The development means a forward motion, evolution or transition from existing conditions to perfect ones. This concept is opposed to creation and explosion, spontaneous formation and catastrophism that suggest a sudden replacement of available facilities. The development involves the gradual evolution by acquiring new knowledge and applying it in practice. It makes possible to gain experience, which contributes to the available options’ improvement. Gender roles belong to determining factors of the development process; thus, the research paper focuses on the interdependence of development and gender exploration.
The development principle applies to both a separate living creature and a society, a state and, eventually, the whole universe. Domestic and international trends determine the vectors of development. It allows creating more close and productive linkages within the entire and international spaces. The development is characterized by a transition from quantitative to qualitative indicators. According to Western sociologists, they form a principal criterion for defining a level of the state development.
Various countries have different approaches to grow. However, its essence should not only consist of the wealth accumulation. The basis of any state is its society. A country can be considered as developed one only in accordance with the following points:
Economics, politics, sociology, ecology, and other fields remain in the constant interaction, which leads to the country’s development or degradation (Barden). The state cannot move its progressive way if economic power is not able to meet the needs of nationals or citizens do not feel socially secure.
However, a higher stage of grow exists. Sustainable development aims at improving the human condition without destructing the biosphere. Thus, the last one cannot be destroyed by the essence of human functioning. Sustainable development guarantees the social needs’ satisfaction without a prejudice to future generations. Its concept is seen as a prerequisite for the long-term progress of mankind, followed by the capital increase and improvement of environmental conditions. This approach provides social justice when every member of community can be satisfied.
The development of society and state depends directly on the self-determination of each individual. Gender-neutral grow means a growing up process without considering gender stereotypes that explore a place of each person in society, regardless sex. In other words, gender is a social factor that determines the behavior of a human being in a community and how this conduction is perceived according to the certain social norms. Sometimes the term gender is used as a synonym for male and female, meaning any mental or behavioral characteristics associated with masculinity and femininity. It presumably distinguishes men from women. Such approach is based on folk wisdom, taking into account the biological capacities of males and females. On the other hand, many biological characteristics of both sexes seem to have formed in the course of evolution in connection with the vital functions distributing by culture between men and women.
It cannot be denied that the behavior of males and females is a result of their socialization and education in accordance with the views of society about their role. Whatever a biological basis is formed, the gender differences are a result of learning for the most part. Little boys and girls do not differ behaviorally from each other to a certain age. However, they learn some patterns of behavior and their gender role under the specific influence of the social environment. At the same time, children learn sex-role installations, which have to be followed and accepted. Thus, if a society factor in raising kids is neglected it may be noted that the early development at the individual level is inherently gender-neutral. However, the grow cannot be so at the state stage, since the existence of gender roles implies a certain established order and developing various policies aimed at supporting specific categories of women and men. Each country provides a distribution of certain responsibilities between men and women. Thus, the very system aims to educate children in accordance with gender roles.
Gender influence on the development process directly depends on the adults’ attitude towards gender education of children. Despite the fact that kids can be grown free of gender prejudices allowed self-determining, every society tries to keep the once set order of the social roles’ distribution. Thus, gender affects quantitatively and qualitatively skills that a person acquires as he or she grows older. A girl, who has been brought up as a future housewife, should be able to cook and must know everything about parenting. A boy as a future breadwinner must get a highly paid profession and be an expert in his field. Traditional gender attitudes do not imply the career growth for females and the male role of a caregiver for small children, even if a man loves kids. Thus, many people cannot reach their potential and remain disappointed in life.
It should be noted that the modern society following a trend of equality gives men and women a right of choice. Thus, both sexes qualitatively affect the development of the community and state. If the country’s evolution is considered through a prism of gender, the developed countries, where the value of gender is not a determinant, have a distinct advantage over others. There are numerous professions that are considered inappropriate for women (for example, labor-intensive assembly work) (Elson 169). However, the personal qualities of some females and their innate endurance can give them an opportunity to work better than men. The weakening of gender influence makes it possible for women to get an interesting job to provide for their families and make a significant contribution to the state development.
In underdeveloped countries, as a rule, gender attitudes have a greater impact on society. In third world countries, girls marry early and have no right to choose a profession (Ferrant and Nowacka 328). Women, who possess by nature an outstanding potential and physical health, are forced to deal exclusively with a household without any hope for their self-development. Every day, about 39000 women become wives; one of three out of them makes it before reaching the age of 19 and one of nine ones while being 15 years old (Gupta et al. 9). Early marriage is followed by early motherhood, which often adversely affects the immature girls’ organisms and undermines the health of the nation. Approximately 90 percent of 16 million teenagers who give birth each year around the world are already married (Loaiza and Liang 4).
It is natural that gender roles provide positive aspects that involve explaining the importance of the mother’s role for girls and the family protector for boys. However, the society, which is based on gender stereotypes, has no chance for its successful development.
The state development policy can benefit from the use of gender in critical moments. For example, in the times of a demographic decline, the authorities can exert maximum efforts to promote traditional roles for women as housewives and mothers of many children. As for men, they should be the responsible fathers of the families. The younger generation grown on such stereotypes will strive to realize itself in the mentioned fields. However, during an economic rise, the state can openly support the opponents of gender policies and promote the idea of full employment. In such a situation, gender can be perceived seriously and become a powerful political tool.
Gender roles need a serious reconsideration and revision in those cases when they begin to harm society. Sex differentiation may lead to discrimination and humiliation of women. In developing countries, females cannot enjoy the civil rights; and their efforts to raise households meet numerous obstacles (Kabeer 192). Furthermore, in the societies where cultural traditions consider women as second-rate persons, they simply do not have any opportunity to provide for themselves. Thus, they more often than men suffer in poverty and eke out the miserable existence. For such a case, the modern state should review the gender policy and eradicate its destructive manifestations.
The research paper has proved the following points. The development concept has a broad meaning which includes personal, social, national and international aspects. One of the most important characteristics of every developed country is sex equality as well as the possibility of free choice of gender roles. The gender influence on a community depends on the state development. Therefore, in underdeveloped countries, sex roles defined by traditions humiliate women and do not allow them to live a full life (to get education, work or travel). Using the gender role concept, the government can manipulate the public consciousness and create social trends to solve the current development issues.