Throughout centuries, gender inequality has always been one of the main issues in our society. Just recently, King Abdullah, revolutionized Saudi Arabia by giving women the right to vote and hold position for the first time. In Italy, Ma-Vib, an Engineering firm, was placed on the hot seat when it chose to fire only female employees during a series of lay-offs. Through the Gender-conflict approach, we view gender inequality as a form of social stratification – that gender inequality is long-standing system of hierarchy between the sexes, where Men has always been on the upper-tier.
Gender-conflict approach/perspective views patriarchy as something women continually accept because they have been socialized into a society with the notion that women are inferior. This particular matter got my attention because as a woman, I believe this is the closest subject which I can relate to myself. I chose this because this view can bring about cataclysmic change in our society when people just become more aware of it.
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I am aware of the changes in gender-equality in our society today. Women are now progressing to gain equal rights. These beliefs toward gender roles created conflict. The unequal distribution of society’s wealth and power between the two sexes exposes the continuing dominance of men’s privilege and values throughout the society. The activities men were involved in were often those that provided them with more access and control to resources and decision-making power.
The characteristics of the activities performed by men and women toward the ages become people’s perceptions of the attributes of men and women themselves, thus came social stratification. Women were perceived, and then regulated as housewives – responsible for cleaning the house, cooking dinner and taking care of the children, while Men were stratified as income-generating mechanism of the family. The social-conflict perceives society as an “arena of inequality” that can generate change.
I believe that gender-conflict approach leads to development, as it brought about feministic movements in our society. People, men and women alike, became aware of the inequality in our society. They saw the social stratification existing between the genders. They saw gender roles. After seeing the society, in the gender-conflict approach, the feminist movement flourished. Women experienced gender inequality in different environments and occupations. Nowadays, there are more women known to have jobs, and men are no longer the sole bread-earner in the family.
Women contribute not just on to the welfare of the family, but also to the political and economical aspects of the society. Just like in the events on Saudi Arabia; however, feminist movement on the country has a long way to go, since many barriers still exist, like women not entitled to drive, or women not permitted to neither work nor have medical operations without the permission of a male relative. I believe that just by seeing the society on a different perspective can bring change to it.