What will you learn? • How does the status of women vary...

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Chapter 9: Culture and Women © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.
What will you learn? How does the status of women vary worldwide? How is the status of women related to specific cultural factors? How do individual countries and areas compare in regards to the status of women? How do marriage, family units, and communication impact the status of women? © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Culture and Women Sex: more used to refer to the biological features based on chromosomal evidence that distinguish males from females Gender: more often used to refer to the learned behaviors and attitudes associated with the words feminine and masculine; considered socially constructed Antiquity to 18 th century: no concept of gender, female body was considered a variation of male body; the distinction between sex and gender and the understanding that sex is fixed before gender are products of the modern era In the United States, children are aware of gender role differences by age of two (Witt, 1997) © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Status of Women United Nations studies Human Development Index (HDI) created by United Nations Development Program as a measure of life expectancy at birth, educational attainment, and adjusted per capita income, showed in 1993 that no country treated women as well as it treated its men Gender equality not dependent on income levels, with some developing countries having greater opportunities for women Japan - world’s highest HDI rating, 17 th on female HDI scale; Sweden - 5 th overall, 1 st on female version (1993) Gender-Related Development Index (GDI ) , Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) two new indices created in 1995 to unravel differences GDI is still lower worldwide than HDI © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Status of Women United Nations studies Gender Inequality Index (GII) , the newest measure, introduced to better show differences in the status of women and men across countries, is a composite measure of 3 dimensions: Health (maternal mortality ratio, adolescent fertility rate) Empowerment (share of parliamentary seats held by each sex and secondary and higher education attainment levels) Labor (participation in the workforce) Findings of U.N. studies: Over the past decade reduction in gender inequality has been virtually universal, yet there remain significant gender gaps Generally, gender inequality is highest in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Arab states United States ranked 3 th in 2008 © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.
Status of Women World Economic Forum study Independent of U.N., the World Economic Forum released its first annual report on world gender inequality in 2006 as well as subsequent updates The study is based on health, education, economic opportunity, and political participation measurements The report shows that empowering women means a more efficient use of a nation’s human resources and that reducing gender inequality enhances productivity and economic growth Consistent with U.N. studies, the World Economic Forum study shows Nordic countries to have least gender © 2015, SAGE Publications, Inc.

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