Gender or sex based discrimination means treating a person adversely based solely on her sex. There are many types of discrimination based on sex or gender, and can range in gravity from workplace discrimination to violent crime. Gender discrimination is still a wide spread problem. In the U.S. still earn less than men for the same work. On a global scale, women are still the victims of brutal violence, abuse and rape.
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Sexism and gender discrimination are more common in patriarchal societies. The term patriarchy refers to a society where men are granted the majority of social and political power. When thought of in this way, the cause of gender discrimination has to do with unequal power, where men granted more power than women. Although this is true in most societies, those that are more patriarchal tend to have greater violations of women's' rights.
Discrimination based on gender leads to inequality and harassment in the workplace, schools, in the justice system and in other areas of society. Discrimination against women leads to violations of women's rights including access to reproductive health, such as birth control and secure abortions. Discrimination leads to violence against women, including sexual violence and rape, as well as economic inequality.
Gender discrimination doesn't just hurt women. People who identify as transgender have a gender identity that does not match the sex that they were born with. Transgender people also face gender discrimination. Like women this can include a wide range of discriminatory acts, from unequal treatment and harassment in the workplace to violence and hate crimes (References 5).
Policy solutions are ways to enforce laws and make those who commit discrimination responsible for their actions. For instance, the International Violence Against Women Act is an effort by the U.S. to deal with gender discrimination on a global scale. Lobbying, grassroots political organising and class action lawsuits are some of the ways that groups work to change policy. When direct policy solutions are not possible, there are many other tactics that can be used to fight gender discrimination. These can include direct mass actions such as marches, rallies, pickets and civil disobedience.
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- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Sex-Based Discrimination
- Boston.com: Violence against women is a global struggle
- Violence is not out culture: Patriarchy and violence against women exist in all societies
- National Organization for Women: Frequently Asked Questions
- Human Rights Campaign: How Do Transgender People Suffer from Discrimination?