Sex embodies a classification system grounded on structural and biological variances among individuals while gender, on the other hand exemplifies a classification system centered on physiological, sociocultural, and psychological features. These terms are at times used interchangeably, but actually they are far different from each other. Therefore, it is imperative for us to understand the ideas behind these terms in the study of the social roles of men and women.
The stereotyped philosophies and assumptions regarding the nature of men and women have become the roots for the realization of gender roles. These roles are basically the learned conducts and behaviors in a specific society that condition what kind of responsibilities and activities a male or female should execute. They will eventually result to unequal recompenses for men and women since gender roles are consigned to definite positions.
Apparently, violence against women is one indicator of unequal power dealings among men and women. Violence is overwhelming to the women who are its victims. They lead to effects such as physical, social, emotional, and financial in nature while others will sustain economic adversity such as losing their homes, self-esteem and become secluded from friends and families.
Furthermore, women are still devoted to their customary roles and could not see themselves as being destitute by the system to some point. They become loath to surrender their skills such as in performing housework. The reason why women tend to become reluctant is because their self-worth hinges on part of accomplishing traditional female roles and the notion that men are incompetent at homemaking. Certainly, it is vital to alert the consciousness of women and their liberation has to ponder first on raising the realization of women on their roles.
However, changes are taking place today so that it appears safe to foresee that gender roles will be less discriminated in the years to come. Women’s advanced educational accomplishment is one element that will generate amplified pressure for equal opportunity in the work force and in remunerations. The augmented work force involvement, extended learning opportunities and progressively intricate stages of female educational fulfillment, and decreasing fertility rates have all added to the sense of liberation for women. The men’s role as chief financial breadwinner or source has been gradually windswept, and along with it comes the men’s overriding role in the household and in other parts of society, as well.
In reality, there is more to be achieved before gender equality sets in. Although it may somehow remain a distant objective, it is closer at present than it was 10 years ago. Gender equality does not certainly mean a “unisex” culture; neither has it meant that men and women will steadily embrace each other’s individualities, or that there will be a union amongst the two prevailing roles. Being human is actually not to be a male or a female, rather to relish an equal stake in humanity. Proper liberation from customary sex roles would exactly tell us that all conceivable opportunities would be exposed and just as acceptable for both sexes.