Gender inequality has been a problem for a long time. It affects many areas of society: economic growth, stability, and sustainable development. In some countries this problem is acute, and in others, governments are taking measures to tackle it. However, it is important to understand that each country develops its own approach to this task. Canada can be attributed to the group of countries where the problem of gender inequality is not as pronounced as in the East, for example. However, different measures in order to tackle the issue of gender inequality should be taken. I am convinced that gender inequality, being a global problem and inherent to every state in the world, leads to injustice both in everyday life, at schools, and in workplaces.
Inequality is the phenomenon that is inherent in any state and any order. Gender inequality, in turn, primarily affects people’s daily lives and has an impact on any sphere of society. What makes the problem of gender inequality so acute and yet practically unsolvable? The fact is that from childhood, coming to the store, children see cars for boys and dolls for girls. Then, as they grow older, children are increasingly told what to do: a boy does not cry, a girl does not fight, and so on. Such small everyday things form the global problem of gender inequality in the whole society. Of course, such a stable perception of life, which develops from childhood, will also affect adult life. Gender inequality in the context of employment is one of the main impacts of this problem on people’s lives.
Gender inequality in the workplace largely depends on the phenomenon of gender segregation. Speaking of segregation most often refers to the process of complete separation of one from the other. But in the context of gender, this concept is used a little differently and not so radically. Men and women often work in different fields, which, in turn, does not mean a complete separation. In one field of activity, men will prevail, in another – women, but it is this concept that forms gender inequality (Blackburn, Jarman & Racko, 2016). Inequality in the workplace inevitably leads to a chain of consequences. Inequality is often measured by a person’s pay and class status.
People who have not managed to find a decent job in their entire lives due to gender inequality, subsequently have little savings for a decent pension. Thus, women, who are more vulnerable in terms of inequality, are much more exposed to risks, such as low pension payments, poverty, and unemployment.
In the workplace, there is often a gender bias that affects how a person is evaluated by employers. In addition, this bias can affect the work in the group, where it is necessary to share responsibilities. These biases have a so-called cumulative effect, which will subsequently affect the entire career of an employee (Correll, 2017). Because of gender bias, women are much more comfortable working in traditional, or cooperative, firms. Nevertheless, this causes occupational segregation and enhances gender inequality in the workplace (Sobering, 2016). Another problem is that men often outnumber women in high positions.
When a woman achieves an influential position, it is most often due to some amazing success story, rather than her personal merits (Miller, 2016). This affects not only the problem of gender inequality itself but also the problem of the devaluation of women’s personal qualities. The issue of men outnumbering women in the workplace comes directly from the problem of education and inequality in this area.
While speaking on the matter of gender inequality, it is important to address some theoretical approaches. Functionalist theory, for instance, pays special attention to the role of education and its contribution to society. This approach presupposes that the basic function of education should be the transfer of social norms and principles (Radulović & Krstić, 2017). As already mentioned, the problem of gender inequality has deep roots that affect society for generations. Then, according to this theory, all the norms and values of a society where some can hold high positions, and others are not worthy of it, should be preserved and passed on.
In order to change the course of these values, a state should consider changing its policies regarding education (Michalski et al., 2017). In this sense, Canada has made some significant progress with its education and scientific programs on gender equality. For instance, the government of Canada is certain that conducting the gender-based analysis might provide some major insights to achieve great results for gender equality.
Critical Sociological Analysis
On the other hand, conflict theory uses different approaches in order to address education and equality. Conflict theorists blame the lack of investment in education on social inequality, which also leads to gender inequality. While the theory of factionalism involves the transmission of values and norms from generation to generation, conflict theorists do not agree with this. The promotion of existing and often outdated social norms leads to the existence of inequality in society.
Now it is important to understand what measures should be taken by countries to tackle the problem of gender inequality in education and in the workplace. The education system has been constantly evolving for the past decades and the Canadian education is not an exception. For instance, the universities of the 21st century are more diverse than before in terms of equality and acceptance (Michalski et al., 2017). Moreover, universities began to expand their programs and in addition to traditional courses, new ones appeared. These programs include gender studies, which are now more relevant than ever. It is the creation of programs that help students learn more about the problem of gender inequality that helps them find solutions to it in the future.
To conclude, it is possible to understand that the problem of gender inequality affects all countries of the world and all spheres of life. There are many theoretical approaches that affect inequality in one way or another. There are also many forms of gender inequality: stratification, segregation, and so on. The main question is how to overcome this problem, and Canada, in this sense, is making great progress.
The development of the education system, inclusion policies, and other measures to overcome gender inequality really have a positive impact on the outcome of this problem. It is very important to realize that the world of the 21st century is moving towards the acceptance of gender equality and tolerance. In order to help the world to move forward, particular measures should be taken not only by the governments but also by regular citizens. Ensuring that all genders are accepted and equal at schools and workplaces is of high importance.
Blackburn, R. M., Jarman, J., & Racko, G. (2016). Understanding gender inequality in employment and retirement. Contemporary Social Science, 11(2-3), 238-252.
Correll, S. J. (2017). SWS 2016 Feminist Lecture: Reducing gender biases in modern workplaces: A small wins approach to organizational change. Gender & Society, 31(6), 725-750.
Michalski, J. H., Cunningham, T., & Henry, J. (2017). The diversity challenge for higher education in Canada: The prospects and challenges of increased access and student success. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, 39, 66-89.
Miller, D. L. (2016). Gender and the artist archetype: Understanding gender inequality in artistic careers. Sociology Compass, 10(2), 119-131.
Radulović, L. M., & Krstić, S. M. (2017). Social inequality in education analyzed within various theoretical frameworks. Facta Universitatis, Series: Philosophy, Sociology, Psychology and History, 025-036.
Sobering, K. (2016). Producing and reducing gender inequality in a worker-recovered cooperative. The Sociological Quarterly, 57(1), 129-151.