GENDER EQUALITY AS A MODERN PHENOMENON
Keywords:gender, gender equality, gender discrimination, industrialization, social contract
Purpose of the work. Forming the axiological system of Western society, with the intentions to establish gender equality as a guarantee of a just society being taken into account, on the one hand, and preserving the traditional gender stereotypes inherent to patriarchal gender roles in a considerable part of the world, on the other hand, is actualizing the study of the factors that have contributed to realizing the problem of gender inequality and discrimination. Therefore, the purpose of our study is to highlight the factors that stipulated the awareness of gender equality in European social and cultural space, while leaving alive the traditional gender values in a number of other cultural environments. Methodology of the study is determined by interdisciplinary approach involving the use of general scientific methods such as analysis, synthesis, generalization, etc. The leading role belonged to the principle of the historical and logical unity. At the same time the study applies the basic principles of philosophical hermeneutics and the contextual analysis method. Originality lies in putting forward the new theoretical statements aimed to show that in the ancient and pre-modern society, gender inequality and discrimination did not exist, because at that time gender relations were considered either as a result of the biological characteristics of a human body, or were explained by worldview ideas about the origin and structural features of the world, prevailing in a specific historical dimension. Consequently, gender roles were taken for granted and were not subject to any doubt. Conclusions. Despite all the worldview shifts that had been taking place in the pre-modern era social outlook, nevertheless, as history has shown, they failed to generate sufficient philosophical foundations either for recognizing the equality of women, or changing their social, legal and political status. This led to accumulating the unconscious internal resistance to dominant social standards, which was expressed primarily in behavioural arbitrariness that, whatsoever had not been acquiring any openness by the beginning of industrialization. The latter, having destroyed rural communities with their inherent division of labour and lifestyle, which eventually weakened significantly the mythological social structures, has opened an opportunity not only to understand but also to commence the fight for the recognition of gender equality.
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