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Title: Analyzing the Discourse of Gender Inequality in Modern Society


Gender inequality has long been a significant issue in modern society. Despite advancements in gender equality in some areas, various forms of inequality persist. Academics and researchers often examine the discourse surrounding gender inequality to gain insights into the underlying causes and potential solutions. This paper analyzes the article “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Critical Analysis of the Millennium Development Goals” by Bunch and Edwards (2012) to explore the discourse surrounding gender inequality and its implications in contemporary society.

Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is a valuable tool for understanding the social construction of gender inequality. It involves examining how language and communication shape our understanding and perception of gender roles and power dynamics. Through discourse analysis, researchers can identify dominant narratives and examine the underlying assumptions that perpetuate gender inequality.

Bunch and Edwards’ article presents a critical analysis of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their inadequacy in addressing gender inequality and women’s empowerment. The authors argue that the goals not only failed to prioritize gender equality but also reinforced existing power imbalances. Through their analysis, Bunch and Edwards shed light on the discursive strategies employed to maintain gender inequality.

Dominant Narratives

The article highlights several dominant narratives perpetuating gender inequality. The authors point out that the MDGs often framed women’s issues as secondary concerns, overshadowed by broader development goals. By relegating gender equality to a secondary status, the dominant narrative reinforces the idea that women’s rights are not fundamental to overall societal progress. This narrative perpetuates gender inequality by downplaying its significance and relegating it to the realm of optional and non-essential issues.

Assumptions Underlying Gender Inequality

Discourse analysis allows for the identification of implicit assumptions that underlie gender inequality. Bunch and Edwards argue that the MDGs implicitly assumed that women’s empowerment and gender equality would happen naturally as a byproduct of broader development initiatives. This assumption overlooks the systematic nature of gender inequality and the need for intentional efforts to challenge and dismantle existing power structures. By ignoring these underlying assumptions, the discourse surrounding the MDGs perpetuates gender inequalities by failing to address the root causes.

Power Dynamics and Resistance

Power dynamics play a crucial role in maintaining gender inequality. Bunch and Edwards highlight how the dominant discourse surrounding gender inequality often serves to uphold patriarchal power structures. The authors argue that gender equality is frequently portrayed as a threat to existing power hierarchies, leading to resistance against efforts to achieve gender equality. This resistance is often fueled by the fear of losing privilege and the desire to maintain control over resources and decision-making processes.

The article also emphasizes the role of resistance within feminist discourses. Bunch and Edwards argue that resistance is not confined to those seeking to maintain gender inequality but also occurs within movements for gender equality. Conflicts over strategic approaches, priorities, and alliances can create divisions within feminist discourses, hindering progress towards achieving gender equality. Understanding these power dynamics and the complexities of resistance helps shed light on the challenges faced in addressing gender inequality.

Implications for Policy and Practice

Analyzing the discourse of gender inequality is essential for informing policies and practices aimed at achieving gender equality. Bunch and Edwards argue that by critically examining the limitations of the MDGs, policymakers can better understand the underlying assumptions and narratives that perpetuate gender inequality. This understanding can inform the development of more comprehensive approaches that address the root causes of gender inequality.

Additionally, the authors suggest the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences in shaping policy and practice. By challenging dominant narratives and amplifying marginalized voices, policymakers can develop more inclusive and effective strategies to combat gender inequality. This approach recognizes the intersectionality of gender and other social categories, acknowledging that inequalities exist within and across different identities.


In conclusion, discourse analysis provides valuable insights into the discourse surrounding gender inequality and its implications in modern society. The analysis of Bunch and Edwards’ article highlights dominant narratives, underlying assumptions, power dynamics, and resistance within the discourse of gender inequality. This knowledge has important implications for policymakers and practitioners seeking to address gender inequality effectively and create a more equitable society. By challenging dominant narratives, acknowledging power dynamics, and incorporating diverse perspectives, meaningful progress towards gender equality can be achieved.