The lottery of birth
The lottery of birth

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

The lottery of birth

3.2 Changing lives of girls and women

Described image
Figure 9

Being born female, or male, is as significant in the twenty-first century as previous centuries. In this next part of the course you will be focusing on the ways gender inequalities shape lives and how the empowerment of girls and women is vital for everyone’s future.

The lottery of birth is about inequality, of the circumstances in which we are born and of the circumstances in which we give birth, and the consequences of both of these for our life chances.

We can understand these unequal circumstances and their unequal consequences both at the level of whole populations and in terms of individual experience. Throughout this course, you will have noticed policies, cultures and practices that have a profound influence on gender. For example, you saw last week that a combination of anti-natalist policy and greater use of scanning technology has led to a higher percentage of female foetuses than male foetuses aborted in China with troubling consequences for Chinese women and men.

At a global level, social, economic and political changes affect the construction of gender and gender relations. While laws and policies can be created to value girls and women, it is also as much about everyday relationships between the sexes and changing attitudes towards girls and women.

In the next section, you will hear about how the lives of girls are changing.

OUFL_21

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus