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In what ways does gender inequality enable violence in Mercy’s life and community?
By reinforcing exclusionary social norms that undermine women and girl’s opportunities for education, income and independence. For instance, in Mercy’s life and community gender inequality started from her childhood, robbed her childhoods and limit the chances of girls in her community. Mercy and a number of girls in her community are denied their rights, kept from school, forced to marry and subjected to violence. The gender discrimination displayed in Mercy’s life and community gives unequal treatment, including privilege and priority, on the basis of gender. It appears there is deeply entrenched gender prejudices from the moment girls are born where girls and boys face unequal gender norms regarding expectations and access to resources and opportunities, with lifelong consequences in their homes, schools and communities. For example, in Mercy’s life and community boys are encouraged to go to school and get an education to prepare for work, while girls carry heavy household responsibilities that keep them from school, increasing the odds of child marriage and pregnancy.
In what ways could violence worsen gender inequalities in her life?
Violence is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. As observed from Mercy’s case study, violence shift power relations within her households and community. This can result into abuse of the power imbalance between her and her husband. This can become a means for her husband and the community at large to use it as a social control norm that maintains unequal power relations between women and men and reinforce women’s subordinate status. Violence against could be is used to enforce gender roles and norms, assume that women are inferior to men, and that men have the right to control women. As a result, gender inequalities could be perpetuated across generations.