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.

Norway vs. the Glass Ceiling

Corporate groups worry about the implications of sweeping equal rights legislation.
Lizette Alvarez
July 14, 2003

Where Boys Were Kings, A Shift Toward Baby Girls

South Korean parents rethink old biases
Choe Sang-Hun
January 9, 2008

Push for Rights of Singapore Women's Foreign-born

Women challenge natal discrimination writ in the Singaporean constitution.
Chuang Peck Ming
June 12, 2003

Millions Celebrate Pride Around the World

Annual celebrations take on added significance in US, Canada
June 30, 2003

Not Leading the World but Following It

US lags behind the world on gay and lesbian rights.
Laurence R. Helfer
June 18, 2003