not willing to bring up a girl child and subsequently put her through similar sufferings like the ones the mother underwent (Aguiar, 2005).
The societies in which we are members of have all through remained to be very rigid to some of the belief they have. Apart from the pressure from the family and the society at large, such a mindset is rooted on the beliefs of the old-age that more often than not are quite difficult to change. It is only via education that such beliefs can be broken and change be realized (SCD, 2006). In most cases, it has been hammered in the minds of the women in the society that bringing up a male child in the family they are part and parcel of assures them a better status not only in the family but also in the community they have been married and the society at large. This avails them greater hopes of augmenting their self-esteem. They have actually come to the understanding that in the event that they bear a girl child, both the child and the mother will be badly treated (Nair, 2011).
As they grow and develop, young girls are made to believe that they are exclusively suited to certain professions as the ones highlighted in prior paragraphs and in some cases simply as mothers and housewives. While gender lines tend to be drawn quite early, segregations for women are likely to progress on throughout their adulthood. With such constant messages, a false belief that women are not members of the high-powered corporate world may come to be born (Worell, 2001). In elementary schools, it has been evidenced that there is a tendency of teachers to pay more attention in maths and other science subjects to boys while the girls are given more in the language arts. As a result vital maths and science skills get imparted solely on the boys and this later leads to the domination of professions such as architecture, medicine and engineering by males. The case does not change much in both middle and high schools where the girls are discouraged from being participants I most of the sports and clubs (Cusack & Cook, 2009). Social programs, school volunteer works and other activities regarded to be passive are the ones presented to the ladies. Having graduated from their childhood, young women are refreshed and at other times coerced to pursue education in professions which are more conventional female-oriented such as office administration, retail, caregiving and nursing (Wlfe, n.d.).
According to some women entrepreneurs like Regina English, the women of the world have all through been loaded with marital baggage. The women, even the so considered brave one, are thrilled by a life of singleness (Coombs & King, 2005). Many of them are for the view that those of their sex in both motherhood and marriage are the happiest; a belief that our cultures’ founding fathers made them to believe. Even in the new millennium, women are coming face to face with the same subconscious and vocal pressures from fellow women, families, friends and the media to find mates for themselves before the sun sets on them. Even with the 1960s and 1970s preaching about women liberation, nothing much has changed on the followers as pertains to the proper dealing with the gender expectations. Most of the women dismiss those living single as a hopeless cause (Aguiar, 2005).
From the above discussion, it is crystal clear that inequality in gender in the world has been borne of social discrimination, gender-based roles and cultural stereotypes. The manner in which the female populace of the society is socializing has shaped an image in their thoughts that no one single moment will they be in a position to rule over their male counterparts. This is not only propagated by the men alone, but the above discussion has presented detailed account of how women nurture gender discrimination against their own sex. Seemingly, there is a nasty circle that calls for its breaking and this can either be by means of availing fairer treatment to female population by doing away with any forms of discriminative acts such as denying them basic education, abuse and forced labor or the society ought to end its discriminatory behavior against the women. The women of the society also ought to cease aborting the female fetus. In a nutshell, equality in all fields of life has to be put into practice.