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.

In the Gulf, Women Are Not Women’s Best Friends

Granting the right to vote is only the first step in transforming the role of women in the Gulf
N. Janardhan
June 20, 2005

A Muslim Woman, a Story of Sex

North African author addresses "the last battle for democracy": female sexuality in the Muslim world
Alan Riding
June 22, 2005

What Place for Women?

An examination of strategies to ensure better female representation in politics
Mona Makram Ebeid
January 14, 2005

Report Reveals London's Sex Slaves

Foreigners trafficked into the UK make up the majority of prostitutes in the country's capital
Simon Jeffery
August 19, 2004

The Metrosexual Superpower

The stylish European Union struts past the bumbling United States on the catwalk of global diplomacy
Parag Khanna
August 16, 2004