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.

Childless by Choice

More people decide against having children, presenting quandaries for governments and the elderly
Joseph Chamie, Barry Mirkin
March 2, 2012

People on the Move – Part II

Immigration policies that promote inequality and restrict integration weaken South Korea
Steven Borowiec
June 16, 2011

Move Over US Soaps, Telenovelas Seduce the Globe

Replacing soap operas with news and talk shows, the US loses some soft power
Susan Froetschel
June 1, 2010

The Global Abortion Bind

A woman’s right to choose gives way to sex-selection abortions and dangerous gender imbalances
Joseph Chamie
May 29, 2008

Human Trafficking Casts Shadow on Globalization

Traffickers reap huge profits at the expense of society's most vulnerable
Michele A. Clark
April 23, 2003

Prime Minister Abe’s New Clothes

Halfhearted apologies for past behavior can raise questions about Japan’s present and future role
Alexis Dudden
March 28, 2007

No Handshake Exemption for Muslim Students, Swiss Canton Rules

School policies pit gender equality against religious belief
May 26, 2016

Family Planning Is “Critical Link" in Eradicating Poverty

Family planning is key to sustainable development, poverty reduction and economic growth
Zofeen Ebrahim and Liz Ford
January 27, 2016

Filipino Catholic Church Continues to Fight Family Planning

Health officials estimate 70 percent of pregnancies are terminated because parents cannot afford children
Marilen J. Danguilan
January 13, 2016

How the One-Child Policy Changed China

Countries with aging populations will rethink standards on work, social insurance and pensions
Aileen Clarke
November 30, 2015

ISIS Wives and Enforcers in Syria Recount Collaboration, Anguish and Escape

Women joined brigades expected to intimidate neighbors and repeatedly married jihadists
Azadeh Moaveni
November 24, 2015