Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations Name Institution Gender Stratification and Women in Developing Nations Gender stratification refers to the situation where a certain gender group experiences unequal access or benefit to basic and valuable social resources or amenities. Gender stratification in developing nations is most evident in equal rights with reference to technical knowledge, employment or inheritance. This research paper seeks to discuss the basis where gender stratification affecting women in developing nations originates and the reasons as to why it continues to prevail in these developing countries.Discussion will identify the various ways in which women in developing countries face in their day to day life. Gender stratification and discrimination against women including girls in most developing countries usually starts during conception. This aspect is common in regions such as South Asia and India.

In many parts of South Asia and India, many societies have a strong preference for the boy child as compared to the girl child. In these societies, girls are considered as an economic burden to a family because of the little economic contribution girls have to a family and costly dowry expenses (UNFPA, 2005).In South Asia, when a bride is unable to provide the financial dowry demands, the bride is subjected to harassment and torture by the family of the groom. According to estimates by UNFPA, about 5000 women were burnt to death and crimes disguised as accidents in the kitchen because of their insufficient dowry (Viachova & Biason, 2005). Almost 7000 deaths reported in 2005 in India and Pakistan alone were identified as dowry related deaths a majority of victims being aged ranging from 15-34 (8).Over 30% of pregnancies in the Republic of Korea were terminated because they were identified as female fetuses.

In contrast, 90% of pregnancies in the country which were identified as male fetuses were allowed to normal birth (UN General Assembly, n. d). Gender stratification research in China identified the ratio of boys to girls as 119:100 according to the 2000 China’s census (Viachova & Biason, 2005). Gender stratification in terms of female genital mutilation is common in African developing countries such as Kenya.Other regions include Asian countries and the Middle East.

The practice of FGM is done on the basis of economic and sociocultural reasons. Women in these developing country regions are subjected to FGM as an indication of family honor. It is believed that FGM is an insurance of virginity in a woman until she is married. Women who stand against this cultural activity are usually stigmatized in the society because social integration in societies practicing this culture in developing countries is use the practice as a justification for integration of the society (UNFPA, n.

). A study conducted in Egypt in the year 2005 found 97% of women aged 15-49 have been subjected to FGM. The same trend is true in Mali with 92% in 2006, 77% in Burkina Faso, and 90% in North Sudan (UNICEF, 2005). Sexual and physical abuse against women and girls in developing nations is a concern with regards to gender stratification.

A study carried out in women in the sub-Saharan region of Africa found that women and girls fear partner abuse and violence which stopped them to say “no” to forced unprotected sex.In Jamaica, the Jamaica reproductive Health Survey identified approximately 20% of women aged 15-19 years sexually violated through forced sex by their partners (Thomas, 2006). A treatment center in Nigeria recorded that 15% of its female patient population required STI treatment due to forced unprotected sex. Gender stratification and women issues studies in South Africa found that one in four men have forced women to have sex with them against their will. Case study: violence against women in NigeriaA report describing the situation of violence against women in Nigeria reveals that there is a high level of this gender based violence against women (Afrol News, 2007). A report by Amnesty International (2005) reports that more than a third of women in Nigeria are subjects to either sexual, physical, or psychological violence crimes against them by their fathers, partners, or husbands.

According to a survey by Effah and Project Alert (2001) on violence on women in Nigeria, interviews on women in markets, young women, and school girls shows that of the 64. % of this affirm to experience beating by a husband or boyfriend. Survey report reveal that methods of violence and women abuse in Nigeria range from a husband or male family member shouting at a partner or female child (93%), kicking or punching (40%), and pushing or slapping (77%). Report further shows that many of these Nigerian women do not understand that these are violence crime against them because they accept them as normal behaviors (Effah and Project Alert (2001).

Husband beat their wives who they regard as children weak to indiscipline, which is the responsibility of the husbands or men to instill discipline in them. The factors contributing to this situation are from the fact that most women in Nigeria depend on the men economically. The social structure of Nigerian communities is patriarchal. This makes a woman in the Nigerian society as subordinate, and vulnerable to violence against them. The regard of gender violence against women in Nigeria in the homestead is that belonging to a private sphere, which has protection from external scrutiny.The factor of stigma on violence subjects is a contributing element that reinforces silence against these crimes rather than standing up against the perpetrators of these crimes on women in Nigeria (AfrolNews, 2007).

In Kenya, ethnic groups such as the Luo, Kamba, Kikuyu and Luhya who dominate allow only men to inherit land or other property. When a husband dies, the sons have the right to inherit the land and not the daughters among these groups. Women in Kenya lose land because they do have the capacity to fight back because of these cultural practices.Gender stratification with reference to women is equally prevalent in the employment sector.

In developing countries, women are outnumbered in authority, power and their earning. In cases where the status of employment is equal to that of men in a firm, women do a majority of the work at home. The double responsibility makes women subordinates both at the economic and social structure. Murdock and White (1969) notes that many societies classify responsibilities on the basis of gender. According to Murdock and White (1969), tasks assigned to men were regarded as valuable even when they were slightly similar to those assigned to women.In summary gender stratification and women is a crucial issue that continues to affect women in developing states as they struggle to overcome its challenges.

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