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Account for the continued existence of gender inequalities at work

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1. Account for the continued existence of gender inequalities at work Despite the laws and movements, women still do not enjoy equality in the workplace, in position or wages. In this essay I will discuss the origins of gender inequality in an effort to find out where this was first instigated. Initially I will talk about the historical motives of gender inequality and the work of the earlier women's movements and campaigns for equal rights in the early 1900's. I will then discuss various feminist theories of gender inequality, including recent government statistics. Finally I will conclude with my own viewpoints on gender inequality in the workplace in an attempt to discover why it continues to exist today. Ann Oakley 1981(cited in Haralambos and Holborn) gave a historical analysis of the changing role in society for women from before the industrial revolution in the 19th century to the 1970's housewife. Oakley says that men and women and also the children of the working class were employed in the factories. 1819 saw the beginning of the factory act that gradually restricted child labour. From 1841 to 1914 (the beginning of World War 1) ...read more.


However in countries such as France, Britain and Germany, Women have been known to leave the workforce to start a family only to return in later years, this is known as the 'M' curve. (Politics & Sexual Equality1987) Women in work i.e. paid employment has recently increased, between 1971 and 1997 the percentage of women in work has increased so that women have now caught up with men in the labour market.(EOC briefings, work and parenting1997) The main reason for this is that more and more married women are going outside the home to work, although lone mother's statistics have dropped (Hood 1997) 4. Barron and Norris (Haralambos and Holborn2000) argued that there are 2 not 1 labour market as outlined below: Primary labour market is made up from good salaries, job security, good working conditions and good promotion prospects; secondary labour market is made up from lower paid jobs, less job security, lower working conditions and less opportunities of job promotion. These work side by side but it is near impossible for someone from the secondary labour market to be promoted to the primary labour market. Primary sector workers include professionals and managerial, highly skilled manual workers, secondary include unskilled and semi skilled workers manual and non manual workers. ...read more.


Basically it looks to me like another way for the government rigging the unemployment benefit statistics to look as though there are more women in employment than there actually is. Unfortunately I can only account here for some of the reasons I believe exist for the continued gender inequality in the workplace today, in my remit of 2000 words it would be impossible to cover everything. It is, I feel significant and ironic that it had to be a woman, Ann Oakley, who undertook the first ever study on women and housework, she was incidentally told by her boss (probably a man) 'to go away and come back with a proper topic'. (Harolambos and Holborn 2000)) In my research for this assignment I have to confess to feeling at times more than a little angry at the blatant and visible discrimination of women in the workplace down through the years. Gender equality in the workplace is still a myth that I personally believe will not be solved in the immediate future, although it has certainly improved in past few decades. I acknowledge that men have been somewhat discriminated against also but nowhere near the same level that women have been and not for such a long period of time. In an ideal world men and women would share equal rights, equal pay and equal status in all societies. ...read more.

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