Online Activity Inequality Ind

Online Activity

Inequality Indicators: Structural levelexplanations

Your task is to find an online news article that discusses anindicator of inequality of your choice. The article should be lessthan two years old (published date should be after Oct. 2018). Theindicator can be any measure of social outcome i.e. income, homeownership, food security, graduation rates, incidences of canceretc. Use an article that compares two or more social groups inCanada. Examples of social group comparison are age, gender, race,ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation etc.

In the assignment, your aim is to examine the explanation ofdifferences between the groups and evaluate whether the discussionof inequality is related to any structural level factors. Forexample, “one group works harder than the other” is not considereda structural level factor.

As discussed in the online lessons, structural levelexplanations can include how the group are organized, how thegroups is being treated by specific social institutions, how theyintegrate or fail to integrate into certain sectors in Canadiansociety.

Your assignment

Try to find an outcome that actually interests you. Once youfind the article, answer the following questions in a combined600-750 words response. Your final answer should be in one shortessay that includes all the topics below. Do not answer thequestions individually.

  1. According to the article, what is the main reason for theobserved inequality between the two groups. If the articlediscusses multiple reasons, you can highlight the toptwo/three.
  2. Did the author(s) present any evidence for this argument? Didyou find the evidence convincing?
  3. Do you agree with the assessment of this comparison? Why andwhy not?
  4. Aside from the factor(s) explained in the article, can youthink of another structural level factor that explains the observeddifference? Lastly, explain why you think your structural levelfactor is a better explanation than the one cited in thearticle.


Structural inequality is when the imequality is due to theunderlying bias in the organisation and insitutional structure in acountry or any where.

The article in focus is “Gender inequalities in health andwellbeing across the first two decades of life: an analysis of 40low-income and middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacificregion”

Authors:  Elissa Kennedy, Gerda Binder, KarenHumphries-Waa, Tom Tidhar, Karly Cini, Liz Comrie-Thomson, CathyVaughan, Kate Francis, Nick Scott, Nisaa Wulan, George Patton,Peter Azzopardi


Published in October, 19, 2020

It is a news article published by The study wasfunded by UNICEF.

The study has taken up the gender inequality research among 40low and middle income countries. The population data was obtainedfrom the UN, GBD, MICS and others. The study has developed ameasurement framework on four domains such as health, education andtransition to employment, protection, and a safe environment. 87indicators were calculated under these domains.

Main results and reasoning:

Adolescent girls face considerable disadvantage in relation tosexual and reproductive health (notably in South Asia and thePacific), with high rates of child marriage (≥30% of women aged20–24 years married before 18 years in Bangladesh, Nepal, andAfghanistan)

Despite educational parity in many countries, females aged 15–24years were less likely than males to be in education, employment,or training in 17 of 19 countries for which data wereavailable.

Compared with girls, adolescent boys experienced excessall-cause mortality and substantially higher mortality due tounintentional injury, interpersonal violence, alcohol and otherdrugs, and suicide, and higher prevalence of harmful drinking andtobacco smoking.

Some of the main reasons discussed are puberty and patriarchialsystem. The author qoutes two findings from other researches toconcur the puberty as a reason. Kagesten et al (2017), “Puberty istransformative in the health and development trajectories of girlsand boys. While physical, hormonal, and neurodevelopmental pubertalprocesses contribute to biological sex differences in some healthoutcomes and risks, puberty is also characterised by anintensification of gender socialisation, during which genderidentity, roles, and norms sharply diverge and take on increasingprominence.” Shakya et al. (2019) “These norms are consolidatedduring adolescence and profoundly shape the lives of adolescents,with consequences for health that extend into adulthood and for thenext generation.”

Similarly for Patriarchial system as a reason, the author hasquoted Blum et al. (2017) “Underlying patriarchal systems thatreinforce gender norms assigning higher status and power to boysover girls, and reward hegemonic (dominant) constructs ofmasculinity, contribute to boys’ risk taking, use of and exposureto violence, and poor care seeking. These same systems policerestrictive feminine norms that limit girls’ opportunities andagency, and increase vulnerability to harmful practices (such aschild marriage), intimate partner violence, and poor sexual andreproductive health.”

I do accept these gender differences in south Asian countries asthe findings in this paper is in concurrence with many otherstudies focusing on gender differences.

One other reason for gender preferences and discrimination in apatriarchial country like India is thhe dowry system. The humongousamount of dowry exploits the wealth and at times the livlihood ofthe brides household. This is one main reason, a son is preferredmore than a daughter. And for a daughter who would eventually bemoving into another home along with dowry, the household does notwant to invest in thier education.

This structural level factor is an addition to the abovereasoning and cannot be stated as an better explanation.

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