Gender As A Social Construct; Gender Roles, Gender Bias, and Educational Practice
Gender equality is not a modern issue, it has been in existence since decades. Due to the lack of opportunities given to women, gender roles have often been an issue that one cannot neglect while being a member of the society. Women are often labelled to be the weaker sections of the society who are stereotypically looked upon as the weaker gender who do not have the same amount of strength as men. The inequality towards women has been inherited from ancient times in the modern era. Before understanding gender as a social construct, it is important to understand what gender means. Gender refers to the distinction made between individuals as boys and girls or male and female socially which proves that gender is not biologically inherited but instead, it is constructed socially.
The distinction between male and female is clearly visible in the roles that are given to each gender in the society which seems to be dynamic and their status which can either be categorised as stronger or weaker. Even though the dynamic nature of gender roles may enable the roles to be different for each gender in different parts of the world and different cultures or different time periods, it nonetheless exists.
Practices Related To Gender Discrimination and Inequality
1. Gender Roles: These roles refer to the roles that are imparted according to certain norms and standards by the society to men and women.
2. Gender Socialisation: Starting from birth, an individual is subject to gender socialisation. As such, people always tend to socialise with men differently than they socialise with women.
3. Gender Discrimination: Gender discrimination can be considered as a result of the conditions that encourage the creation of stereotypical gender roles as well as the gender itself.
4. Occupation Sexism: Even in the workplace, where both men and women are present, various forms of discriminatory practices may occur depending upon the gender roles.
5. Gender Stereotypes: Gender stereotypes are the preconceptions of male and female which gives them their value by society. In the road to gender inequality, gender stereotypes are regarded as an obstruction that causes an interference.
Gender Bias In Education
1. Outcasts: Since society creates a stereotype for both genders, if any student does not fit this stereotype, they may face problems with their peers as well as their teachers because they do not match the feminine or masculine role the society has constructed for them.
2. Gender Biassed Classroom: In the classroom, the boys are usually regarded as the ones who are naughty and make noise whereas girls are considered to be quiet and sincere.
3. Expectation of Teachers: In today’s society, teachers still expect less from girls than they do from boys.
4. Discrimination Against Girls: Compared to guys, girls are subject to relatively lesser criticisms and comments from the teacher. This discrimination can also be seen in how the teacher poses easier questions to the girls.
5. Gender Bias Impact: Boys are made to believe that their gender is responsible for their intelligence in subjects like maths and science while girls are led to believe that their hard work results in success and not their innate abilities.
Educational Practices To Combat Gender Discrimination
1. The teacher should treat all the students equally keeping aside all sorts of gender stereotypes.
2. The teacher can discuss ongoing gender issues and problems by engaging the students in problem solving sessions.
3. The teacher should encourage students to respect each and every gender.
4. Equal responsibilities and criticism must be imparted to students by the teacher regardless of their gender.
5. The teacher should facilitate various programs related to gender issues to increase awareness on the same.
These are the various issues in which a teacher can play an influential role in reducing issues related to gender as a social construct.