Back to: Gender, School and Society- Unit 2
According to Gunn (2018),
“Equality is the provision of equal treatment, access, and opportunity to resources and opportunities. Essentially, everyone gets the same thing, regardless of where they come from or what needs they might have.”
Equality ensures that every student has equal access to a high-quality education regardless of their social background. It also ensures that all students are accountable to the same standards and objectives without taking into account their circumstances, abilities, or experiences. However, in inequality, there may be an unequal distribution of the same.
Discrimination Based on Gender
Gender is one of the most common ways of organizing the social life of human beings. Parents assume boys and girls to be different ever since infancy. In the 1970s, the feminists viewed can the notion of gender as a ‘construct’. Hence, Gender can be regarded as a socially constructed concept used to differentiate men and women and assign them different roles and responsibilities, and so on. The differentiation of roles between men and women may lead individuals to feel pressured as they may not be able to do things according to their personal preferences. In many professional fields, there is a huge pay gap between men and women. Even when they may be doing the same work, men get paid more. This can cause frustration among women and for a long time, there has been a demand for equal pay. In their work field, men are the more popular choice when it comes to promotions than women. This leads women to not get paid for their worth and to ensure equality the government must develop facilities that can offer equal treatment to individuals of all genders.
Discrimination Based on Caste
Caste in social stratification is based on the transmission of lifestyle, hereditary, and endogamy that involves a hierarchy of status, occupation, and customary social practice of exclusion that revolves around purity. In ancient India, there existed a practice called ‘untouchability’. Individuals who belonged to low caste were not allowed to enter temples and were treated with discrimination. They were considered to be impure and therefore, regarded as untouchables. It also involves the ranking of individuals and groups on a social hierarchy. This ranking depends on the honor, prestige, wealth, and property held by an individual or group in society. In social stratification, inequality is based entirely on social factors and not on biological factors. Social stratification is different in every society. For instance, the Aryan society was segregated into the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras.
Discrimination Based on Religion
Religious stratification is one of the most common forms of social stratification. Stronger religious communities hold power and dominance over relatively weaker communities which arises conflict and communal disturbance in society. It leads to social problems such as communal conflict, religious hate crimes, differences of opinion, and violence that would not be present had there been no religious stratification in the society. This segregation leads to inequality in rewards and opportunities and the discrimination of minorities.
Discrimination based on gender, caste, and religion can all be referred to as a social construction. Social construction refers to the knowledge created and assumed by social institutions rather than possessing any inherent truth on their own.