This introduction chapter discusses the problem of women's lower status in society. Despite the society's perceived progress since way back 1949, women remain second-class citizens in reality if not in law. Women are not the “silent sex” in all domains. However, the chapter shows that they are less likely than men to talk and to influence others when discussing matters of common concern. Authority is the expectation of influence, and society typically grants less of it to women than to men. The chapter also addresses a number of issues beyond gender. Topics ranging from income inequality to poverty, to taxes, to the obligations of government, to the needs of children—all these are implicated in the following discussions, and so are the policies that address these themes.
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