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Gender Inquality Essay

3150 words - 13 pages

How gender is related to disadvantage in the UK
Introduction

Gender is the socially ascribed and constituted version of what is thought of as ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, and the relations between (Olsen et al, 1990). From time in memorial gender inequality has been a prevalence social hitch and has largely been practiced towards women around the world effecting different aspects of their life. The aim of this essay is to discuss how gender inequalities have evolved in recent decades in the UK. To achieve this, I will commence by presenting a historical insight into gender inequality, identifying the roles and expectations of women and men in society during this period. I will then ...view middle of the document...

Traditionally women in society worked in factories for long hours and low pay; however the factory acts that were introduced in the 1800s made it illegal for women and children to work in factories. As a result of this, women started having problem in obtaining work and consequently, women’s work position start to becoming an extension of their domestic duties. After the factory acts came into place, the roles of women within society became very limited, they had no input in society and their main focus was child rearing and the maintaining of their households. The men in society during this period on the other hand, had greater inputs in society as they were admitted into the labour force.
Their main duty of women is society was mainly to provide for the family. The family structure during this period meant the man’s obligation was to work as means of supporting his family while the woman tended to the household. The position of women meant that they were unable to generate any additional income to support the household financially. This gave men a position of supremacy over the woman in the household, as women would have to financially dependent on men income. Thus, women were regarded as the property of men. Deprived of the rights to vote, work, education and own property, marriage seemed to be the only means of survival for women as it guaranteed financial security for them. The women who weren’t married on the other hand, were admitted into the workplace but usually occupied positions lower in the work hierarchy (such as receptions or cleaner) earning less than the male workers. These women often stayed in the same position, as they were not given any opportunity for promotion. Hence, the income differences between the genders in the workplace, unmarried women often sought to marry as a means of gaining economic stability and usually had to leave the work sector to settle in the role of a housewife. Middle class and wealthy women tended to have more freedom than women in the lower classes as they had disposable income to support themselves and usually opted not to marry. The household was where high levels of inequality were practiced. The highly patriarchal structure of society meant women were submissive to the demands of men, resulting in a lack of freedom. For years the assumption of gender disparities being a biologically construct phenomenon has been accepted by scholars and researchers.

The work of Goldberg (1993), suggested that the male hormones was the driving force for male dominance and female hormones created a nurturing instinct in women. However Marx and Engels (1848) rejected the view that male dominance was a biological construct, but rather contended that women’s repression is a socially construct rather than a biological construct that emerged as a result of the development of the class society. Marx and Engels provide a materialistic analysis of the oppression of women. The idea of women as inferior came from...

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