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Gender Relations and Gender Roles

Gender Relations and Gender Roles


The role generally means the behavior expected of an individual in a particular social setting or situation. The gender-related role means the behavior expected of the individual according to his gender, whether he is a man or a woman. While social roles are divided into acquired and inherited, gender roles are acquired in the sense that the individual learns them during his social upbringing.


Gender relations are the relations that arise between individuals according to their gender and link them. It is important to know the surrounding, environment, and general culture in a society/institution / social group to identify the nature and form of these relations. Gender relations that develop in patriarchal societies often take a vertical form in which women are inferior to men. The inferiority of women is reflected in inequality and discrimination in the treatment of males and females in the family and society, as well as in the social, economic, political, and cultural interactions and relations that develop between people.


Patriarchal patterns and structures are perpetuated and strengthened by the prevailing value system and cultural norms that reinforce the vulnerability and backwardness of women's status. Each culture has its style and degree of patriarchy. But in general, patriarchy makes women weak in many ways: by persuading them of their weakness and inferiority and that this is natural, by requiring them to adhere to a certain pattern of roles and behaviors that being female requires, and by denying their rights and limiting their use of resources and opportunities and prohibiting and limiting their participation in decision-making that affects their lives at various levels.


One of the results of these practices is that women are marginalized and excluded from social, economic, and political processes. Recognizing this marginalization and the inferiority of women's conditions is done by looking at women's economic and social conditions, such as levels of health, levels of income, independence of their decisions, and control over their lives.




Gender relations, then, within the framework of patriarchal culture, are “power” and “dominance” relations in which men have the right to control the course of social, political, and economic processes prevailing in society.


As for gender roles, they have acquired roles that an individual learns during his social upbringing, and therefore they are subject to change, and they are linked within the framework of the division of tasks and work. They are:


The roles related to the family, or the so-called "reproductive role."

 It includes domestic work, having children, raising, and caring for them, in addition to caring for the elderly within the family. Despite the importance of this role, it is seen as unreal work, but part of nature and the human instinct of women, which is mostly unpaid work.

The role associated with production, or what is called the "productive role."

 It includes work in the production of goods or services. This role is usually performed by men and women, where some roles are defined as female roles while others are defined as male and are usually paid.

The role associated with the local community or what is called the "community role."

 It includes supervising the services provided to the local community and related activities, participating in public activities and political representation, and following up and supervising meeting the needs of the local community. It is concerned with providing resources and regulating their use by the community. This work is mostly voluntary and unpaid, but it can be paid in some cases.






The woman takes care of the house, and the children

Supports the family and takes responsibility.



Informal economic activities at home, such as housework, or outside, such as agricultural work. Recently, women have entered the productive labor market.


Economic productive work outside the home.


Local community management

Provides charitable or care services.

controls the leadership and decision-making of the community.

controls the leadership and decision-making of the community.



Women and men in different societies, especially in the context of patriarchal culture, perform these three roles differently.

Therefore, the reproductive role of women is often seen as the main role, and that other roles are secondary roles, which limits her effective and influential contribution in other fields, especially in the public sphere, so the limits of her work and production remain within the framework of the private sphere.