The term “gender inequality” refers to the perceived or actual unequal treatment of individuals based on their gender. Gender inequality arises out of cultural differences in gender roles, which are socially constructed systems. While there are inherent biological sex-based differences between men and women, gender inequality is a form of social discrimination.
A significant amount of gender inequality occurs in the workplace, especially in the United States, where women continue to make less than men for the same work. This form of gender inequality causes income disparity, and frequently results in women, especially single mothers attempting to raise families, being pushed into lower socioeconomic classes.
It was Freud who first theorized that individuals take on gender roles through identification with either the mother or the father. Later theorists maintained that gender is a developed characteristic from early childhood, as parents will interact with children differently, based on the child’s sex.
However, so-called “traditional” relationships and families maintain gender inequality through a male-dominated power structure. Such basic household tasks such as child-rearing and even cleaning are thought to lie solely under the purveyance of women, which is a form of gender inequality, as either a man or a woman can equally accomplish these tasks. Gender inequality leads towards attitudes of gender stereotyping.