Gender Discrimination in the Underdeveloped World.

Essay by bklyneliteUniversity, Bachelor's November 2005

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Women across the globe experience gender discrimination in varied forms and cultural levels, and although gender equality is becoming stronger by the decade, this social disparity is still greatly in control of cultural habits around the world, especially in Africa, the Middle East and oriental Asian nations such as China. "Discrimination against girls and women in the developing world is a devastating reality. It results in millions of individual tragedies, which add up to lost potential for entire countries." (Mullins, 1) International studies have shown there is a direct link between economic growth and a countries attitude towards women, and this should be expected because if half of the society suffers so will the whole. Practices such as female gender mutilation (FGM) which is customary in some cultures in North Africa, affect nearly 2 million girls a year. This and recent high levels of female infanticide in China are primary examples of the social effects of gender discrimination in the developing world.

Gender prejudice exists even in nations where gender equality is at its highest level, such as North America and Europe, but in many societies in Africa and Asia, the discrimination often fatally affects the female population.

In developed countries girls grow up encouraged to feel equal to boys in every way. They have much more similar opportunities, dreams, and objectives to boys. In developing countries girls are taught that women are inferior to men, and therefore will have to submit to male domination. This shows that the causes for gender discrimination are solely perpetuated discriminatory beliefs taught from generation to generation.

In Africa a woman's right to decide with whom, when and with what protection she wishes to have sex, is denied. This has resulted in the spreading of AIDS and other STD's across the continent. The average...