Why does gender matter?

Unequal gender relationships negatively affect both men and women. Gender inequality is created through interpersonal, structural or institutional violence and it is sustained in a number of ways, including: 

  • Through laws that treat gender and sexual minorities as second-class citizens
  • Through social norms and customs that deprive of knowledge about their own bodies and that take away their authority to make independent decisions. 
  • Through endemic patterns of violence and abuse against women and LGBTI people
  • Through gendered expectations that women should provide unpaid care at the expense of their own economic wellbeing

Gender power relations have left a legacy in which women are more likely to be disadvantaged than men, to have less access to resources, benefits, information and decision-making, and to have fewer rights within the household and within public life.