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.

Argentina’s Presidential Front-Runner Goes Global

Argentina's first lady, is she a domestic savior or global player?
Monte Reel
October 16, 2007

Behind the Veil: A Muslim Woman Speaks Out

A Muslim women's rights activist criticizes Islam in the face of mixed opposition
Marlise Simons
November 9, 2002

Breastfeeding: A Philippine Battleground

Aggressive marketing tactics on infant formula throughout the developing world contribute to a decline in breastfeeding
Carlos H. Conde
July 18, 2007

With Little Loans, Mexican Women Overcome

Microcredit groups help women pull families out of poverty
Tim Weiner
March 19, 2003

Outsourcing a Womb

Some working women have no time to spare for pregnancy
Gagandeep Kaur
May 31, 2007