Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women, explains the World Health Organization. The distinct roles, reinforced by legal systems and religion, have historically given rise to gender inequalities not only in health care but with education and employment opportunities. Globalization has challenged the most archaic perceptions of gender roles through books, films and other media; new technologies in satellite television and the internet; policies of multinational corporations and tourism. Human rights groups reach across borders to lend support and inspiration to those in other lands; the United Nations and other international target gender equality as a major goal.

Recently in YaleGlobal

Joseph Chamie and Barry Mirkin
, 28 October 2014
Wild variation in regulations worldwide ensure that surrogacy is both human right and exploitation
Marisol Ruiz
, 19 August 2014
Border crises flare as government policies neglect inequality, family planning and gender mainstreaming
Amrita Nandy
, 13 May 2014
Biological parenthood is valued over all other forms – childlessness should be de-stigmatized
Barry Mirkin
, 3 April 2014
Governments must prepare for diverse rates of fertility, urbanization and aging population – all happening simultaneously
Joseph Chamie
, 6 March 2014
After centuries of male dominance in higher education, women outnumber men in attendance, graduation rates
Joseph Chamie
, 7 January 2014
China’s one-child policy lifted living standards, but set a hard-to- reverse trend of demographic decline

In the News

David Loyn
BBC News
, 10 July 2015
Both sides are divided; distrust runs high
María Elena Candia
Foreign Policy
, 27 March 2015
Maduro administration continues unsustainable government spending
Salil Tripathi
, 6 March 2015
Indian government’s attempt to block the film reinforces the message
Scott Berinato
Harvard Business Review
, 13 February 2015
In sea of credit-card data, researcher identifies most users with dates, locations of four purchases
Patti Waldmeir
Financial Times
, 16 January 2015
China’s one-child policy reduced poverty, keeping the population close to 1.2 billion by 2000
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World Economic Forum
, 20 November 2014
Inequality in wages, work, leadership lingers for women around the globe

More On Gender

Infrastructure investment could help ease a slowdown in China’s economy
Hadiza Bala Usman, founder of the #BringBackOurGirls movement, discusses her work responding to the abduction of more than 300 girls by extremists in northern Nigeria, the limited government response and what more can be done. This video is part of the Yale Global Perspectives series. To learn more about Yale and the World, visit
Asian nations respond to these shifting demographics, combining modern elements of health care with traditional perspectives.
Labor laws go unenforced in factories making apparel for western consumers; workers who complain about safety violations are targeted