Gender inequality has been the main focus for many centuries where discrimination and oppression became a major part of women’s inequalities. Discrimination is a negative attachment an injurious labelling or suggestion related to a certain person, group or object. When discrimination occurs one of the final effects would be oppression, the humiliation and inhuman treatment of people or groups. When one group or individual dominates over the other (Thompson, 2003).
The Equality Act 2010 was introduced by the parliament to reduce inequalities among people from all backgrounds, genders, religion and so on. Under this act it is prohibited to discriminate or harass and victimise other individuals or groups Ref. The purpose of this essay remains to identify the past and present gender inequalities within employment and further to identify whether or not in this contemporary society gender inequalities still exist. Through the use of relevant theories I will establish what other factors could be contributing towards women’s discrimination and oppression. Why women are more likely to be discriminated and oppressed and how are social, cultural, biological explanations explained in terms of gender inequalities through this awareness I would like to challenge and address gender inequalities in employment.
Around the time of First World War in 1914 restrictions were applied by men and benevolent contributors for the removal of female employment in industry. In 1841 men progressively eliminated female labour from the factory because they saw women as a form of threat to their employment (Holborn, 2008). Summerfield 1988 states women around the war time were directed into subordinate level ‘manual and non-manual’ work while men progressed towards the path of promotion (Mclvor, 2001). The Mines Act was brought in by the parliament in 1842 that prohibited women from employment as miners but by 1851 one in four married women were in employment by 1911 this number was reduced to one in ten. However, Hacker, 1972 comments that men made use of the ‘economic, legal and ideological’ resources to eradicate the rivalry as in women by carrying out ‘propaganda’ so women would return back home and stay their (Holborn, 2008:108). Further, Shoot, 1995 views oppression as a form of exploitation by the dominate group as in men, that use differences as a weapon to maintain their current position so they can consolidate and privilege in their existing position in employment (Mullaly, 2010).
Equal Pay Act 1970 was introduced to prevent discrimination and promote equality within employment between men and women but according to (King, 2013) women in the UK have the highest rate of pay inequality in comparison to other countries. Reducing the gender pay gap in the UK has come to a halt since the recession while other OECD countries have progressed onwards with reducing the gender inequality gap. Indeed, there remain policies within the...