Gender Stratification In The United States

729 Words3 Pages
It goes without saying that throughout society there exists varying degrees of gender stratification. Although many have attempted to understand why this difference between the distribution of property, power and prestige exists amongst genders, the answer is still somewhat ambiguous. Although the United States isn’t a perfect example of equality amongst genders, compared to a majority of nations across the globe, its conditions for both genders are relatively similar. One country notorious for its massive discrepancy in terms of access to property, power and prestige between genders is Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia and a number of Middle Eastern countries, there exists a great deal of gender stratification. According to the 2008 Human Rights…show more content…
Women are denied many basic human rights, along with the ability to partake in many activities that us as Westerners would consider to be rights, simply because of their gender. The most infamous example is Saudi’s ban on women driving cars. This takes away a woman’s independence and therefore makes her further dependent on males. The stratification doesn’t stop there however; the enrollment in academic institutions is strictly contingent on the approval of the male guardians. This means women can be denied the basic right to an education if their male guardian so chooses, with no ability to protest. Women are then further marginalized in the work force. According to the Saudi labor code, “women shall work in all fields suitable to their nature.” Although this law is vague in terms of what these fields are, it is clear that this piece of legislation further restricts women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Women also have severe restrictions on their legal rights. Females in Saudi Arabia must be granted permission from their male guardian in order to sue or take a case to court. This makes it virtually impossible to prevent domestic abuse, as the perpetrator is the one who must grant permission to get the legal procedures started. This puts women at a seriously compromised and defensively position creating further stratification between males and…show more content…
Men and women in the US have equal rights in terms of driving and taking cases to court. As for education, in the US, colleges have a higher enrollment of females than males, this is far from Saudi Arabia where many women remain with minimal levels of education as result of their male dominated society. The one area where the two countries have a slight similarity is in the work force. Women in Saudi Arabia are limited to positions that are suitable to their nature. In the United States women and men generally pursue undergraduate degrees in different fields which results in the majority of men a women commonly working in different professions and fields. This is one of the explanations for the supposed “wage gap” in the United States. Another example gender stratification in the US workforce comes from the “CEO Power Gap” and the “glass ceiling”. Both of these concepts indicate that women have historically had difficulties obtaining the highest levels of management within the corporate world. In spite of all of this, it is clear the conditions for women in the United States are significantly better than those for women in Saudi Arabia. The concept of femininity in Saudi Arabia is one of independence and inferiority to the superior and dominant idea of masculinity within the nation. This is simply not the case, especially to that degree, in the United
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