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

Middle East Eye
, 26 May 2016
School policies pit gender equality against religious belief
Zofeen Ebrahim and Liz Ford
The Guardian
, 27 January 2016
Family planning is key to sustainable development, poverty reduction and economic growth
Marilen J. Danguilan
Asia Sentinel
, 13 January 2016
Health officials estimate 70 percent of pregnancies are terminated because parents cannot afford children
Aileen Clarke
National Geographic
, 30 November 2015
Countries with aging populations will rethink standards on work, social insurance and pensions
Azadeh Moaveni
The New York Times
, 24 November 2015
Women joined brigades expected to intimidate neighbors and repeatedly married jihadists
Bloomberg Business
, 29 October 2015
The announcement lifted stock prices for foreign firms that make baby products

More On Europe

Subsidies to encourage labor reforms won’t protect India’s textile industry from onslaught of automation trends
In a wide-ranging interview with YaleGlobal’s Nayan Chanda, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director General of the World Health Organization discussed various challenges facing the world. She expressed guarded optimism about the climate change summit in Paris but was concerned about the growing economic inequality in the developed world and rising anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe. Brudtland was one of the intended target of Norwegian anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Behring Breivik who killed dozens of socialist youth in July 2011.
US spends lots on health care than Scandinavian nations with less-than-satisfactory outcomes
Researchers inject carbon dioxide into large wells in Iceland that pass through basaltic lava - turning the gas into mineralized rocks