One of the universal dimensions
on which status differences are based.
A social construct specifying the socially and
culturally prescribed roles that men and
women to follow.
It shapes the lives of all people in all societies.
Theories of Gender Development
Social Learning Theory
Believe that parents,
as the distributors of
appropriate gender role
Derived from Kohlberg’s
speculations about gender development. We
know from Piaget’s work that children
engage in symbolic thinking, they acquire
their gender identity and then Kohlberg believes,
they begin the process of acquiring
A schema is a mental blueprint for
organizing information. Such a schema helps a
child to develop gender identity and
formulate an appropriate gender role. Children
develop an integrated schema or
picture of what gender is and
What is Gender Stereotyping?
Gender Stereotyping is
defined as the belief
humans hold the characteristics
associated with males and females
Several problems exist:
1. When the characteristic, associated with a particular
gender, has negative image.
2. When a unique individual is assumed to have all
the characteristics associated with his or her
Gender equality gives women and men
the same entitlements to all aspects of
human development, including economic, social,
cultural, civil and political rights, the same level of
respect, the same opportunities to make choices,
the same level of power to shape the
outcomes of these choices.
Gender and Equality
Today, the word gender has its implication. It also
means sexlessness or equality of the sexes.
Feminism has become an accepted movement.
Feminism means advocacy of women’s right
on the ground of equality of the sexes.
Gender equality has gained wide acceptance as
an important goal for many countries
around the world.
“Gender shapes the lives of all people in all
societies. It influences all aspects of
our lives, the schooling we receive,
the social roles we play, and the power and
authority we command. Population processes –
where women and men live,
how they bear and rear children, and
how they die – are shaped by gender as well.
Four themes characterize feminist
theorizing on gender inequality.
1.Men and women are situated in society
not only differently but also unequally.
2. This inequality results from the organization of
society, not from any significant biological or
personality differences between men and women.
3. Although, individual human beings may
vary somewhat from each other in the profile
of their potentials and traits, no significant
pattern of natural variation distinguishes the sexes.
4. All inequality theories assume both men and
women will respond fairly easily and naturally
to more egalitarian social structures and situations.
Gender refers to the different ways
men and women play in society, and to the relative
power they yield.
Power is a basic fabric of society and
is possessed in varying degrees by
social actors in diverse social categories.
Power becomes abusive and exploitative
only when independence and individuality of
one person or group of people
become so dominant that
freedom for other is compromised.
Women and children have often been on the
abusive side of power. Some causes that are
often referred to are:
1. The greater physical strength that men tend
to have which creates imbalance of power between
men and women resulting from social structures
and historical practices in regard to
finances, education, roles of authority
and decision making.
2. The abuse of power by men and failure
of cultural pressures to prevent such abuse.
3. A distorted view of sexuality
and the objectification of the female.
Investing in education is seen as one of the
fundamental ways in which nation
states and their citizens can move
toward long-term development goals and
improve both social and economic
standard of living.
The education of women is seen as
providing the key to securing intergenerational
transfer of knowledge and proving
the substance of long-term gender equality
and social change.
Significant gains have been made in women’s
education as a result of global advocacy,
more often than not, the gains are fragile,
vulnerable to changes in economic
and social environments, and
lagging behind in male rates enrolment
Schools also reinforce gendered social roles.
Researchers have documented the differential
treatment accorded to males and females
in the classroom that reinforces a sense
of inferiority and lack of initiative among
female students. (Sadker and Sadker, 1988)
Boys are far more likely than girls to be given
specific information that guides the
improvement of their performance.
(Boggiano and Barett, 1991)