A Study on the Harmful Effects of Marginalizing Women and Gender Inequality

Category: Mathematics
Last Updated: 31 May 2023
Essay type: Research
Pages: 17 Views: 102
Table of contents

Introduction/Research Question

Women inequalities are found in several areas of life, both in and outside of the work place. Throughout history, women have been compromised in many ways. Whether it be in opportunities, power, or wages, these issues are still prevalent in modern times. Although, some implemented changes have occurred, there is still much improvement needed. The dispersion of definitions of equality between women and men differ significantly, showcasing deeper issues within these topics.

Past traditions and cultures also help to explain modern day inequalities. Many men have not adjusted to the ideas of women being equal to them in the workplace, and this may never change. Through the examination of several academic articles and research, I aim to determine the degree of inequality, while also viewing the causations alike. The research problem includes the ideas that these inequalities and marginalization of women negatively affect the economy and the individuals alike.

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Research Questions

My research question is to what degree does inequality exist in and outside the work place for women throughout the world. My hypothesis concluded that women experience inequality on a global level, and these injustices are not limited to places of employment. I also aim to understand societal implications of these issues, along with cultural specific inferences alike. By examining past efforts for changes, I can better assess better interventions for such instances. These questions will be answered by both the research under examination, along with my own personal discoveries alike.

Review of Related Literature

Women are considered to be one of the marginalized populations due to the discrimination they face. Women are discriminated against and their status is often considered inferior to their male counterparts. Furthermore, women are prone to oppression, in the form of violent treatment, reduced access to employment, education and other empowering opportunities. Literature on women's studies reveals some of the underlying aspects of the issues facing this marginalized population. A review of literature helps provide a more comprehensive understanding, while at the same putting the trials and tribulations faced by women into perspective.

Gender equality has become a source of debate, with some people calling for reforms to policy so that women can be treated similar to their male counterparts. On the other hand of the debate, critics are pessimistic about gender equality. They do not see the need for it and feel that women and men are inherently different, and gender parity cannot be attained. Some individuals feel that women possess a unique identity that cannot be equated with that of the males.

In essence, women should not strive to attain gender equality. For example, Pascall and Lewis (2004), note that gender equality comes at a significant cost, most of which is borne by the female gender. They note that gender equality promotes the concept of unpaid care. In most societies, women act as the primacy caregiver. While this is often assumed to include caring for their children, what the reality shows is a direct contrast. Women are required to care for not only their own children but also elderly and disabled people under their care (Pascall & Lewis, 2004).

In the modern world, where gender equality has become more pervasive, women are finding that they not only need to offer care to the people under their care but also contribute to the economy by taking on a job to generate income. For instance, Balakrishnan and D'Lima (2008) note that women tend to not only put in longer hours at work, but also engage in unpaid work. The same sentiment is evident in other studies. For instance, studies show that more emphasis is now being placed on homework, which includes practices such as nutrition, hygiene and caring for children. The link between poverty, nutrition, and general well-being has reinforced the need to maintain hygiene.

Owing to this, women are engaging in home work without expecting reimbursement in return (Mikkola & Miles, 2007). Gender equality has not done away with the 'invisible work' done by women. On the contrary, women are now burdened by their commitment to both paid and unpaid work. In fact, these increased responsibilities have been shown to have an adverse effect on women's well-being. According to Balakrishnan and D'Lima (2008), the time-deficits brought on by the increased responsibilities and commitments tend to undermine women's overall psychological well-being.

Research has also shown that gender equality does not take into account the various differences that exist between men and their female counterparts. For example, Balakrishnan and D'Lima (2008) note that these two are "opposite sides of the same coin". This is particularly true because the physical and other internal qualities of men and women differ significantly.

Gender equality seeks to create policies that treat both men and women as equals. It is worth noting, that gender equality is founded on a system of principles that are unequal in nature. As a result, the manner in which they are interpreted by individuals often tends to differ. This has led to conflicts and other disagreements between the genders. Most importantly, gender equality has brought with it a new challenge in how gender equality policies are interpreted. For instance, women continue to trickle into the paid labor market while only a small proportion of the male population has transitioned into unpaid work (Pascall & Lewis, 2004).

Another reason why women do not require gender equality is evident in how it impacts fertility rates and child-bearing. As aforementioned, women and men are inherently dissimilar.

This is particularly evident in the area of reproduction. Child bearing tends to have an insignificant effect on a man's work. Conversely, women need to take time off their work to give birth and take care of their children, especially during the first few months of their lives. Owing to this, gender equality is now characterized by a reduced reluctance to have children, particularly among women. More women are choosing to either delay starting their own families or refusing to give birth due to their demanding careers. When they decide to have children, they do so in moderation. In essence, gender equality has negatively influenced fertility rates (Balakrishnan and D'Lima, 2008).

Gender equality does not provide answers to issues facing women. On the contrary, it tends to create problems. In a world, where gender parity has been awarded a lot of importance, women are being pressured to seek employment just like their male counterparts. This is particularly evident in women's exit from the workplace. A significant number of women are making the decision to become stay-at-home mothers due to the non-family friendly workplaces.

This decision is often accompanied by resentment, stemming either from her spouse or from herself (Balakrishnan and D'Lima, 2008). More complications brought on by gender equality are evident in the current state of romantic relationships. Gender equality has empowered women and turned them into independent individuals. As a result, they are often reluctant about entering relationships. When they do decide to get married, issues such as power struggles within the marriage and an increased focus on career, tend to contribute to high rates of divorce (Balakrishnan and D'Lima, 2008).

Another theme evident in literature is the comparison between career-oriented women, and stay-at-home mothers, in the context of child rearing. According to Paré and Dillaway (2005), stay-at-home mothers espouse the concept of 'tradition'. This is because she chooses to commit her time and energy to her children. The stay-at-home mother has been considered by many to be the poster child for true and good parenting. Paré and Dillaway (2005), also offer a definition of the career-oriented mother, which is a stark contrast to the traditional approach to parenting. According to them, the career-oriented woman is also referred to as the working mother because she commits more than 40 hours each week to her work, which takes her away from her home and her children. As a result, career-oriented women are often considered 'bad' mothers (Paré & Dillaway, 2005).

Numerous studies have commended women's decision to remain at home as opposed to pursuing their career interests. According to these studies, the overall well-being of a child is protected and improved when the mother is not working. Studies have underscored the importance of breastfeeding. The practice has been shown to make a significant contribution to neonatal well-being (Poduval, J. & Poduval, M., 2009). Career-oriented women are less likely to offer their infants the 6-month breastfeeding required for their development. This is because most labor policies and benefits require them to resume work three or four month's post-partum. Stay- at-home mothers, however, are able to breastfeed their children for 6 months and more, hence giving their children the proper initial care required.

According to Poduval J. and Poduval, M. (2009), children with working mothers are at an increased risk of developing obesity. Balakrishnan & D'Lima (2008) note that children with working parents are often unsupervised and this can drive them to take processed foods. Work demands career-oriented mothers to spend less time with their children. This reduces the access they have to freshly-prepared healthy meals. In fact, the children are often left to their own means, which means that they are unlikely to exercise choosing instead to remain indoors either watching TV or playing video games. In turn, they develop an increased dependence on junk foods, and a preference for a sedentary lifestyle.

Studies also point to the minimal time working mothers spend with their children. Balakrishnan & D'Lima (2008) observe that on average, working parents only spend 38.5 minutes each week engaged in a meaningful interaction with their children. This time is less compared to the immense amount of time children spend watching television. A similar conclusion is drawn by Poduval, J. & Poduval, M. (2009) who observe that the amount of time preschoolers spend with their mother reduces by 2 hours when they decide to start working. According to Boca, Pasqua and Suardi (2015), the little time mothers spend with their children tends to negatively influence their academic performance.

Besides obesity, reduced time spent with children reduces likelihood of breastfeeding. Research also shows that stay-at-home mothers tend to positively influence their children's outcomes because working is associated with a break-down in familial ties. Mothers are nowadays committed to their jobs, leaving little time to supervise their children's behavior and practices. This break-down in the familial unit tends to have an adverse effect on the overall society. For instance, Balakrishnan & D'Lima (2008) have come to the conclusion that increased crime rates can be traced back to the defragmented family system. Without their mother's supervision, children start to engage in delinquent and risky activities such as smoking, using drugs and alcohol. This defiant behavior often develops into full-blown crime as they get older.

Literature also points to the contribution working mothers make to their children. For instance, Boca, Pasqua and Suardi (2015) observe that the career-oriented woman is more likely to send her child to childcare at a significantly early age. As a result, her child's cognitive development and subsequent academic performance is positively influenced. Other studies have also recorded the important contribution financial stability has on children's well-being, particularly adolescents and teenagers. For example, Poduval, J. and Poduval, M (2009), note that working mothers are able to create an "enriching" home environment for their children. Furthermore, working mothers tend to experience little role-conflict, a factor that improves their relationship with their children. In this regard, their dedication to their careers is not detrimental to their children's well-being.

Literature on women's studies also provides insight into the reasons why women are considered weak. According to Khan (2011), women are often referred to as the 'fairer' and 'weaker' gender. This is because of the gender stereotypes that ascribe the man more masculine qualities while women are deemed sensitive and gullible. At the same time, the quality of weakness can also be attributed to long-held beliefs of what constitutes femininity. Women are expected to remain feminine in their mannerisms and appearance.

This means that they have to be well-groomed. Their behavior is often associated with qualities such as submissiveness. These characteristics often place them at an inferior position compared to the male gender. As a result, their femininity precludes them to being treated as weaklings. Wilde (2007) observes that women are not expected to show aggressiveness, lift weight, and engage in physically-exerting activities, such as sports. Once again, this is indicative of the impression that women are the weaker- gender.

The topic of power esteem schemes being used by women to overcome oppression is evident in literature. A significant amount of research has dedicated efforts to identifying the various ways through which women have managed to empower themselves, hence improving their self-esteem. Evidence indicates that positions of power are directly related to a person's self-esteem. Higher power directly contributes to an increase in self-esteem (Wojciszke and Struzynska-Kujalowicz, 2007).One of the ways women have managed to achieve this is through economic empowerment. They are taking on a more active role in the economy.

This includes seeking employment and engaging in entrepreneurial activities. The resulting effect has been an increased independence and a reduction in poverty rates (Dutta & Bhakta, 2017). Through economic empowerment, women's' employment rates have increased, allowing them to own assets and have an increased access to loans (Dandona, 2015). Additionally, data shows that women are pursuing political empowerment by increasing their participation in the political sphere. This has been associated with an increased level of "self-confidence and self-image" of the female gender (Dutta & Bhakta, 2017). In fact, Jalusic and Antic (2001), observe that political empowerment amongst women has led to the introduction of topics such as equal rights between the sexes.

There is also a significant amount of evidence pointing to women's empowerment through education. Education has allowed women to attain positions in top management where they can advocate for women's issues (Dutta & Bhakta, 2017). At the same time, evidence shows that an educated woman in countries such as India, tends to have more power than her uneducated counterparts (Dandona, 2015).

This literature review has provided more insight into the conditions of women in the society. Evidence shows that women are often considered weak because of the qualities associated with femininity and other reinforced stereotypes. At the same time, research shows that women do not need gender equality because it is accompanied by adverse effects such as unpaid work, reduced likelihood of getting into relationships, and low fertility. Research also shows that a child's upbringing can be adversely affected by a mother's decision to become career-oriented. However, there are studies showing the positive effects of such an approach to parenting. To improve their self-esteem, women are actively pursuing economic, political and education-generated forms of empowerment, which give them power. Proposed Methodology

The research question pertaining to this study aims to understand the negative aspects of reducing the gender gaps within companies (Balakrishnan&D'Lima, 2008). This article also questions how women are held accountable to the same standards as men, and this can be a sign of vast inequality. The reasoning behind this, is that women should be able to be who they are in the workplace, and not conform to mechanisms of men.

Qualitative research was the basis for this article, which is in the form of a literature review. The authors combined information from numerous sources to help prove her thesis that gender gaps pose a threat to women for several reasons. This is an example of concurrent validity, which is testing new data against old to see if the same results conclude. By analyzing books, articles, and official statistics, the authors wraps up with the idea that women's rights are violated due to the dynamics in the word equality (Balakrishnan&D'Lima, 2008).

It is no surprise that women and men think differently. Not only do they think differently, but society places perceived ideologies of each gender as well, making it difficult to implement solid changes. The authors had a wide range of information available via the internet, therefore they did not have to conduct other research methods for this study. Although, somewhat broad, many smaller revelations can be formed from this literature review. Descriptive statistics, concluded from the Global Monitoring Report were utilized in this research. The report was formed on the surveyed results resulting the year previous (Balakrishnan&D'Lima, 2008). Data collection is fulfilled partially with surveying, however, for a thorough analysis other outlets should explored.

Sampling and Participation

Unlike the literature review above, most experiments are dependent on actual field research. This requires the process of selecting populations to sample from along with getting those samples to participate. Each of these requirements were successfully accomplished in the study conducted by Boca, Pasqua, and Suardi. In this conclusive study, the authors utilized a pool of 40,000 survey results. This sample was pulled from education systems, primarily elementary, middle, and high schools. However, not every corresponding child met eligibility, since the study focused specifically on women who worked in their households.

The authors desired to show a positive correlation between working women and the negative consequences of educational success in their corresponding offspring (Boca, Pasqua, Suardi, 2015). Participation was granted freely by those who were asked to answer the question sets. After agreeance, the sample population was asked various questions that dealt with their role in the family, child care, and students outcomes. The vastness of the population, however, disabled the ability to conduct surveys in person. Technologies were utilized to collect these results, while the authors made inferences from the data. These studies are considered empirical findings due to the observational aspect of such rather a theoretical approach.

The sample population had to meet several requirements to be considered for the study. Such as being employed, Italian decent, and having at least two children. These aspects are significant to this study, because this sample allocates the retrieval of desired participants (Boca, Pasqua, Suradi, 2015). According to Boca et al. (2005): "The choice of the threshold value to define the "high" outcome was based on the distribution of grades". This quotation exemplifies the complexities of this study, which can be typical for large samples. More thresholds such as individual characteristics and circumstances should be examined. This is one limitation of large pools that are unable to be interviewed face- to-face, many details get left out that could yield different results in a study. Nonetheless, these findings are significant, because there is a positive correlation between the independent and dependent variables.


Instrumentation is essential for any conducted experiment. This device allows data to be measured. In the example above, surveys were utilized as an instrument in the study. Although, there are several other examples such as tests and questionnaires alike. These various instruments are completed both by researchers and subjects alike. Researchers must define the scale and participants are responsible for answering instrument based questions.

Instrumentation can be found in quantitative and qualitative research alike. Quantitative scales are formed in the formulas that statistics require for completion. For example, statistics and other mathematical equations aim to answer one question or another. These results could not be discovered without the proper math based theorem. Therefore, I would certainly say that this is a way in which quantitative research can use instruments to conclude information from. Regression is expressed in a statistical formula presented in the research of Mikkola and Miles.

To the average joe, these representations may be difficult to interpret. However, I encompass somewhat of a background in these subjects, and can interpret these values. The consistent annual GDP growth between genders= the degree of inequality of gender, along with the addition of "exogenous" variables that effect growth. Gender is not the only variable that can cause declines in economic development, however several inequalities to women. Considerations such as fertility, education, and the rule of the law can also help explain these inequalities and preconceived opinions on the roles of women. Not to mention, society plays a key role in this, women throughout history have been expected to stay home (Mikkola & Miles, 2007).

Data Collection

In most instances, data must be collected electronically through emailing and other means as well. These ideas were briefed upon in the above article by Boca, et al. They had a specific website that helped collect the survey results. The easiest way to collect data would certainly be to compare previous data already established on the topic. However, this is not always possible, especially in cases when questionable information is presented, or emerging ideas are being studied that have not yet been analyzed. Researchers cannot always depend on the internet to conduct all their data collections. However, when allocated, the internet can offer valid and convenient means of data collections. Khan exemplifies just that, in his article titled "Gendered Leisure: Are women more contained in travel for leisure"?.

Khan does not specifically create an instrument to retrieve results (collect data), rather make inferences from findings already known. Both forms of data collection are significant to revealing the truth of whatever the matter may be, while also yielding new discoveries on these topics as well. Attitude scales were analyzed in this article that revealed the feelings of women regarding the amount of time they have for leisure travel. Compared to men, women have much less time to enjoy these experiences (Khan, 2011). Although Khan did not conduct this research himself, the same results surface. Which is the mutual understandings that women experience inequality in several areas of life. These inequalities are not limited to only the workplace, rather the experiences in their lives equally (Khan, 2011). The step of data collection is very important to the overall study. Minor imperfections within the process can result in corrupt data.

Sometimes, with data collection, confidentiality forms must be appropriated to all participants. These forms signify that information revealed will not harm the individual at all nor will their names be revealed. This is especially true, when very personal information is requested of participants. Often, many sample populations are untrusting of researchers and embarrassed to speak on some things. This directly links to the ideas above about participation. These limitations are somewhat helped with these confidentiality forms, however, not completely resolved. Therefore, researchers must be extremely careful when administering the results formed from individual's surveys. Confidentiality violations can result in expensive legal fines, unhappy participants, and dishonesty affiliations from audiences.

Data Analysis & Interpretation

When analyzing data that is qualitative, which sums of most of the reviewed articles. Most often two steps take place interchangeably, which is the collecting and analyzing of data. This is true because even when we are collecting the results from surveys, etc., we are either affirming or disaffirming are hypothesis's. We are many inferences and conclusions already in our thoughts. This is not possible with mathematical equations performed by researchers.

For example, an equation demanding the solutions for variable X plus variable Y. However, conclusions are developed when the variables are decoded and computed to real outcomes. Mathematics and statistical formulas prove correlations through objective work. Whereas, qualitative methods lead towards more of a subjective make-up. This is true since information collected from interviews and surveys can never be tested and proven fully. Participants are not always honest, and results could vary from this.

When articles have numerous authors, different interpretations can occur, however, each flow with the other. People are diverse beings; therefore, they formulate and analyze situations and data in different ways. The allowance of having numerous authors and researchers enhances the uniqueness of the study and the fluctuating interpretations and comprehensions of the topic at hand. One author, for instance, may take account of geographical influences on the issue, and the other discuss situational factors. Dutta and Bhakta do just that in their article on woman empowerment for India.

Dutta, throughout the article discusses more of environmental and locational explanations to the inequality. Whereas, Bhakta's work discusses individualistic variables that play a key role in inequality. Both authors desire to accomplish the goal of showing audiences how women in India need empowerment. The authors desire to give a voice to the oppressed voices of the women from this country. Indian women, along with women throughout the world undergo inequalities in the workplace, with family, and in life in general (Dutta & Bhaktn, 2017).

Although each author examines the topics from different perspectives, their aim is coherent. Interpretations of data can vary, but as long as the overall conclusions match, this is acceptable. The inclusion of numerous interpretations can help the authenticity and overall credibility to a study. Audiences can also have a more thorough representation of the truth to add.

Significance of this Study

Women's rights should be a topic of concern for all. Especially, due to the high degree of inequality that still follows women even in modern days. As we can draw from this analysis, injustices occur in and outside of work. Women are objectified and mistreated in several faucets of life. Whether it be in the inability to travel for leisure (Khan, 2011), participate in sports (Wilde, 2007), or have equal political power to men (Jalusic & Antic, 2001).

These inequalities reveal the nations perceived thoughts and images of women. The data revealed to us through many of these studies have painted a clear picture of how women are oppressed. Not to mention issues of intersectionality as explained by Dutta and Bhakta. Intersectionality is dual oppressions following an individual For Indian women, they have the first oppression of being a minority and the second of gender (Dutta & Bhakta, 2017). These studies are increasingly significant to the understanding of our society as a whole. By understanding where women stand in society, we can view shortcomings in the efforts for total gender equality. Each study is significant to the realizations that women are unequal in many faucets of life.


Women are not equal to men in several dimensions. As expressed in several articles that I analyzed. These oppressions are caused by many circumstances both historical, societal, and cultural. Woman contribute unique thoughts and ideas, however, are not always offered the opportunity to voice them. This negatively effects the progress of women and the economy alike. If granted equal opportunities, who knows what women could add to the world. Future Research

The future research of these issues will be extremely interesting. I wish we could simply fast forward to this time to see if equality ever prevails. I feel the research of several fields should be examined to help show the realms of the marginalization's, I also advise those conducting future research in these issues to create valid information pertaining to the subject while showcasing the influences as well.


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  10. Paré, E. R. & Dillaway, H. (2005). "Staying at home" versus "working": A call for broader conceptualizations of parenthood and paid work. Michigan Family Review. 10:66-87.
  11. Pascall, G. & Lewis, J. (2004). Emerging gender regimes and policies for gender equality in a wider Europe. Journal of Social Policy. 33(3):373-94.
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  14. Wilde, K. (2007). Women in sport: Gender stereotypes in the past and present. Barbara Roberts Memorial Award. [Dissertation]. Athabasca: Women's & Gender Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies.

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A Study on the Harmful Effects of Marginalizing Women and Gender Inequality. (2023, May 15). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-study-on-the-harmful-effects-of-marginalizing-women-and-gender-inequality/

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