Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, activities and attributes that a particular society considers appropriate for men and women, explains the World Health Organization. The distinct roles, reinforced by legal systems and religion, have historically given rise to gender inequalities not only in health care but with education and employment opportunities. Globalization has challenged the most archaic perceptions of gender roles through books, films and other media; new technologies in satellite television and the internet; policies of multinational corporations and tourism. Human rights groups reach across borders to lend support and inspiration to those in other lands; the United Nations and other international target gender equality as a major goal.

Women’s Fate

Despite the many challenges, women try and get involved in rebuilding Iraqi society.
Rasha Saad
June 19, 2003

Japan's Neglected Resource: Female Workers

Gender bias and discrimination against mothers is limiting the role of Japan's much-needed female workers.
Howard W. French
July 25, 2003

Vatican Says Lawmakers Have Duty to Oppose Gay Marriage

As gay rights increase in some countries, the Catholic Church is appealing to politicians to halt the legislative momentum.
Kirk Semple
July 31, 2003

Iran: Does Government Fear Educated Women?

Government report describes trend of more women attending universities as “alarming”
Iraj Gorgin
February 12, 2008

A Life or Death Decision

Europe displays a bureaucratic commitment to protect individuals threatened in their homelands
Robert Verkaik
March 7, 2008