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XVII Basque Studies CongressXVII Basque Studies Congress

Gender system : Introduction

A look at gender. This is a process configured by the relations of power where differences are transformed into inequalities. Therefore it does not simply talk about gender as an assignation which translates male or female categories but which relates both categories making them interdependent in a dominant system. Unequal relations act on the practice but this also acts and affects the transformation of the structure. And all this is considered and studied in the immersion of specific historical circumstances.

Relationship with progress. It is necessary to describe imbalances due to power relations that naturalise expressions, desires linked to femininity and masculinity which lead to establishing static roles which restrict social flexibility. Negative examples of progress are found in the sexual division of work linked to care responsibilities and the inherent difficulties of conciliating personal, social and work lives. This includes the concept of “own time”.

The ins and outs of power. It is also relevant to bring up the difficulty regarding accessing work and positions of responsibility despite women’s professional qualifications which in many cases is linked to the invisible restraints made clear in the glass ceiling metaphor.

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