Gender identity is the personal conception of being a man or a woman and the society creates standards and comes up with gender roles basing them on existing norms and traditions which will in turn influence gender identity. For instance, most societies associate strength and dominance to be masculine roles while caring and assisting or subordination known to be feminine roles. This clearly makes gender identity be bred within the society.
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One’s identity is important as it influences his or her life through events like life experiences, how one is being taken or treated, how to do one associate or socialize with others, the type of job one will have to do and also opportunities that may come up favoring a certain type of gender identity. One is also likely to face obstacles or discrimination due to his or her identity. The traits perceived to be possessed by certain gender identities are instilled to the children while they are growing as the society have strong influence over the preferences and the behaviors of the young ones in that by influencing the interest of children they bring them up in a manner that the children start stereotyping before even they know what the stereotypes actually are since they have been brought up in an environment that they have known that certain traits or activities are appropriate or inappropriate for them. They then tend to internalize and that becomes the way to go or do things in their whole life. As women are traditionally known to be child bearers, the society gives them the role of mother. This influences the type of work a woman can perform and the role she plays in the society. This conceptually distinguishes them from the male identity and masculine gender cannot acquire such roles within the society in that biologically, a man cannot bear children due to the hormonal states involved. This clearly makes childbearing to be a famine identity and the society to identify the role of masculine identity in the society. As most traditions believe that women are more of able to nurture as compared to men so feminine gender role is to care for the family by dedicating her full time rather than employment outside the home. Most societies divide labor basing it on sex as explained by either the physical characteristic or gender. As the society majorly use the biological differences between a male and a female, society use reproduction issue when allocating tasks. These tasks are allocated according to the convenience and the cultures pertaining a certain society thus determining feminine and masculine roles. The activities that require much strength have been termed to be masculine while those that were done with care are known to be famine. When the society allocates labor in this manner, one is able to identify his or her identity. In any given society, feminine identity performs roles which are determined by the societies’ legislation, it’s religious and norms, economic class, as well cultural values, ethnicity and the type of the productive activity in various households. The society giving masculine identity the role of heading household and also lead in other places. This has lasted for centuries in the spheres of the society giving it to the rise of gender identities. The gender identity in society thereby has created a condition in which one gender is viewed as more superior than the other, for instance, allocation of roles among male gender has been skewed in favor of men, hence the female gender is demeaned. In addition, most cooperate and organizations have a lower participation of women or girls in cooperate governance and leadership position. Therefore, this means that the decision-making process is mainly vested in the male gender due to the stereotypes that have existed and have been inherited over time. This arises because of historical marginalization of women and girls in the education system, whereby the system created a perception in which women or girls can only take up careers in social sciences and “home economics”. Over the decades has reinforced the perception that a woman/ girls place is only to look after of the affairs the household. This has deprived the society necessary economic progress and development because women/girls cannot utilize their unique capabilities. Feminine gender can be having certain talents but due to the way the society take them, these talents have been underrated as some are viewed as masculine and the famine gender is discouraged. From the education system, the psychology of women /girls has been set to believe that their rightful place is only in domestic affairs, as such they have low self-esteem and they can only play subordinate roles. In addition, over the years UNESCO studies have shown that the enrollment of girl child right from elementary level has been declining, and this also has affected up to the institution of high learning thereby affecting the women gender participation in society. As children are known to grow more stereotype, certain ideas grow regarding which subjects are favorable and suitable for each and every gender. For instance, the most common example is math and sciences where there exists a notion that the boys perform better in these subjects compared to girls. Therefore, it is clear that social influence greatly affects the perception of gender identity and certain roles. However, such perceptions lead to stereotype threads clearly known to contribute to fear or nervousness in which one’s behavior will definitely show a negative stereotype concerning his in-group and thereby, in this essence, confirms the accuracy of the stereotype. Based on the factors explained above representation of women in political position is poor and does not inspire confidence among women/girls to create role models. Therefore, many governments and states world over struggle with the phenomena of women empowerment, indeed this situation has been acknowledged by the United Nations and has passed the resolution of women empowerment and affirmative action as part of Millennium Development Goals (MGDS). This resolution forces states and government to mobilize resources to empower women, hence this will serve to correct the gender imbalance and accelerate gains of women participation in economic development. Due to low self-esteem, women/girls cannot venture into competitive careers because of the combination of sociocultural and economic factors. Many of this factors, does not take into consideration the capabilities and the abilities that women have put rather societal ascribed roles. Furthermore, with these mindset girls in schools have a preconceived mind that certain subjects or courses belong to or can only be taken by boys, for instance, courses like engineering math’s and the like girls have the negative attitude towards such courses because psychologically they already have that perception in their minds. The family which is the first agent of socialization, and leaning gender roles shows that boys are socialized differently when it comes to allocation of duties and resources. for example, in most families’ allocation of resources including learning materials is skewed in favor of boys against girls in most cases girls are left at home to attend domestic chores while boys can further their education. In other cases, girls are subjected to other forms of inhumane treatment including female genital mutilation and forced early marriages. Naturally due to physiologically processes that girls undergo they require basic necessities such as sanitary towels. Many girls may not afford such needs hence forcing them to miss school for that entire period. Eventually cannot be compared with their male counterparts in terms of performance in school. In addition, allocation of resources such as factors of production for instance land, boys are considered having the right to own or give part of the share while girls are discriminated. This gives the boy an opportunity to view girls as less important persons in the society, hence the social contraction and cultural transfer of gender, roles and decision making in society become generational.
In conclusion, there is a glass ceiling that women have been confined by the society because of social-cultural stereotypes that makes them unable to utilize their unique given capabilities to achieve their objectives. Therefore, there is an agent need for cultural transformation to get rid of retrogressive cultural practices in order to uplift the living standards of women and girls’ society which have been socially bred for a very long period of time making them lack..
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