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Social psychology is a social discipline. It deals with the study of interactions of individuals. The discipline focuses mainly on how social interactions influence behaviors, feelings and attitudes. Through interactions, people tend to adopt new ways of life. Culture plays a prominent role in influencing people’s behavior and attitudes. Culture forms a crucial part of every individual. Negative cultures influence people badly and individuals develop unpleasant perceptions. Cultural issues relate with serious problems in the modern society. Cultural interactions are the cause of gender issues. The problem poses a challenge to many nations in the world.
Gender refers to the societal definition of a man and woman, boy and a girl. Different societies have different definitions of men and women. The discrepancies emerge due to the social interactions in the community. The culture presents diverse roles for men and women. The society expects a man or a woman to behave in a certain way. The society has different expectations from males, as well as from the females because of their genders. In many societies, men enjoy a superior position as compared to women. The society divides the roles on the basis of sex. Many societies argue that allocation of duties is biological and not cultural. Women follow instructions without questioning. Consequently, the patriarchal system dominates in the societies.
Gender discrimination in the United States has been there for a long time despite the fact that the United States belongs to the most developed countries. Gender discrimination has affected women in their lives. It has become difficult for women to progress due to this challenge. Education and employment sectors in the United States of America have faced this challenge. There have been great attempts to cope with the situations of discrimination, but there is still no complete success. The cause of the challenge consists in the cultural differences. This burning issue needs to be addressed with all possible means.
Historical and Legal Decisions that Make Gender Differences a Crucial Issue in the United States
Women face a lot of discrimination due to their gender differences with men. The legal system in the United States has addressed the issue. It is unfair to discriminate a person on the basis of gender. Work place discrimination is one of the common forms of gender discrimination. The legal system has acted in favor of the complainants in the cases. In the year 2011, court ruled in favor of a Georgian woman who got fired because of changing her sex. The judges argued that the rights of every individual must be protected in the constitution of the land. Individuals should not be discriminated on the basis of sex. This was one of the most prominent legal decisions to cope with the challenge of sex discrimination.
There has been discrimination of women by Wal-Mart Company. Many female workers sued the Wal-Mart company on allegations of discrimination. Women faced discrimination in the workplace. They did not get equal pay and promotion opportunities as compared to their male counterparts. This serves as an example that gender discrimination exists in workplaces. The Wal-Mart company is one of the companies in the United States which have practiced discrimination against women. The efforts by women to seek justice bear no fruits after a court’s rule claiming that they can only sue as an individual. This enabled the Wal-Mart company to perpetuate discrimination against women. The policies of Wal-Mart Company stipulate that the corporation does not discriminate any workers, but their culture is definitely discriminative.
The court later condemned the practices of Wal-Mart and allowed the cases to continue. It was true that discrimination existed in the Wal-Mart company; trends showed that men were much more frequently promoted than women. Discrimination exists in the education sector. In 1974, a group of female teachers sued the school board on unfair rules concerning maternity leave. The school had a very strict policy on maternity leave and women faced constant oppression by that law. The women had to take compulsory 5 months maternity leave with no pay. This was unethical and unfar. Their absorption back to the employment was not automatic. They had to obtain a medical certificate to confirm their health status. The court held that the duration and the terms of the leave were unconstitutional. The set rules dictated that after birth a mother cannot resume to work on the basis of health. This unfair treatment of women is a crucial indicator of gender discrimination against them.
Social Psychology Concepts Addressed in the Decisions
Affirmative Action and Gender Equity. Affirmative action refers to taking the necessary actions to ensure equal treatment for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged groups in society. Women should be given the same opportunity just like men. The concept of affirmative action originated from feminists in America who fought strongly for the rights of women. The feminists also played a crucial role in fighting discrimination of all forms. In this case, women try their best to address the issue of discrimination. Seeking legal address to help cope with their situations has played a significant part in fighting the cases of discrimination.
The women in the world have realized their inferior position. Women try to make efforts to fight for their rights. Many women seek justice from courts because they know their rights. The affirmative action brings awareness. The historical episodes addressed above represent women who know their rights.
Sex Discrimination. Sexual discrimination refers to situations where individual faces discrimination on the basis of sex. Many individuals have fallen victims to sexual discrimination. Women always fall under the majority of victims. The evidence of sexual discrimination arises from the above historical events. Sexual discrimination emanates in the education sector as well as employment sector. Women face workplace discrimination in Wal-Mart Company because of their sexual orientation. Sexual discrimination is unethical, and it should be condemned at all costs. Conditions that are presented in women lives usually act as a source of sexual discrimination. Pregnancy is associated with women only; we find women discriminated due to pregnancy.
Stereotypes. The term refers to a bad attitude towards a group of people. Stereotype originates from long lived beliefs and attitudes. In the above historical cases, we find a lot of stereotypes. The society views women as weak. Women development is hindered; they do not have equal access to promotion. The reason behind this is doubting of women’s ability. In the case of Wal-Mart, women never get a high position because the company’s culture views women as incapable. These harmful assumptions affect women a lot. The society needs to shun away from this vice. Stereotypes do not represent the truth about an issue. They only lead to confusion, especially when people are not ready to change from the negative vice. The reality remains that women have the same ability just like men, and they should never be discriminated. Gender stereotyping has become a tool of perpetrating gender inequality among women. Many people are so much inclined to these bad attitudes and behaviors that it becomes problematic to change them. This is the main reason why companies and institutions discriminate against women.
Challenges Faced by Law Enforcers and Individuals as They Try to Cope with Gender Issues
Lack of Evidence. In many situations, the victims face challenges in presenting material evidence required for the prosecution of perpetrators. This has seen many victims of gender-based violence losing the cases. In some instances, women remain silent fearing for their lives even if they have evidence. On the other hand, the legal teams find it difficult to enforce the law when the presented evidence lacks weight. This has made it hard to provide fair ruling to victims. It should be noted that gender-related cases have many complications and needs in the process of investigations. Women victims lost cases against Wal-Mart Company. In the case of Wal-Mart Company, confusion arises on whether women should sue as a group or individually. In some situations, the victims do not know clearly their rights. In some instances, there is a confusion bbetween the decisions made by a different court system.
Political Interferences. Political interferences emerge in the legal system as the legal teams try to implement these policies. Some of the companies like Wal-Mart are owned by influential people who might interfere with the legal process. The laws of a country may be exploitative in order to make it possible to perpetuate gender equality. We should bear in mind that women are always underrepresented in the political arena. This has made it hard for them to conquer their grievances. The decisions of the judges may be influenced by external forces, which make it complicated to deliver justice. The resistance relates to the fact that companies have to pay enormous penalties, and hence try to interrupt justice.
Resistance. The law enforcers face a lot of resistance as they try to fight gender inequalities. Companies become resistant to change from their old exploitative cultures. They always deny that they practice gender discrimination. Communities do not want to abandon the old ways of doing things. Stereotyping has been a serious challenge and individuals uphold this vice. They think that gender discrimination is natural, and it has been hard for them to accept changes.
Ways of Coping with the Challenge
Raising Awareness. Gender discrimination cases have been prominent because people lack awareness. As far as we can apply other methods of coping with the situation, it is essential to create awareness in the society. Awareness will help break away the negative stereotypes that exist in the society. People should be educated that their long lived beliefs are not true. Everyone should learn that every individual has the equal ability no matter the difference in sexual orientation. Creation of awareness should be given priority in all sectors of life if we want to cease gendered discrimination. It has been found that people are too resistant to their old cultures. This makes gender discrimination and stereotypes emerge in a particular society. Awareness creation will be an important tool in fighting the vice. Women will gain information on their rights, and they will be willing to fight for them.
Advocacy. Advocacy involves fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged groups in the community and giving voice to the voiceless. Women and children belong to this group. Advocacy programs should be started. The issues should be raised in the appropriate law enforcement agencies so that they can overcome them. This will provide a long-lasting solution to the problem. Finally, it is significant to find out how legal systems can cope with gender discrimination issue.
Establishing Anti-discrimination Policies. Legal systems should ensure that there is enough legislation to cope with discrimination. Every organization should have a clear understanding of the underlying anti-discrimination policies. The policies should be clearly outlined, and they should be comprehensive. The policies should address all forms of discrimination. The legal systems should be a watchdog to ensure that individuals strictly follow the policies. High penalties should be set to discourage the vice.
Delivering Justice on Time and Preserving the Integrity of Legal Personnel. Legal systems should ensure that the plaintiff gets justice. Justice should be delivered on time to the appellants. Providing timely decisions brings relief to the plaintiff. Delaying justice makes the accusers lose hope, which discourages them from seeking legal assistance. The legal teams tasked with the duty of delivering justice should be characters of integrity. They should not be easily influenced to deliver wrong rulings.
Gender-based discrimination is a crucial issue in the United States that needs to be addressed. Gender discrimination faces all sectors of life, including employment and education sectors. Victims of gender discrimination have not yet got justice. Gender discrimination originates from traditional beliefs and stereotypes. Burning issue of gender discrimination needs to be solved. All the legal means should be applied to cope with this problem. Other effective ways of addressing the situation include awareness creation and advocacy.
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