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.

China Considers Relaxing One-Child Policy

China is confident about controlling a baby boom
Tania Branigan
March 24, 2011

Women's Rights in Afghanistan Lose Steam

Gender equality remains a distant dream for women in rural Afghanistan
Tom A. Peter
March 9, 2011

Hear Them Roar

Women are today’s shakers and movers
Rana Foroohar
April 16, 2010

Gendercide: The World Wide War on Baby Girls

Skewed sex ratios pose a problem across Asia
March 5, 2010

Globalization's Ugly Side: Sex Slavery

The chance to improve one’s life lures the unwitting and poor into the sex trade
John Boudreau
June 11, 2009