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GENDER INEQUALITY

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GENDER INEQUALITY







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(Political science, major)
Semester III
Roll no.14








HIDAYATULLAH NATIONAL LAW
UNIVERSITY
RAIPUR, C.G.



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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I am highly elated to carry out my research this topic, Gender Inequality. I would
like to give my deepest regard to my course teacher Dr. Ayan Hazra, who held me
with his immense advice, direction and valuable assistance, which enabled me to
march ahead with this topic. I would like to thank my friends, who gave me their
precious time for guidance and helped me a lot in completing my project by giving
their helpful suggestion and assistance. I would like to thank my seniors for their
valuable support. I would also like to thank the library staff and computer lab staff of
my university for their valuable support and kind cooperation.











Semester III







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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. OBJECTIVES........................4
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY.......4
3. HYPOTHESIS...5
4. INTRODUCTION............ 6
5. GENDER INEQUALITY............................................ 8


6. TYPES OF GENDER INEQUALITIES.....................14
7. THEORATICAL ASPECT OF GENDER INEQUALITY..............12
8. CONCLUSION..............15
9. BIBLIOGRAPHY.....................18







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OBJECTIVES

1. To study the gender stratification in the society.

2. To analyze the feminist and male chauvinist attitude of the people.

3. To co-relate the subjective aspects of the theories and the practical
observations.

4. To criticise various types of inequalities in different fields like religion,
property etc.


RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The research is based on secondary sources. Literature review has been done
extensively in order to make a comprehensive presentation. Books from the
universitys library have been used. Computer from the computer laboratory of the
university has been used for the purpose. Articles from journals and material available
on internet have also been used.








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HYPOTHESIS

A. Gender Stratification
Once men and women are polarized, they are then ranked. Gender stratification refers
to the ranking of the sexes in such a way that women are unequal in power, resources,
prestige, or presumed worth. At the same time, both women and men are denied the
full range of human and social possibilities. The social inequalities created by gender
differentiation have far-reaching consequences for society at large (Eitzen, 2000:247).

B. Gender
Gender refers to the social identity of men and women. It cannot be understood at the
level of individual (Eitzen, 2000:247).

C. Sex
Sex refers to one's biological identity (Eitzen, 2000:247).

D. A Feminist Approach (feminism)
"A Feminist Approach is one which supports of women's equality. Feminism is the
study of gender with the goal of changing society to make women and men equal.

E. Sexism
Sexism is the assertion that one sex is innately superior or inferior to the other.

F. Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment refers to comments, gestures, or physical contact of a sexual nature
that are deliberate, repeated, and unwelcome.




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INTRODUCTION

Woman is the complement of man, and not inferior
Mahatma Gandhi

Man and woman are both equal and both play a vital role in the creation and
development of their families in a particular and the society in general. Indeed, the
struggle for legal equality has been one of the major concerns of the womens
movement all over the world. In India, since long back, women were considered as an
oppressed section of the society and they were neglected for centuries. During the
national struggle for independence, Mahatma Gandhi gave a call of emancipation of
women. He wrote I am uncompromising in the matter of womens rights. The
difference in sex and physical form denotes no difference in status. Thus, the first task
in post-independent India was to provide a constitution to the people, which would
not make any distinctions on the basis of sex. The preamble of constitution promises
to secure to all its citizens- Justice- economical, social, and political

The constitution declares that the equality before the law and the equal protection of
laws shall be available for all. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination against any
citizen on the ground of sex. Article 15(1) guarantees equalities of opportunities for
all citizens in matters of employment. Article 15(3) provides that the state can make
any special provisions for women and children. Besides, directive principle of state
policy which concern women directly and have a special bearing on their status
directly and have a special bearing on their status include Article 39(a) right to an
adequate means of livelihood; (d) equal pay for equal work both men and women, (e)
protection of health and strength of workers men, women, children and Article 42
provides for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

In India, since independence, a number of laws have been enacted in order to provide
protection to women. For instance the Dowry prohibition Act 1961, The Equal
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Remuneration Act 1986, The Hindu Marriage Act 1956, The Hindu Succession Act
1956, The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, the
commission of Sati (prevention) Act 1987, Protection of the Women from Domestic
Violence Act 2005, etc. But, the laws have hardly implemented in their letter and
spirit.

The sense of insecurity, humiliation and helplessness always keep a women mum.
Our whole socialisation is such that for any unsuccessful marriage which results in
such violence or divorce, it is always the woman, who is held responsible. Cultural
beliefs and traditions that discriminate against women may be officially discredited
but they continue to flourish at the grass root levels. Family relations in India are
governed by personal laws. The four major religious communities are Hindu,
Muslim, Christian and Parsi each have their separate personal laws. They are
governed by their respective personal laws in matters of marriage, divorce,
succession, adoption, guardianship and maintenance. In the laws of all the
communities, women have fewer rights than that of man in corresponding situations.
It is really that women of the minority communities in India continue to have unequal
legal rights and even the women of the majority community have yet to gain complete
formal equality in all aspects of family life. This is basically the problem of gender
inequality.












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GENDER INEQUALITY

Gender inequality refers to disparity between individuals due to gender. It emerges
from differences in both socially constructed gender roles as well as biologically
through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences. Gender systems are
often dichotomous and hierarchical; binary gender systems may reflect the
inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life. Gender inequality
stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed.

Income disparity between genders stems from processes that determine the quality of
jobs and earnings associated with jobs. Earnings associated with jobs will cause
income inequality to take form in the placement of individuals into particular jobs
through individual qualifications or stereotypical norms. Placement of men or women
into particular job categories can be supported through the human capital theories of
qualifications of individuals or abilities associated with biological differences in men
and women
1
. Conversely, the placement of men or women into separate job categories
is argued to be caused by social status groups who desire to keep their position
through the placement of those in lower statuses to lower paying positions.

Human capital theories refer to the education, knowledge, training, experience, or
skill of a person which makes them potentially valuable to an employer.
2
This has
historically been understood as a cause of the gendered wage gap but is no longer a
predominant cause as women and men in certain occupations tend to have similar
education levels or other credentials. Even when such characteristics of jobs and
workers are controlled for, the presence of women within a certain occupation leads to
lower wages
3
. This earnings discrimination is considered to be a part of pollution
theory. This theory suggests that jobs which are predominated by women offer lower

1
National Sample Survey Office (2011) Employment and Unemployment Situation in India 2009-2010
New Delhi, National Statistical Organisation, Government of India
2
Michael G. Peletz, Gender, Sexuality and Body Politics in Modern Asia Ann Arbor, MI: Association
for Asian Studies, 2011.
3
Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, and Reeve Vanneman The American People Census 2000: Gender
Inequality at Work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000.
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wages than do jobs simply because of the presence of women within the occupation.
As women enter an occupation, this reduces the amount of prestige associated with
the job and men subsequently leave these occupations. The entering of women into
specific occupations suggests that less competent workers have begun to be hired or
that the occupation is becoming deskilled. Men are reluctant to enter female-
dominated occupations because of this and similarly resist the entrance of women into
male-dominated occupations.
4


The gendered income disparity can also be attributed in part to occupational
segregation, where groups of people are distributed across occupations according to
ascribed characteristics; in this case, gender. Occupational gender segregation can be
understood to contain two components or dimensions; horizontal segregation and
vertical segregation. With horizontal segregation, occupational sex segregation occurs
as men and women are thought to possess different physical, emotional, and mental
capabilities. These different capabilities make the genders vary in the types of jobs
they are suited for. This can be specifically viewed with the gendered division
between manual and non-manual labour
5
. With vertical segregation, occupational sex
segregation occurs as occupations are stratified according to the power, authority,
income, and prestige associated with the occupation and women are excluded from
holding such jobs.











4
Macionis, Gerber, John, Linda (2010). Sociology 7th Canadian Ed. Toronto, Ontario: Pearson Canada
Inc.. pp. 35
5
Reed, Evelyn. Woman's Evolution: From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal Family. New York, 1975
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TYPES OF GENDER INEQUALITIES

a. Natality Inequality
In this type of inequality a preference is given for boys over girls that many male-
dominated societies have, gender inequality can manifest itself in the form of the
parents wanting the newborn to be a boy rather than a girl. There was a time when this
could be no more than a wish (a daydream or a nightmare, depending on one's
perspective), but with the availability of modern techniques to determine the gender
of the foetus, sex-selective abortion has become common in many countries. It is
particularly prevalent in East Asia, in China and South Korea in particular, but also in
Singapore and Taiwan, and it is beginning to emerge as a statistically significant
phenomenon in India and South Asia as well.

b. Professional or Employment Inequality
In terms of employment as well as promotion in work and occupation, women often
face greater handicap than men
6
. A country like Japan and India may be quite
egalitarian in matters of demography or basic facilities, and even, to a great extent, in
higher education, and yet progress to elevated levels of employment and occupation
seems to be much more problematic for women than for men. The example of
employment inequality can be explained by saying that men get priority in seeking
job than women.

c. Ownership Inequality
In many societies the ownership of property can also be very unequal. Even basic
assets such as homes and land may be very asymmetrically shared. The absence of
claims to property can not only reduce the voice of women, but also make it harder
for women to enter and flourish in commercial, economic and even some social

6
Crawford, M. & Unger, R. (2000). Women and Gender: A feminist psychology (3rd ed.). Boston,
MA: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
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activities.
7
This type of inequality has existed in most parts of the world, though there
are also local variations. For example, even though traditional property rights have
favoured men in the bulk of India.

d. Household Inequality
There are often enough, basic inequalities in gender relations within the family or the
household, which can take many different forms. Even in cases in which there are no
overt signs of anti-female bias in, say, survival or son-preference or education, or
even in promotion to higher executive positions, the family arrangements can be quite
unequal in terms of sharing the burden of housework and child care. It is, for example,
quite common in many societies to take it for granted that while men will naturally
work outside the home, women could do it if and only if they could combine it with
various inescapable and unequally shared household duties. This is sometimes called
"division of labour," though women could be forgiven for seeing it as "accumulation
of labour." The reach of this inequality includes not only unequal relations within the
family, but also derivative inequalities in employment and recognition in the outside
world. Also, the established fixity of this type of "division" or "accumulation" of
labour can also have far-reaching effects on the knowledge and understanding of
different types of work in professional circles.

e. Special Opportunity Inequality
Even when there is relatively little difference in basic facilities including schooling,
the opportunities of higher education may be far fewer for young women than for
young men. Indeed, gender bias in higher education and professional training can be
observed even in some of the richest countries in the world, in India too. Sometimes
this type of division has been based on the superficially innocuous idea that the
respective "provinces" of men and women are just different.




7
Waring, Marilyn, If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics,San Francisco: Harper & Row,
1988.
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THEORATICAL EXPLANATION OF
INEQUALITIES
Four criteria which must be fulfilled to explain gender-specific inequalities in
particular:

a. The inequalities concerning women are a very complex
social phenomenon and therefore, on the basis of theoretical assumption, no
aspect of it must be excluded from analysis.

b. Gender-specific inequalities cannot be derived from the
beginning from other inequalities. How much these inequalities are closely
bound up with other principles of distribution is a question concerning
empirical facts.

c. The theoretical explanation should be contingent and not
consider only priori-defined factors (e.g. patriarchy, capitalism or their
combination).

d. The explanation should also be able to explain the changes
in the situation of women.

In sociological theory from the beginning, the explanation of social inequalities was
seen as one of the core tasks of class theories. According to this theoretical tradition
(the most influential theories are those of Karl Marx and Max Weber), society is
composed of several clearly definable major groups which are hierarchically-related
to each other. This hierarchy manifests itself in unequal access to life chances in
different groups and perhaps only partially in the development of common
attitudes and social identity within these groups. Because of its importance for access
to life chances, class constitutes a reference point for its members interpretation of
the social situation, the "subjective" aspect of class. Another basic aspect is the
assumption that the development of classes (and social strata) depends on the
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occupational structure. Put more precisely, the criterion for belonging to a certain
social class is the position occupied at work, or a given feature of that position, such
as control over the work of others
8
. The argument for the centrality of work and
employment is the assumption that these domains constitute the core mechanisms and
functional prerequisites of society.

From the point of view of class theories, the existence of gender-based inequalities
cannot be easily integrated. The discussion about these inequalities and their
exclusion from mainstream theories began in the 1970s as a consequence of the
womens movement and the growing integration of feminist scientists into the
academic discourse. Because class theories derive the causes of social inequalities
from the employment structure (although they state the reasons for the centrality of
this structure in a different way), they cannot become aware of other and different
causes of inequalities. Despite knowing the empirical facts of gender inequalities, the
situation of women was not discussed in the context of theoretical considerations.
From the point of view of class theories, women cannot be seen as a group in their
own right, and inequalities concerning women either cannot be acknowledged at all
(e.g. discrimination in the family) or they remain located on the fringe of central
social processes which deal more with relations between social classes.
9


The first influential formulation on this to appear in class theory is by Schumpeter
(1953, 158), who expressly stated that "the family, not the physical person is the
true individual in class theory." This position defined the direction that further
sociological theory and research would take: husbands, integrated in the work sphere,
determined the class status of their families as their representatives. Theories of social
inequality apparently naturally conceived as theories of class or stratification were
thus distorted from the very beginning regarding the relationship between the two
genders. Social inequalities were defined with reference to the male half of the
population.
10
Women were a "remainder", whose social position could not be

8
Laslitt, Barbara, Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres, Mary Jo Maynes, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Jeanne
Barker-Nunn, ed. History and Theory: Feminist Research, Debates, Contestations (University of
Chicago Press, 1997)
9
Jackson, Destined for Equality, p.2.
10
Janet Gornick and Marcia Meyers, Gender Equality: transforming family divisions of labor, volume
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explained by the central mechanisms governing the distribution of life chances, but
could via additional functions (in particular the reproductive one).
11


Feminist scientists were the ones who made the absence of research into gender-
specific discrimination within sociological theory a topic of discussion. They
developed various approaches for overcoming the existing unsatisfactory theoretical
solutions. The first attempt to comprehend the unequal social situation of men and
women concentrated on the concept of "patriarchy". Walby defines patriarchy as "a
system of social structures and social practices in which men dominate, oppress and
exploit women"
12
. This concept descriptively draws attention to ways men
discriminate and exploit women. It helps illuminate the unfavourable position of
women in relation to men, and it unquestionably also has explanatory power
concerning several inequalities, for example in the family or communicative
processes.

But patriarchy fails as a general explanatory principle. It does not take into account
the multiple causes which influence womens situation. Explanation by patriarchy
supposes intentional acts of suppression and the homogeneity of men. It makes the
role women play in reproducing their unfavourable situation invisible. Patriarchy as a
universal principle of explanation does not take into consideration the unintentional
consequences of human actions or the routines of everyday life. On the other hand, it
also does not differentiate between inequalities based on the explicit intention of
discriminating against women and those gender-neutral inequalities where women can
be replaced by other groups with still lower access to life chances (low positions in
the hierarchy of work, now often occupied by foreign workers).





VI in the Real Utopias Project (London and New York: Verso, 2009).
11
Khanna, Ranjana (2003). Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism. Duke University Press.
12
Feminist Legal Theory: Readings in Law and Gender ed. by Katharine T. Bartlett and Rosanne
Kennedy (Harper Collins, 1992), ISBN 978-0-8133-1248-4
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CONCLUSION


The most significant factor in continued use of law to enforce patriarchal privilege is
that men still control not only the legal process and the interpretation of laws, but also
the subject matter and vantage point of law. If the subject matter of law is male
concerns and if the perspective employed within the legal process are those of men,
then women should actually have no reason to expect that mere reform of existing law
will materially improve the condition of women. This is particularly true when
attempts to improve the statutes of women are made through incremental reforms that
are not grounded in an understanding of how womens oppressions are constructed.
Reforms of rape law will not materially improve the status of women when the point
of rape laws is there no enforcement.

It has been shown that law is strictly restricted in it capacity to deliver gender justice,
which in itself is contingent on the nature of law and its functioning. In this
connection it is worthwhile to recall that the law itself is not a monolithic entity,
which simply progresses or regresses. Historically, the development of law has been
an uneven one. That is to say, more than not, what law promises on paper cannot
carry through in reality. That is why law-as-legislation and law-in-practice are most of
the time in contradiction with each other. To cite an example, the Indian constitution
explicitly enshrines formal equality for women. However, the lives and experiences of
India women relentlessly continue to be characterized by substantive inequality,
inequity and discrimination.

Gender justice may not be then that much of a caste in the sky. Finally, one must at
least clearly suggest what ought to be done. The present feminist analysis is such a
modest endeavour which not only attempts to understand the reality but also tries to
explain how to change it.

Fight for gender equality is not a fight against men. It is a fight against traditions that
have chained them a fight against attitudes that are ingrained in the society it is a
fight against system a fight against proverbial laxshman Rekha which is different
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for men and different for women. The society must rise to the occasion. It must
recognize & accept fact that men and women are equal partners in life. They are
individual who have their own identity

This problem has many measures out of which some of the simple one is stated below
(except legislative and judicial Solutions).

Changes at District level mechanism
A clear cut administrative should be made available at the district level for monitoring
and reviewing the incidence of inequality against women. This district level
machinery headed by District Magistrate should consist of representatives of police,
prosecution machinery, judiciary and the representatives of prominent individuals of
womens organizations in the Districts. This committee should review progress of
investigation and prosecution. At least one special cell should be created at the district
level for ensuring better registration and progress of investigation and monitoring of
crimes against gender equality. This special cell should network with community
groups and womens organizations and help to create an atmosphere in which people
would feel encouraged to freely report the cases of gender injustice. At present, most,
non-reporting of the cases is due to lack of confidence in enforcement machinery.

Changes at State level Mechanism
Similarly, like District level mechanism there should be State level machinery at the
State level in which there should be special entry for those cases which needs prompt
actions. This institution will make a full control over the district level machinery. So
that there should nit be any corruption or fraud with innocent persons.

Law of Torts
An area of civil wrong is tort law. Tort law is probably one of the most underutilised
areas of the law with respect to the problem of gender injustice. The torts that are
directly applicable are:
Assault, Battery, Unlawful imprisonment, Nuisance, Tort of harassment, Tort of
Medical pre- natal test
It means that there can be punishment under tort law also.
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Sensitization of Criminal Justice system
The police officers, prosecutors, and judges at all levels of hierarchy need to be
exposed to the gender equality education which would enlighten them on existing
assumptions, myths and stereotypes of women and how these can interfere with fair
and equitable administration of justice. Judicial system should comprise of all types of
officers i.e. from judiciary i.e. judges, police officers and which should take
immediate action in serious cases.

Family Law
Another of wrong is family law also. In this accused can be punished under Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 and Dowry Prohibition Act, 1987 other laws relating to family
disputes. The suit/ case can be filed for domestic violence or any other household
wrong.


















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BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INTERNET REFRENCES


1. National Sample Survey Office (2011). Employment and Unemployment
Situation in India 2009-2010. New Delhi, National Statistical Organisation,
Government of India.

2. Michael G. Peletz, Gender, Sexuality and Body Politics in Modern Asia. Ann
Arbor, MI: Association for Asian Studies, 2011.

3. Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, and Reeve Vanneman. The American People
Census 2000: Gender Inequality at Work. New York: Russell Sage
Foundation, 2000.

4. Reed, Evelyn. Woman's Evolution: From Matriarchal Clan to Patriarchal
Family. New York, 1975

5. Waring, Marilyn, If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics,San
Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988.

6. Jackson Destined for Equality, p.2.

7. Khanna, Ranjana (2003). Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism.
Duke University Press.

8. Feminist Legal Theory: Readings in Law and Gender ed. by Katharine T.
Bartlett and Rosanne Kennedy (Harper Collins, 1992), ISBN 978-0-8133-
1248-4