Gender Inequality in Australia

Gender inequality has been ongoing debate in the workforce for years. Men have always been on the top with higher wages and positions while women are expected to be doing the unpaid domestic jobs. However, as a result of globalization there are more job opportunities for women, although men are still the dominant gender in the workforce. In this paper we will look at how three characters from John Wiseman’s ‘Barbie in a Borderless World? A Case Study’ has been affected due to globalization and their gender order. In order to look after her family, Tess took up a job in an insurance company entering data.

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Her job did not pay her much yet she worked for long hours with no pay rise. (Wiseman, 1998 p. 7). This was because women were seen “lower down the hierarchy” in the workforce. (Connell, 2009 p. 2). Also, women worldwide regardless of being from developed countries or the Third World countries have always been considered cheap labour. Jobs such as Tess’s were no longer as secured and well paid or full-time job when male participation was higher. (Acker, 2010 p. 379). In addition, her job as a mother was limited due to constant work and her husband losing his job.

David lost his job as a result of his company transferring their work operations from Melbourne to Indonesia. (Wiseman, 1998 p. 6). Globalization had left David driving taxis. This would have affected his masculinity in a lot of ways. For him to maintain his masculinity in a society where men are considered to be the bread winners, David could not just be a stay at home father. This is because good fathers are said to be those who “represent family in the outside world. ” (Connell, 2009 p. 3). Furthermore, David’s verbal response to the letter from his company displayed a kind of hegemonic masculinity.

It is the kind where men show aggressiveness and dominance. (Acker, 2010 p. 374) As a result of both Tess and David having to work, their daughter Emma is left in the care of her Aunt Jessie. Jessie is a working class woman who works from her home. As a web site designer, Jessie’s interactions with people are done over the internet worldwide. For her web designing is a ‘real job’ and takes up most of her time. (Wiseman, 1998 p. 9 & 10). Computer Science has always been a male dominated field but there was a considerable participation of women in this field between 1991 and 1997.

Being single with no children gave Jessie an advantage into getting a job in this male dominated field which as Acker mention requires a lot of time and commitment. (2010, p. 376). It can be said that her character would not fall under the gender order of how women are expected to be in society. (Connell, 2009). In conclusion, globalization plays a major part in the gender order of the work force. Men lose their jobs as a result of high competition in the global markets where as women have more opportunities due to cheap labour, which was seen in the case of David and Tess.

However, those women who chose to sacrifice social life have higher chances of a good job in a male dominated industry as seen in the case with Jessie. Reference List Aker, J. (2010). ‘Gender, capitalism and globalisation’ in Rebecca . F Plante &, Lis. M Maurer (eds. ) Doing gender diversity Readings in theory and real world experience. Boulder CO: Westview press, pp. 374 Connell, R. (2009). Gender. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Polity press, pp. 3 Wiseman, J. (1998). ‘Barbie in a Borderless world? A Case Study’ in Global nation Cambridge: Cambridge University press, pp. 9


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