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.

Living Under Police Protection: Advocates for Muslim Women Face Constant Danger

Human-rights advocates risk lives in assisting Muslim women to adjust culture
Cordula Meyer
September 11, 2006

This is Freedom, Say Courageous Women Risking All for Democracy

Women risk lives for a civil society in Afghanistan
Declan Walsh
May 24, 2006

Is Globalization a Blessing or a Burden on Women?

Gender equality at work and home has civilizing influence for societies
Rezina Sultana
March 6, 2006

A Gender Jihad for Islam’s Future

Islamic feminists struggle to reclaim ancient rights denied by current ultraconservative schools of law
Asra Q. Nomani
November 7, 2005

A Place Where Women Rule

All-female village in Kenya is a sign of burgeoning feminism across Africa
Emily Wax
July 9, 2005