Prime Minister Gillard with Secretary of State Clinton. <br>CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/5162356582/" target=_blank">U.S. Department of State</a>
Prime Minister Gillard with Secretary of State Clinton.
CREDIT: U.S. Department of State

Microinequalities Inflicted on Women

Feb 14, 2012

Why is it that a woman can lead a country, yet women are slower to be served in coffee shops? In the West, women and men share equal status under the law. But in countless practical ways, women experience inequality on a daily basis.

In Australia, Julia Gillard is the country’s first female prime minister. In the U.S., Hillary Clinton set a precedent in 2008 with her campaign to become the first female president, and is now secretary of state. In both these countries, and throughout the West, formal barriers to discrimination against women and other minorities were largely abolished decades ago. And in that formal way, officially sanctioned discrimination is largely a thing of the past.

Yet, inequality is a fact of life for women throughout their economic, social, and political lives. We discuss those pervasive inequalities for women, in the form of what Samantha Brennan calls microinequalities.

Samantha Brennan is a professor of political philosophy at the University of Western Ontario.

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