The United Nations and the Challenges in Fighting Gender Inequality in Buea
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There is a saying, “gender is a fluid concept that shifts over time and place” (Mavin and Grandy, 2012: 219). With the changes of social and economic forces, the number of female members is increasing in the labor market (Omar and Davidson, 2001). It shows that gender and management are attractive and large topic among the public. Regardless of the expansion of women in the workplace, there is still a problem that women are underrepresented at the top of organizations (Alvesson and Billing, 2009).
In addition, the structure of gender also has an impact on organizational decisions about selecting higher level managers. Women face greater challenges compared to men. Meanwhile, there are more barriers that prevent them from entering high positions in organizations.
For example, Brindley (2005) points out that the attitudes toward risk are different between females and males. Men are more likely to make risky judgments than women. Therefore, to understand the interaction between gender and management, as well as the factors that affect gender equality in non-profit organizations will be the main issues of this study.
In this study, gender equality is viewed as one of the connections between gender and management. The significance of gender equality is extremely evident in the labor market, not only to individuals and organizations but also to the society.
For instance, people will feel respected when they are equally treated by organizations. Hence, their job satisfaction will be increased, which encourages them to work hard, achieve effectiveness as well as make a performance in the workplace (Drew, 2002; Atewologun and Singh, 2010).
As for organizations, gender equality can increase productivity by making full use of the characteristics of both genders. As a result, organization will obtain substantial profits from it (Mählck and Thaver, 2010).
Last but not least, to some extent, the situation of women in the workplace also reflects the economics.
To put it simply, women in poor countries frequently tolerate unequal treatments, whereas the situation of women in rich countries is different because they are given opportunities to obtain jobs or positions by comparing to low-income countries (Pine et al., 2010).
The importance of gender equality cannot be neglected when we discuss gender and management. However, achieving gender equality within a whole society is not easy, both organizations and other external pressures play significant roles in promoting it (Williams et al., 2010).
Our definition for gender inequality arises from reading of various social sciences literature, including economics: it manifests as hierarchical genders relations, with men above women, and women being regarded as inferior and less valuable solely by virtue of their sex.
Although the literature predominantly focuses on women we recognize that men in less developed countries also suffer from behaviors and policies that foster hierarchical gender relations.
Gender hierarchy is manifested in family relationships, inheritance laws and customs; valuations of women’s work and its general invisibility; and the power to make decisions in society, the family, work place, religious and other cultural institutions.
It is apparent in the relative opportunities available to women and girls for development, education, health and nutrition and in the pattern of violence between the sexes. Such hierarchy is generally accepted by both genders, and it is not normally questioned within its cultural context.
Gender equality, in contrast, is expressed in attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and policies that reflect an equal valuing and provision of opportunities for both genders. Further definitions of gender inequality can be found in United Nations declarations of human rights beginning in 1948.
In 1979, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. As of June 2003 174 countries – 90% of the UN members – are party to the convention.
The convention defines discrimination as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex….in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” Lack of discrimination in this sense could be seen as equal status between genders.
As opposed to inter-gender power hierarchy or a separatism where everyone is self-interested and autonomous, in gender equality all individuals hold a similar level of power and treat other people with respect and consideration, regardless of their sex (Nelson and England, 2002).
Our framework for understanding gender relationships therefore sees them as falling along a spectrum, with gender power hierarchy and restrictions at one end and equal opportunities and equal value for both sexes at the other. We will next gather statistical data across the nations to get a perspective on the economic significance and nature of gender hierarchy in today’s world. Where possible we also report the changes over time.
Although the literature exploring such a relationship between the freedoms accorded women and development is still small, interest in this area is growing.
Those in grass root development work generally acknowledge the importance of the status of women in development, believing that these restrictions on freedoms are directly counterproductive for development.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals, for example, include gender issues among the top priorities. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank have also done extensive research on gender and development.
Those writing in the feminist economics tradition challenge the general invisibility of gender in economic studies and urge that it be considered in order to avoid further biased results (Ferber and Nelson 2003).
Emphasizing efficiency at the cost of equity, economists shy away from interpersonal utility comparisons. Yet, if the welfare of women is important, we need to identify the separate constraints on women in order to assess how lifting them affects economic choice and development.
Regardless of all the efforts undertaken by the United Nation and its partners to foster Gender Equality in Buea, the entire concept still remains mythical and far-fetched.
The issue of Gender Inequality is still highly practiced in the community of Buea. Thus,the researcher seeks to find out the causes of Gender Inequality in Buea and what can be done to completely eradicate or limit the practice of Gender Inequality within theBuea community.
- What are the measures taken by the UN and partners in promoting gender equality in Buea?
- What are the causes of gender inequality in Buea?
- What are some of the challenges faced in the implementation of gender equality in Buea?
- To identify various measures put in place by the UN to promote gender equality in Buea.
- To examine the causes of gender inequality in Buea.
- To evaluate some of the challenges faced in promoting gender equality.
The research work is guided by the following hypotheses:
- There are significant measures taken by UN and partners in promoting Gender Equality in Buea
- To a greater extent, cultural beliefs, gender stereotypes and lack of financial empowerment has led to women not exercising their full potential.
- There are many challenges faced in the implementation of Gender Equality in Buea
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