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.

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More On Gender

Enduring policies could emerge after India invites Obama to famed Republic Day parade
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.