Sexism is defined as discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s gender grounded in the belief that one gender is superior to another. Sexism is mostly affects women, but can apply to both genders. In some cases, sexism can lead to abusive situations like sexual harassment, violence, or rape.
There is evidence of sexism dating back to ancient civilizations. Women in ancient Rome were not able to vote and women in China are taught that they should obey the male figures in their lives, including fathers, husbands, and sons. There is some evidence to support the belief that the Witch Hunts from European and American history might be connected to sexism. It was believed that women were more likely to practice witchcraft than men, which led to the death and persecution of many women.
With the push for sufferance, countries have changed some of the laws that limited women’s rights. This has been a slow process, but today most women have voting rights. New Zealand was the first country to award women the right to vote in 1893. One of the last countries to give women the right to vote is Saudi Arabia. Women were given equal voting power in August of 2015.
Gender stereotypes still contribute to gender inequality between men and women. These stereotypes can be culture based, and usually value the activities of men over the activities of women.
Occupational sexism is very prevalent in today’s society. Occupational sexism is defined as “discriminatory practices, statements, or actions, based on a person’s sex, occurring in the workplace. Wage discrimination is one clear example of sexism in the workplace. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, women are 20% less likely to be hired for a job, and are paid 17% less than men in the same position. Studies have also shown that mothers are less likely to be hired for a position than men with children. Those that are hired, receive a lower salary than their male counterparts. The income gap is not just a problem in the United States. Studies show that worldwide; women are paid less for doing the same job as men.
Some argue that the difference in pay between men and women is not evidence of discrimination or sexism, but in different types of choices men and women make pertaining to the type of work they are willing to do. For example, men might be more willing to work a job they did not like if it meant they would earn more money compared to women.