Gender discrimination is the act of violating or denying a person’s civil rights because of their gender. While many countries have enacted laws to make gender discrimination illegal it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence that has transcended social and cultural boundaries.
Many people have experienced gender discrimination. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your gender, there are steps to protect yourself.
Types of Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination takes many forms and can happen in any environment. If you have been discriminated for your gender, you might have experienced:
- Sexual harassment. This is when a person makes unwanted sexual comments, communication, advances, or physical contact with another individual. It also includes requesting sexual favors in exchange for benefits.
- Pay discrimination. When an individual or business purposely underpays or refuses to pay an individual based on gender.
- Pregnancy discrimination. This occurs when an individual is denied a job, position, or service because they are pregnant.
- Gendered-Based Hiring Discrimination. This type of discrimination occurs when an individual is denied a position or job, the job or the position offered pays lower than other individuals of different gender with the same title.
- Unfair disciplinary actions. When a specific gender is held to a different standard based on traditional ideas. When punishment is being unequally distributed based on gender.
- Verbal harassment or abuse. This can include name-calling, slurs, misgendering, and other derogatory terms used in an individual’s presence based on gender.
Expanding Gender Discrimination to Protect More People
Gender discrimination has traditionally meant sexism, but it also protects people from discrimination based on gender. Gender and sex are distinctly different, and laws have been adapted to protect people who identify with perceived genders.
The definition of gender discrimination has expanded to include those who identify with a third gender and transgender people. This includes people who identify as queer, nonbinary, gender-neutral, and transgender. Laws also protect people who have undergone gender reaffirming surgery and identify as male or female but still face discrimination.
Where Gender Discrimination Takes Place
While gender discrimination is most discussed in work environments, it can also occur in other co-ed spaces such as learning institutions. Different laws protect against discrimination depending on the environment. Gender discrimination in the workplace is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964. This act has been extended to protect against discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation. The act also makes retaliation against employees illegal.
People who are experiencing gender discrimination at a learning institution can sue based on a violation of Title IX. Title IX states that learning institutions funded by the federal government can not discriminate based on sex.
How to Combat Gender Discrimination
The best way to combat gender discrimination is through the law. Several laws are in place to protect people against gender discrimination.
Report the matter to a supervisor, HR, or other superior, or in the case of an educational institution, a designated office, or coordinator. These people are the first and can usually resolve the matter internally.
For those who fear threats or find reporting difficult, your workplace may have a worker’s hotline where you can anonymously report the matter. If these solutions fail to enact change, it may be time to hire an attorney who can help file a civil suit against your workplace, the company, or the person.
It is important to take action against gender discrimination as it occurs. The problem will not go away on its own. If you see gender discrimination happening, speak out and help combat the problem.