Gender Inequality – Determinants of the Status of Women

Gender inequality means that women and men have different access to resources that would enable them to succeed in the marketplace.

Men, historically, have had better access to money, materials, and power. (Kimmel & Holler, 2011)

Status and violence
Cross-cultural research on female status suggest the lower a woman’s status in a culture the higher their chance of experiencing rape and violence.

Child care
The division of labor with respect to child care is an important determinant of the status of women in a society. A women’s status is generally higher when men play a greater role in rearing children. The more time men spend with their children, the less gender inequality is present in a culture (Kimmel & Holler, 2011).

Relationships between children and parents
Scott Coltrane found that in cultures where the relationship between a father and son is close, the higher the status of women tend to be. His research suggests with low involvement of fathers, boys tend to define themselves in opposition to their mother and other women and are therefore prone to display hypermasculinity and to fear and denigrate women as a way of showing their masculinity.

Coltrane, S.: Family man: Fatherhood, housework, and gender equity. Oxford University Press, 1966, p.191
Kimmel, M., Holler, J.: The gendered society Oxford University Press, 2011, p. 91-93