Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Word Count: 2764 |

241E Men and Women in Society: Gender Issues in Sociology
Professor M. Branco

This paper aims to discuss the gender inequality issues in today’s global workplace and will be supported by a series of relative journals. In today’s society, the awareness of gender issues is rising. The evidence in support of these claims are situations that are becoming more and more prevalent within the world we live in. Even in the most technologically, and economically advanced countries in the world, the female occupation of the labour force is low, their levels of unemployment are high, and their average income continues to be lower than that of their male counterparts.

Personally, when looking closely at these particular issues my concern runs deeper than most would generally consider. As Mahmoodi Yousefi discusses in his journal Economic Dimensions of Gender Inequality: A Global Perspective, a major focus must be obtained on the agendas of political leaders, both in developing and developed countries. Of course economic issues, poverty and other social issues must first obtain attention, but after these problems have been sought out and addressed, the issues surrounding inequity of gender must be recognised. Although it was only in the early 1960’s when these situations became forefront in society, an organised concern with these economics of gender inequality is a must for a just society especially in our world’s highly developed countries. (Yousefi)

The general standpoint within today’s economy in developed countries is mainly biased and focused upon the needs and satisfaction of the male gender. This is mainly due to the fair-weather view that the contributions of females to the growth of our society, socially and economically is insignificant in many areas of expertise. On the contrary to this wide spread belief, in developed countries the education levels of woman has been steadily increasing. This rise in education in itself has enabled females to seek and obtain higher level jobs and more prospective opportunities.

Research clearly depicts that even in the job selection process there is a particular job scope that limits who is able to apply and therefore receive the job. Most would believe this particular scope is determined by experience and education, but this is not the case, it is based upon superficial prejudices especially gender. This is more commonly seen as invisible limitation and happens most commonly in the case of female applicants. Jobs that females are type cast into receiving include positions such as secretary, assistant, or basically any underlying job that simply involves following protocol. This screening process inevitably results in a low performance level by females because they feel there is no point in setting themselves up for disappointment. Ridgeway explained it perfectly as she states that “Interactional sex categorisation also biases the choice of comparison of others, causing men and women to judge differently the rewards available to them. Operating in workplace relations, these processes conserve inequality by driving the gender-labeling of jobs, constructing people as gender-interested actors, contributing to employers’ discriminatory preferences, and mediating men’s and women’s perceptions of alternatives and their willingness to settle for given job outcomes.” (Ridgeway, 1997)

Another major issue in relation to workplace inequality is the known gap in wages between male and female employees. Since the 1950’s the number of females employed has risen from 30 percent to over 47 percent, and by the year 2001 female workers were still only earning 76 percent of that of men in the same positions. Another prominent fact stands that females who were occupying occupations that were identical to male occupations tended to be paid lower. (Bardassi.2008) “One of the things that make this development especially dramatic and significant is that the recent changes contrast markedly with the relative stability of earlier years. On the other hand, there is still a gender pay gap. Women continue to earn considerably less than men on average, and the convergence that began in the late 1970s slowed noticeably in the 1990s” (Blau and Kahn, 2007) Most would agree when I proclaim that working women are a vital component of our growing society and should not be taken for granted. In these passing years, as their participation in economic and social situations has grown, so has their political influence. These statistics might have you thinking that women have grown to the plateau that they have been trying to attain for an exponential amount of time, but this is not the case, major inequalities still exist in the workplace. The most prominent factor of this discrimination is the gap in the wages of the genders, and due to its widely public nature I am surprised that laws haven’t been developed to target it. (Bardasi 2008)

One argument that is constantly referred to in defence to the hiring screening process, lesser opportunities and lower wages stands to be the supposed higher numbers of females that take more vacations or leaves. One obvious point that is highly stressed and focused on is maternity leave. In this time, this situation should be lessening in importance when determining job placement or advancement due to the fact that recent statistics have proven that the male spouses in a relationships are commonly taking time off when their partner is expecting. But of course, this crucial information is continuously not brought to the table when making crucial decisions in the workplace. Statistics from the US have also studied this issue, focusing on whether mothers (with high levels of education) are deciding to leave the workplace due to having children. The journal by Heather Boushey explains it “child effect on women’s employment has fallen since the end of the 1970s. The child effect was -21.8 percentage points in 1979 and has fallen consistently over the last two decades to -12.7 percentage points in 2005.” Overall, these documented declines are more likely an effect of a weak labour market for all woman, whether they are mothers or not is definitely not the deciding factor. (Boushey 2008)

This form of inequality I am about to discuss is one so prevalent in work places, that most women are actually unable to rise above it. It is definitely a topic worthy of further discussion because it effects all career women. This issue is called the glass ceiling effect, and was coined in 1986. (HR Magazine. 2004) This concept refers to the top level of achievement women are able to attain, and surrounds issues that entail advancements in their company or monetary raises. These barriers entail that these situations of advancement are limited because of their gender, and mostly adhere to females who wish to climb up the corporate ladder and attain senior executive positions. This is common place with employers because from their perspective in most cases, senior positions are more efficiently filled by men due to the intense, and demanding long term commitment they require. An example of this is apparent in Law Firms, because throughout history the founding fathers (hence the word “fathers’) have all been of the male persuasion. Now, in this day and age due to equal opportunity laws they are hiring women, but it is still difficult for a female to rise in the company. This is deemed true when there are talks of promotions, in most cases the other partners are most commonly biased towards men. This is a clear depiction of the glass ceiling that is faced by today’s career women, as they continue on the quest for excellence. Gorman explained it perfectly when he stated that “Professional work involves three forms of uncertainty — problem variability, strategic indeterminacy and dependence on autonomous actors — that weaken the association between performance and ability, leading organisational decision-makers to weigh gender more heavily in promotion decisions. Strategic indeterminacy also increases the need for trust, so decision-makers feel more comfortable promoting candidates of their own sex.” (Gorman, 2006)

Woman in the workplace are living in a world where their expertise is not being judged by their quality of work and responsibilities they are assigned. Woman are separated from men and this has a lot to do with the frequent common place of harassment in the workplace. Both verbal and sexual situations often occur, as well as the ever popular element of intimidation. Whether it be there difference in pay for the same position as a man, or the limited opportunities they have in their future with a particular company, the glass ceiling basically sets out limitations and a plateau that most females find it impossible to over come. Another term that is commonly used to describe this type of situation is “occupational sex segregation” (Yousefi) In that women are placed in job titles, where their salary may be lesser than those that are considered as “men’s jobs” which usually require similar or identical training and experience tactics. The issues surrounding harassment are also accountable for a large portion of this problem involving inequality. Harassment is common place in a career woman’s workplace, whether it be verbal or physical, and in many situations it is very hard to fight and/or prove. This is true because women are usually in subordinate positions to their male counterparts that are responsible for the harassment, and due to fear of loosing their job, or fear of further discrimination, women tend to stay silent. In the early 1990s Wall Street was bombarded by a series of sexual harassment charges. An exceeding number of law suits were fought involving allegations of companies being involved in inequality of the genders, and sexual harassment in the work place. Following such accusations an article named Women on Wall street stated that “many firms on Wall Street implemented strict sexual harassment policies, and even family friendly work-life balance policies.” (‘Women on Wall Street’, 2007) In the end the law suits brought forth knowledge of the issues but ultimately favoured the corporations making for a future of this type of behaviour that will only slowly decrease. A quote that I found rather interesting regarding this topic states that “Although women have made enormous gains in the business world–they hold seats on corporate boards and run major companies–they still comprise only 10% of senior managers in Fortune 500 companies.”(Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000) This basically describes the push over nature woman are being forced to attain by the companies they are working for. Moreover, these large companies in some cases are indeed giving the women the managerial high positioned occupations, but only on the premise that they are more like men, and any time they are being considered for a position they are being compared to men. In my opinion, the only way to attain workplace equity, the perceptions of the decision makers must be focused on and altered. Unfortunately this is an impossibility on a short scale, because something this drastic will take years to slowly gain ground in industries as powerful as these. This is inevitably true because all prejudices and inequalities that are apparent in business workplaces are derived from withstanding culture and traditions that have been imbedded into society for many years. As a result, this issue must be reformed collectively as a culture.

An obvious resolution to the issues surrounding gender inequality in the workplace is that it must begin internally. Human resource professionals must learn to base candidate profiling on factual information, experience, and references. They need to be well educated of the laws of employment and must focus on adhering to the rules set out by the clause of equal employment. They also need to fully be aware of the damage situations like verbal or sexual harassment can cause, as well as the unfair and unconstitutional nature of the barriers presented by the glass ceiling. Another aspect of the world that can fight this inequality is on a more personal level. This is easily done by parents utilising their stature and power with the younger generation of the world, and taking time to teach them to change culture and focus on a just and equal world. Also, focusing on the future prospects of the business community is essential in this process of equality, because in reality they are the individuals that will soon be making these crucial decisions. Whether they are students in professional business schools, or individuals in entry level positions, focus must be drawn towards education in this matter because negative gender inequality issues are going to be the downfall of many businesses in the future. In a perfect world, any individuals personal level of efficiency and performance should be the ultimate factor that will persuay employers to hire suitable candidates, raise levels of salary or grant promotions.

As per the above discussion, gender inequality surrounding women in the work place has proven that females are at a disadvantage in the working world. The issues mentioned above along with many other influential solutions are being derived to slow these situations, and hopefully soon enough they will be diminished. These implemented alternatives will strive to develop solutions to abolish inequality of women in the workplace and develop better work conditions for both genders, as it always should have been.


Bardasi, Elena, and Janet C. Gornik. “Working for Less? Women’s Part- Time Wage Penalties Across Countries.” Feminist Economics (2008). 12 Mar. 2008 .

Blau, F.D., Kahn, L.M., “The Gender Pay Gap: Have Women Gone as Far as They Can”, Academy of Management Perspectives, 2007, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p7-23. Accessed November 9, 2007 from .

Gorman, E.H., “Work Uncertainty and the Promotion of Professional Women: The Case of Law Firm Partnership”, Social Forces, 2006, Vol. 85 Issue 2, p865- 890. Accessed November 9, 2007 from .

Heather, Boushey. “”Opting Out”? the Effect of Children on Women’s Employment in the United States.” Feminist Economics (2008). 12 Mar. 2008 .

Lester Community College. “Performing Gender in the Workplace: Gender Socialization, Power, and Identity.” Sage Online Journals (2008). 12 Mar. 2008 .

Meyerson, D.E., Fletcher, J.K., “A Modest Manifesto for Shattering the Glass Ceiling”, Harvard Business Review, 2000, Vol. 78 Issue 1, p126-136. Accessed November 9, 2007 from

Ridgeway, C.L., “Interaction and the Conservation of Gender Inequality: Considering Employment”, American Sociological Review, 1997, Vol. 62 Issue 2, p218-235. Accessed November 9, 2007 from

Roth, L.M., “Women on Wall Street: Despite Diversity Measures, Wall Street Remains Vulnerable to Sex Discrimination Charges”, Academy of Management Perspectives, 2007, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p24-35. Accessed November 9, 2007 from

“The Glass Ceiling: Domestic and International Perspectives”, HR Magazine 2004 – Research Quarterly, 2004, Vol. 49, p2-10, accessed November 9, 2007 from .

Yousefi, Mahmood. “Economic Dimensions of Gender Inequality: a GlobalPerspective . ” Gender Inequality (1997). 12 Mar. 2008 .

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Allegory Of American Pie By Don Mc Lean

Ask anyone what was the defining moment in the rock history of the 1960s was and all you will get is a one word answer: Woodstock. The three day rock festival that defined an era was only one of many music festivals of the '60s. But Woodstock has come to symbolize, "an era of peaceful, free- loving, drug- taking hippie youth, carefree before harsher realities hit..." (Layman 40). The Woodstock festival ended a century filled with many metamorphoses of rock'n'roll, from the era of pop music to the rebirth of folk music to the invention of acid rock. But some cynics say that rock'n'roll died with the death of Buddy Holly before the 60s even began. One such person is Don McLean. The poet behind the haunting epic song about the death of 'danceable' music, McLean wrote the ever popular song, "American Pie" (appendix 1). The most important song in rock'n'roll history, "American Pie", is the song about the demise of rock'n'roll after Buddy Holly's death and the heathenism of rock that resulted. Although McLean himself won't reveal any symbolism in his songs, "American Pie" is one of the most analyzed pieces of literature in modern society. Although not all of its secrets have been revealed, many "scholars" of the sixties will agree that the mystery of this song is one of the reasons it has become so successful- everyone wants to know the meanings of its allegories. Proof of "American Pie's" truth lies in the allegory of the song. Many People enjoy the song but have no idea what it means- Who is the Jester? What is the levee? When the deeper story is found, the importance of the song is unearthed. "American Pie" is not only a song, it is an epic poem about the course of rock'n'roll...

Carl Orffs Philosophies In Music Education

While Carl Orff is a very seminal composer of the 20th century, his greatest success and influence has been in the field of Music Education. Born on July 10th in Munich, Germany in 1895, Orff refused to speak about his past almost as if he were ashamed of it. What we do know, however, is that Orff came from a Bavarian family who was very active in the German military. His father's regiment band would often play through some of the young Orff's first attempts at composing. Although Orff was adamant about the secrecy of his past, Moser's Musik Lexicon says that he studied in the Munich Academy of Music until 1914. Orff then served in the military in the first world war. After the war, he held various positions in the Mannheim and Darmstadt opera houses then returned home to Munich to further study music. In 1925, and for the rest of his life, Orff was the head of a department and co-founder of the Guenther School for gymnastics, music, and dance in Munich where he worked with musical beginners. This is where he developed his Music Education theories. In 1937, Orff's Carmina Burana premiered in Frankfurt, Germany. Needless to say, it was a great success. With the success of Carmina Burana, Orff orphaned all of his previous works except for Catulli Carmina and the En trata which were rewritten to be acceptable by Orff. One of Orff's most admired composers was Monteverdi. In fact, much of Orff's work was based on ancient material. Orff said: I am often asked why I nearly always select old material, fairy tales and legends for my stage works. I do not look upon them as old, but rather as valid material. The time element disappears, and only the spiritual power remains. My...

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great. Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with this string playing, Bach began to play the organ which is the instrument he would later on be noted for in history. His instruction on the organ came from the player at Eisenach's most important church. He instructed the young boy rather rigorously until his skills surpassed anyone?s expectations for someone of such a young age. Bach suffered early trauma when his parents died in 1695. He went to go live with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who also was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. He continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as introducing him to the harpsichord. The rigorous training on these instruments combined with Bach?s masterful skill paid off for him at an early age. After several years of studying with his older brother, he received a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Germany, which is located on the northern tip of the country. As a result, he left his brother?s tutelage and went to go and study there. The teenage years brought Bach to several parts of Germany where he...


Michelangelo was pessimistic in his poetry and an optimist in his artwork. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo?s poetry was pessimistic in his response to Strazzi even though he was complementing him. Michelangelo?s sculpture brought out his optimism. Michelangelo was optimistic in completing The Tomb of Pope Julius II and persevered through it?s many revisions trying to complete his vision. Sculpture was Michelangelo?s main goal and the love of his life. Since his art portrayed both optimism and pessimism, Michelangelo was in touch with his positive and negative sides, showing that he had a great and stable personality. Michelangelo?s artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures that showed humanity in it?s natural state. Michelangelo Buonarroti was called to Rome in 1505 by Pope Julius II to create for him a monumental tomb. We have no clear sense of what the tomb was to look like, since over the years it went through at least five conceptual revisions. The tomb was to have three levels; the bottom level was to have sculpted figures representing Victory and bond slaves. The second level was to have statues of Moses and Saint Paul as well as symbolic figures of the active and contemplative life- representative of the human striving for, and reception of, knowledge. The third level, it is assumed, was to have an effigy of the deceased pope. The tomb of Pope Julius II was never finished. What was finished of the tomb represents a twenty-year span of frustrating delays and revised schemes. Michelangelo had hardly begun work on the pope?s tomb when Julius commanded him to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to complete the work done in the previous century under Sixtus IV. The overall organization consists of four large triangles at...

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin Ireland on October 16, 1854. He is one of the most talented and most controversial writers of his time. He was well known for his wit, flamboyance, and creative genius and with his little dramatic training showing his natural talent for stage and theatre. He is termed a martyr by some and may be the first true self-publicist and was known for his style of dress and odd behavior. Wilde, 1882 His Father, William Wilde, was a highly accredited doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a writer of revolutionary poems. Oscar had a brother William Charles Kingsbury along with his father's three illegitimate children, Henry, Emily, and Mary. His sister, Isola Emily Francesca died in 1867 at only ten years of age from a sudden fever, greatly affecting Oscar and his family. He kept a lock of her hair in an envelope and later wrote the poem 'Requiescat' in her memory. Oscar and his brother William both attended the Protora Royal School at Enniskillen. He had little in common with the other children. He disliked games and took more interest in flowers and sunsets. He was extremely passionate about anything that had to do with ancient Greece and with Classics. Wilde during school years In 1871, he was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin and received many awards and earned the highest honor the college offered to an undergraduate, the Foundation Scholarship. In 1874, he also won the College's Berkley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a Demyship to Magdalen College, Oxford. After graduating from Oxford, Oscar moved to London with his friend Frank Miles, a well-known portrait painter of the time. In 1878 his poem Ravenna was published, for which he won the...

The History Of Greek Theater

Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural. The two worlds were not separate, as the gods lived in the same world as the men, and they interfered in the men's lives as they chose to. It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men. In the plays of Sophocles, the gods brought about the hero's downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero. In Greek tragedy, suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual. Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare. Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a "catharsis" or purging of the emotions. He decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and...

Scholarship Essay About Goals

Ever since I was a young kid I have always been interested with aircraft. I was so curious of how airplane's fly. I remember taking my toys apart to see how it works. As a kid I wanted to go to the airport to watch the airplanes land and fly and pondered how this happens. Other kids wanted to go to the amusement places. As I grew older I became more and more interested in aircraft and the technology behind it. I always involved myself with aviation early on. I read books and magazines on aviation, took museum tours, built model airplanes. When I was younger my father would take me to aircraft repair facilities where I would watch in great fascination. In my teens, went up to the military bases and befriended many soldiers involved with aircraft and asked them numerous questions. I got to meet many aeronautics engineers and borrowed their old textbooks and read them till the wee hours of the morning. As technology improved with information superhighway, I logged on the web. Stayed up for hours and hours searching through web pages and web pages of information about aircraft and technology. I started my elementary school in the Philippines, then we moved to U.S. and continued my high school education and graduated. Enrolled at the CCSF to pursue my college education and now I am in the 2nd year in CCSF taking aeronautics. My goal now is to obtain my AS degree from the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) so I can transfer to a University and get a Bachelors degree and to continue for my Masters degree in Aeronautics Engineering. I will strive hard to reach the peak level of my career which is a Professor and hopefully to be an aeronautic professor so...

Circus Circus Enterprises Case Studies

Executive Summary: Circus Circus Enterprises is a leader and will continue to be in the gaming industry. In recent years, they have seen a decline in profit and revenue; management tends to blame the decrease on continuing disruptions from remodeling, expansion, and increased competition. Consequently, Circus has reported decreases in its net income for 1997 and 1998 and management believes this trend will continue as competition heightens. Currently the company is involved in several joint ventures, its brand of casino entertainment has traditionally catered to the low rollers and family vacationers through its theme park. Circus should continue to expand its existing operations into new market segments. This shift will allow them to attract the up scale gambler. Overview Circus Circus Enterprises, Inc founded in 1974 is in the business of entertainment, with its core strength in casino gambling. The company?s asset base, operating cash flow, profit margin, multiple markets and customers, rank it as one of the gaming industry leaders. Partners William G. Bennett an aggressive cost cutter and William N. Pennington purchased Circus Circus in 1974 as a small and unprofitable casino. It went public in 1983, from 1993 to 1997; the average return on capital invested was 16.5%. Circus Circus operates several properties in Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, and one in Mississippi, as well as 50% ownership in three other casinos and a theme park. On January 31,1998 Circus reported net income of 89.9 million and revenues of 1.35 billion, this is a down from 100 million on 1.3 billion in 1997. Management sees this decline in revenue due to the rapid and extensive expansion and the increased competition that Circus is facing. Well established in the casino gaming industry the corporation has its focus in the entertainment business and has particularly a popular theme resort concept....

Effect Of Civil War On American Economy

The Economies of the North and South, 1861-1865 In 1861, a great war in American history began. It was a civil war between the north and south that was by no means civil. This war would have great repercussions upon the economy of this country and the states within it. The American Civil War began with secession, creating a divided union of sorts, and sparked an incredibly cataclysmic four years. Although the actual war began with secession, this was not the only driving force. The economy of the Southern states, the Confederacy, greatly if not entirely depended on the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was heavily reliant on agriculture, and they used the profits made from the sale of such raw materials to purchase finished goods to use and enjoy. Their major export was cotton, which thrived on the warm river deltas and could easily be shipped to major ocean ports from towns on the Mississippi and numerous river cities. Slavery was a key part of this, as slaves were the ones who harvested and planted the cotton. Being such an enormous unpaid work force, the profits made were extraordinarily high and the price for the unfinished goods drastically low in comparison; especially since he invention of the cotton gin in 1793 which made the work all that much easier and quicker. In contrast, the economical structure of the Northern states, the Union, was vastly dependent on industry. Slavery did not exist in most of the Union, as there was no demand for it due to the type of industrial development taking place. As the Union had a paid work force, the profits made were lower and the cost of the finished manufactured item higher. In turn, the Union used the profits and purchased raw materials to use. This cycle...

Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of Trade Embargoes

Although I am a strong critic of the use and effectiveness of economic sanctions, such as trade embargoes, for the sake of this assignment, I will present both their theoretical advantages and their disadvantages based upon my research. Trade embargoes and blockades have traditionally been used to entice nations to alter their behavior or to punish them for certain behavior. The intentions behind these policies are generally noble, at least on the surface. However, these policies can have side effects. For example, FDR's blockade of raw materials against the Japanese in Manchuria in the 1930s arguably led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which resulted in U.S. involvement in World War II. The decades-long embargo against Cuba not only did not lead to the topple of the communist regime there, but may have strengthened Castro's hold on the island and has created animosity toward the United States in Latin America and much suffering by the people of Cuba. Various studies have concluded that embargoes and other economic sanctions generally have not been effective from a utilitarian or policy perspective, yet these policies continue. Evaluation of the effectiveness of Trade Embargoes Strengths Trade embargoes and other sanctions can give the sender government the appearance of taking strong measures in response to a given situation without resorting to violence. Sanctions can be imposed in conjunction with other measures to achieve conflict prevention and mitigation goals. Sanctions may be ineffective: goals may be too elusive, the means too gentle, or cooperation from other countries insufficient. It is usually difficult to determine whether embargoes were an effective deterrent against future misdeeds: embargoes may contribute to a successful outcome, but can rarely achieve ambitious objectives alone. Some regimes are highly resistant to external pressures to reform. At the same time, trade sanctions may narrow the...