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.

Tiny Voices Defy Child Marriage in Yemen

An old cultural practice promotes poverty and illiteracy
Robert F. Worth
July 2, 2008

Why is Zimbabwe Overlooked By SA's Sunshine Advocates?

Violations of women's rights in Africa is not confined to the case of the Nigerian Amina Lawal
September 26, 2003

Tough Struggle at Sea

Women working alongside men on board ships face discrimination and sexual harassment
September 30, 2003

Europe’s Old Boys Need to Make Way for Women

Women are still rare among top political or corporate leaders
Margot Wallström
June 9, 2008

Baby Bust!

Some governments intrude on family planning
Kerry Howley
June 18, 2008