Gender As A Forms Of Social Stratification


Gender has been the most common source of discrimination. We'll face gender based discrimination everywhere in society. The main issue of gender is whether the behaviour of men and women in societies is determined by biology or by culture. 


'Gender' is the term used by sociologists to describe the cultural and social attributes of women and men. Sociologists make a distinction between sex and gender. They are related but not coterminous. The definition of gender as a form of social stratification refers to the way in which gender differences and relations between men and women create a hierarchical system of power, privilege, and inequality. This system assigns different roles, rights, and opportunities to men and women based on socially constructed ideas of what it means to be male or female. As a result, gender affects a person's access to resources, their level of social and economic status, and the treatment they receive from others. The goal of addressing gender as a form of social stratification is to challenge and change the norms, beliefs, and structures that perpetuate these inequalities and to promote gender equality.


According to theorists of nature, there is a difference in male and female beliefs, attitude and behaviour. Their differences are Biological or Physiological. On the other hand nurturists argue that differences in male and female beliefs, attitudes and behaviour are learned. 

The nature versus nurture debate refers to the longstanding question of whether human characteristics and behaviors are primarily determined by biology (nature) or by environment and upbringing (nurture). The debate has been ongoing for centuries, with proponents of both sides presenting compelling arguments and evidence.

On the nature side of the argument, proponents argue that genetic factors play a significant role in shaping who we are and how we behave. This includes traits such as intelligence, personality, and even certain behaviors.

On the nurture side of the argument, proponents argue that our environment and experiences play a much larger role in shaping who we are and how we behave. This includes factors such as socialization, education, cultural norms, and the family and community in which we are raised.

Most experts today recognize that both nature and nurture play important roles in shaping human development and behavior, and that it is unlikely that any one factor can be considered more influential than the other. It is thought that the complex interplay between genetic factors and environmental influences determines who we are and how we behave.


The social construction of gender roles refers to the way in which society shapes and defines what it means to be male or female through various cultural, social, and economic norms and practices. This includes the development of gender roles and expectations for behavior, appearance, and attitudes that are associated with being male or female.

SOCIALIZATION - Socialization is a key factor in the development of gender roles. It refers to the process by which individuals learn and internalize the norms and values of their society. Socialization occurs through a variety of channels, including family, schools, peers, the media, and cultural institutions. It influences the development of gender identity, shaping the beliefs and attitudes that individuals hold about themselves and others based on gender.

For example, children may learn that boys should be tough and adventurous, while girls should be nurturing and emotional. They may also learn gender-specific behaviors, such as how to walk, talk, and dress. These learned gender roles and expectations can lead to patterns of inequality and discrimination, as individuals who do not conform to traditional gender roles may face social stigma and exclusion.

It is important to recognize that gender roles and expectations are not fixed and can change over time and across cultures. The social construction of gender is an ongoing process, and understanding its influence on individual and collective behavior is crucial for promoting gender equality and challenging gender-based inequalities.

GENDER INEQUALITY : Gender inequality refers to the unequal treatment or opportunities for individuals based on their gender. It is a widespread issue that affects individuals of all ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds and is reflected in a range of social, economic, and political indicators.


  • ACCESS TO RESOURCES : Women often have limited access to economic resources, such as credit, land, and property, which limits their ability to engage in income-generating activities and contribute to their own and their families' well-being.
  • GENDER INEQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE : Women are often paid less than men for the same work and are underrepresented in leadership positions. They may also face discrimination and harassment in the workplace, which can limit their career advancement and earning potential.


  • EDUCATIONAL DEPRIVATION : Girls are less likely to have access to education in many parts of the world, which restricts their future opportunities and earning potential.
  • SOCIAL BIAS : Gender biases and stereotypes impact decision-making and limit women's access to resources and opportunities, including education, employment, and healthcare.
  • HEALTH CARE DEPRIVATION : Women often have limited access to quality healthcare, which can result in higher rates of illness, disability, and death.
  • SKEWED SEX RATIO : In some societies, a cultural preference for boys has resulted in a skewed sex ratio, with fewer girls being born or surviving infancy compared to boys.
  • GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND CRIME AGAINST WOMEN : Women and girls are often subjected to violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, which undermines their health, safety, and well-being.

These indicators show the pervasive and persistent nature of gender inequality and the need for systemic change to promote gender equality. Addressing gender inequality requires a multi-faceted approach, including changes in cultural norms and beliefs, laws and policies, and institutional practices that promote gender equality.

  • POLITICAL REPRESENTATION : Women are underrepresented in politics and decision-making positions, including in national and local governments, political parties, and international organizations. This limits their ability to advocate for policies that benefit women and girls.
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION : Women may face barriers to participating in political processes, including unequal access to information and resources, social norms that discourage their political involvement, and violence and intimidation.
  • LEGAL AND POLICY FRAMEWORK : Laws and policies that discriminate against women and girls, including restrictions on their civil and political rights, can perpetuate gender inequality and limit their ability to participate fully in society.
  • CONFLICTS AND DISASTERS : Women and girls are often disproportionately affected by conflict and disasters, and their needs and perspectives may be overlooked in the response and recovery processes.
  • ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT : Women's economic empowerment is closely linked to their political empowerment and ability to participate in decision-making processes. When women are economically empowered, they are more likely to participate in politics and advocate for policies that benefit women and girls.


gender inequality is a pervasive and persistent issue that affects women and girls in many aspects of their lives, including in their access to economic, social, and political resources and opportunities. Addressing gender inequality requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach that includes changes in cultural norms and beliefs, laws and policies, and institutional practices that promote gender equality.

Economic indicators of gender inequality include limited access to resources and gender inequality in the workplace, while social indicators include educational deprivation, social bias, health care deprivation, skewed sex ratio, and gender-based violence and crime against women. Political indicators of gender inequality include underrepresentation in politics, barriers to political participation, discriminatory laws and policies, the impact of conflicts and disasters, and the relationship between economic empowerment and political empowerment.

Addressing gender inequality is crucial for promoting the well-being, health, and rights of women and girls, as well as for achieving sustainable development and creating a more equitable and just world for all.