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Gender Inequality Print E-mail
( 3 Votes )
Written by By Adriana Noble   
Thursday, 25 May 2017 00:00

Many countries continuously aim in granting individuals equality through the equal distribution of rights, freedom, and opportunities. However, for many countries, achieving equality has also become a great struggle due to the magnitude of inequality that differs across societies. Gender inequality has become a universal dilemma due to the existence of gender schemas and legal gender differences. This issue of gender inequality is also seen in a small country like Belize, as the women may not be fully recognized or given the same opportunities as men. Though many people may be oblivious to the existence of gender inequality, as a citizen of Belize, it is imperative that we each begin taking those steps in becoming aware of these detrimental issues. As a student, I take great interest in this topic as every individual has the right to gain equal opportunities and social positions. Consequently, gender inequality, has fostered gender-based violence and has limited women’s economic opportunities and social positions in society.

The gender schema that is established in society greatly contributes to the existence of gender inequalities as one gender becomes empowered to the disadvantage of another. This inequality then fosters gender- based violence as author, Western, suggests that many times the concept of “gender, both one’s gender and one’s views on gender roles and sexual norms are closely linked to attitudes to violence against women”. This is because, in many societies, there is the traditional belief that men have a right to control women making them vulnerable to physical, emotional, and sexual violence. For example, in a World Health Organization Report it mentions that in many countries “men have a right to control women,” promoting a complex relationship between gender and violence as the women are often treated as objects. Though Belize tries it’s very best to reduce the attitudes of gender-based violence, we constantly watch on the news as women are subjected to physical abuse. This physical abuse is a product of the men constantly trying to reaffirm their positions as the ‘dominant sex’.

Many cultural attitudes also hold that violence is an acceptable means to resolve conflict, whilst insinuating that the use of violence and control against women are acceptable actions to maintain social order. These cultural attitudes often promote violence in Belize as the men continuously abuse the women as society has made it an acceptable act for a man to dominate a woman. These beliefs further promote an attitude for gender inequality as the women have no rights in a household or anywhere for that matter. As a result of gender inequality, the women in Belize continuously suffer from verbal, psychological, and physical abuse as these gender roles often consider the women to be inferior to the men. Gender inequality, therefore, fosters the attitudes that lead to gender-based violence against women.

Moreover, legal gender differences play a major role in fostering gender inequality as it limits a woman’s ability to gain economic opportunities. These gender differences have given rise to much turmoil in society as the women are constantly denied the same opportunities as men. This is seen in a new World Bank Report, whereby, “legal gender differences are widespread: 155 of the 173 economies covered have at least one law impeding women’s economic opportunities”. This has created a barrier for women in which they are not able to gain the same equity as men.

For instance, in a World Bank Report, it observes that in Belize “there are no frameworks in place or existing quotas for women on corporate boards, in parliament or in local government”. Where these legal gender differences are prevalent, it hinders a woman’s ability to gain the same economic opportunity as a man, since they are not fully protected and recognized. These legal gender differences have fostered gender inequality as the women are hardly given these leadership positions and power. This is seen as the women, in Belize, are constantly denied the opportunity to hold a position as a CEO or Prime Minister due to the prevailing issue of gender inequality. In many corporations, Belizean women are hardly given leadership positions; since many of these organizations are headed by men who feel as if though the women would be unable to perform the tasks effectively. Hence, in Belize these positions are swarmed by the men of the country, since the women have little legal rights ensuring them of these fields.

Often times, the women are expected to be compliant and to follow the expectation of males in their family and/ or community promoting an atmosphere of inequality as the women have little to no power. For the women, it is a constant battle to reaffirm their positions in society as the gender legal differences hinders a woman’s ability to obtain the same social position as a man. Therefore, gender legal differences greatly contribute to gender inequality, which inevitably limits a woman’s economic opportunity or ability to gain the same social position as a man.

Indeed, gender inequality, has fostered gender-based violence and has limited women’s economic opportunities and social positions in society. Gender inequality inevitably fosters the attitudes that lead to gender-based violence against women, as one gender becomes empowered to the disadvantage of another. Moreover, it has also limited women’s economic opportunities and social positions in society due to the existence of legal gender differences. In a society where gender inequality is prevalent, it is imperative that as Belizeans we begin to promote an attitude for equality, especially for the women who have been the biggest victims of gender- inequality.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 May 2017 15:45