The gender inequality index is not limited to any particular gender. Whether within the two gender binaries or not, you are (sadly) susceptible to inequality. Also, the unevenness has nothing to do with being ‘tough’ or ‘being able to push it off.’ It’s a stereotype, a way of being treated differently because of who or what the person is.

Some gender inequality situations include unequal work pay, opportunities, stereotyping, and so much more. While all genders (yes, including men — presumed tough or not) face gender inequality, the genders closer to the vulnerable spectrum tend to be more affected. Genders like women and girls, color-based diverse genders, genders with medical or physical differences, or LGTBQ+ genders.

Gender Inequality might seem harmless for those who are evaded from these experiences, but it is a threatening situation to be in. Someone constantly faced with unequal opportunities and provisions could develop a mental depression disorder or even physical symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore the concept, some of its issues, facts, and other important treatment strategies.

What is Gender Inequality?

Gender Inequality definition is formed from two distinct words: Gender and Inequality.

Let’s start with the first word.

‘Gender’ is a word that originated both from the Latin and Old French base. While the Latin word dissolved into meaning birth, family, or nation (which is now accepted as ‘genus’ for the scientific classification of things), the Old French meaning of Gender was later accepted as the societal meaning for the word (as the social classification of things and people). Gender is how a person is classified, and while this topic might currently be facing a controversial standing, for the sake of this topic, it means how a person is classified, momentarily or permanently.

Inequality is the opposite of ‘equality,’ a derivative of the umbrella word—equal. If ‘equal’ means even or being the same in degree, quantity, and value, then the opposite world would be entirely different. Inequality means being treated differently regarding value and degree, regardless of external factors.

Gender Inequality meaning, then, is a situation where a person is treated differently because of their personal classification of self. That is, the only reason the victim is treated as such is because of what the person identifies as. In these cases, credentials, certifications, facts, and even laws don’t matter. When a victim faces inequality, the only reason they are being segregated is because of how they appear to be classified—nothing more, nothing less.

Gender Inequality Issues

Now that we know the answer to the question: ‘What is gender inequality?’ let’s move on to see how this has become an issue.

When people are treated differently based on gender, they face all forms of exclusion, stigma, and discrimination from opportunities. Sometimes, these treatments can violate their rights, yet they might still be enforced. In these cases, the victims could withdraw from society and societal activities. The person could also develop health issues and other medical imbalances. Gender-diverse or vulnerable people could retreat into depression, self-hate, and dangerously low self-worth.

While some people might come out to seek help from a professional counselor, others might choose the wrong option and retreat even more into their shells. Some people could fake a front, smiling on the outside, but could develop self-sabotaging traits like self-infliction, starvation, medication addiction, etc.

Gender Inequality issues are more profound than the forefront. It is mainly about the victim, how they feel, and how they react to such treatments. Most people who face gender imbalance are at risk of physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual trauma.

Gender Inequality in Australia

A great realistic instance of gender inequality is the current situation in Australia. The 2022 WGEA Gender Equality Scorecard mentioned the impact of the Australian pay gap in the workplace industry. Wikipedia also quoted that Australia was the 35th best country to represent gender inequality in 2017.

But why? What makes the country tagged as such?

In Australia, women, men, non-binary people, and those from the LGTBQ+ community all experience ‘different treatment.’ While some people are not allowed to work at all, others might only be streamlined to certain roles. For instance, women in Australia earn over $26,000 less than men no matter the role—and that’s on average! Also, every industry in the country typically favors men the most over other gender brackets, regardless of the certifications. That’s to say that if a woman has the highest certification a person could have and the man has just a basic schooling certificate, the man would still be chosen over the woman.

But it’s not just about the man earning twice as much as other gender folks; neither is it all about playing favorites. Generally, in Australia, men usually precede and dominate other genders such that other genders start to feel undervalued, invisible, and stuck in menial roles or other stereotypical jobs to earn a living for themselves.

However, since we’re talking about work, let’s see what gender inequality truly feels like in the workplace.

Gender Inequality in the Workplace

We already established the meaning of gender inequality. So, gender inequality in the workplace simply refers to the prevalence of these differential treatments in the work environment. Take note that gender inequality takes place everywhere — including the house, place of worship, or even among students in schools. But one way to categorize it all is to explain how it works in the place of work. Also, note that this workplace is not limited to an office environment. As long as it’s a place with a boss/manager/employer and workers, it is a workplace.

Gender inequality in the workplace takes different forms, including:

  • Lack of flexible working options
  • Pay discrimination
  • Undervaluing the work of the gender discriminated
  • Occupational segregation
  • Stereotypical work placement (especially keeping women as the main help for unpaid jobs.

Now, let’s take a quick look at each of these forms:

Lack of flexible working options

Ever heard that Mike, the secretary, can take a break, but Lola, the second secretary, can’t? That’s the definition of gender inequality. There’s no difference in the positions between Mike and Lola; neither is the job role different. However, Mike is a ‘man,’ so he can take a break because he’s the breadwinner (and for other stereotypical reasons), while Lola is merely a female and does not need a break.

Another instance could be that while Lola gets parental leave, Mike doesn’t (because why does a man need to stay home and take care of his wife and newborn baby — it’s not like a man doesn’t also get mentally strained from childbirth) – That was sarcastic. Of course, a man needs a break. But not many of them get one.

Pay discrimination

This example was evident while we explored gender inequality in Australia. Aside from women being paid less, some countries could pay women more than men or even favor the gender-diverse people more than those within the binary spectrum.

Undervaluing the work of the gender discriminated.

Another way that gender inequality can be shown is when the work of the discriminated is repeatedly undervalued. This could also be mixed with comparing one person and the other. Look at this statement, for instance:

“Why can’t you do a better job? When Mike was the manager, we never had such problems. But maybe because you’re a lady, you must be affected by PMS…”

That statement is not only triggering, inflating, and offensive; it is a complete overstepping of one’s right in the workplace due to gender inequality.

Occupational segregation

This happens when some job positions are left out for some genders. This usually happens with leadership positions. Mike, the alpha male, can be the next manager, but Lola, the transgender female, can’t. Another example is when Mike can be elected CEO, but Lola, his superior, can’t (because she’s a lady).

Sterrotupical work placement

In this event, equality presents itself when people are given stereotypical roles. This is different from the previous point in that the last point showed that the genders were in similar industries, just with some limitations for discrimination. However, some genders are NOT allowed to perform in some industries. Great examples include:

  • Women are not allowed to be judges
  • Men are not allowed to be caregivers.
  • An LGTBQ+ is not allowed in the professional sector, and so on.

Gender Inequality Facts

Let’s talk about some facts about gender inequality.

  • Gender inequality could lead to sexual harassment of all genders involved and could later lead to an increase in unintentional murder or suicide.
  • Rigid stereotypes, especially those assigned to the masculinity of men and dominance over others, could lead to gendered violence and neglect in the future.
  • Gender equality is for the benefit of everyone in the society.

Before we round this topic up with these gender equality facts, let’s let you in on some statistics that show you just how real gender inequality is:

Statistics about Gender Inequality

  • 52% of women complain of mental issues from gender discrimination.
  • Only 12% of lFTSE100 leadership roles are given to women
  • Men are paid twice as much as women in Australia.
  • 23% of women in high positions face sexual harassment
  • 43% of mothers face maternity-related discrimination.
  • About 1 in 9 mothers are reportedly dismissed from work

These statistics about gender inequality prove that discrimination is real. But it doesn’t have to stay like that. Gender inequality can be helped through awareness, promoting fair behavior, creating friendly policies, and publicity on success stories of susceptible discriminated genders. Victims can also seek help from professional counselors and mental experts for guidance on navigating the effects of gender inequality.