Sexual and Gender Discrimination

Acts of sexism in our everyday life

Source/Council of Europe

Sexual and gender discrimination, also known as sexism, justifies considering the lower value on one sex or gender over another as well as the prejudices against them, arising from public understandings of different social roles, the predominance of one sex and gender and the freedoms it enjoys.

An example is often given with many cultures and peoples where an understanding exists of the dominance of men, who are superior to women in all other areas of life except housekeeping, babysitting, needlework, etc. As a result of this, women are denied access to certain professions perceived as “male” and, in some countries, to education and social expression in general. Certainly, the argument can be in the opposite direction – that women are more intuitive and therefore they make better decisions than men, who are spontaneous and aggressive in their nature. In other words, the basis of sexism presupposes the biological difference as essential, unchangeable, intransient, and this precondition serves to justify relations of domination.

Discrimination against women or men, which denies or restricts equal rights between the sexes and genders is fundamentally unfair and undermines human dignity.

Examples of gender discrimination can be the following:

  • Unwritten rules such as: “No long hair” for men or: “We do not hire mothers with young children” when opening a job position;
  • The selection of candidates for a job position by sex and gender, regardless of their experience and qualifications. For example, refusing women to take the positions of machine operators or men for personal secretaries/babysitters;
  • Inappropriate jokes and comments to your sex and gender: “You are a woman and if you burst a tire on the street, some man will come to help you while you will be sitting in the car and listening to music” or: “Being a woman, your socks do not smell bad”;
  • Refusal to permit you entering in a nightclub because of your sex or gender.