Social inequality refers to a situation in which individual groups in a society do not have equal social status. Areas of potential social inequality include voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of property rights and access to education, health care, quality housing and other social goods. Apart from that it can also be seen in the quality of family and neighbourhood life, occupation, job satisfaction, and access to credit. If today these economic divisions harden, they can lead to social disadvantages. In a society, everyone should be equal, having access to certain minimum levels of social welfare, security and recognition regardless of their origin, individual positions, achievements, race, sex, etc. 
2 Forms of Social Inequality
2.1 Gender Inequality
2.2 Racial Inequality
2.3 Caste Inequality
3 See also
5 Further reading
6 External links
The reasons for social inequality can vary, but are often broad and far reaching. Social inequalities exist between races, classes and countries. The results of such social inequalities can be seen around the globe in the history of all countries.
Social inequality is different from economic inequality, though the two are linked. Economic inequality refers to disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. While economic inequality is caused by the unequal accumulation of wealth, social inequality exists because the lack of wealth in certain areas prohibits these people from obtaining the same housing, health care, etc. as the wealthy, in societies where access to these social goods depends on wealth.
Social inequality is linked to racial inequality, gender inequality, and wealth inequality. The way people behave socially, through racism and other forms of discrimination, tends to trickle down and affect the opportunities and wealth individuals can generate for themselves. Thomas M. Shapiro presents a hypothetical example of this in his book, The Hidden Cost of Being African American, in which he tries to demonstrate the level of inequality on the "playing field for blacks and whites". One example he presents reports how a black family was denied a bank loan to use for housing, while a white family was approved. As being a homeowner is an important method in acquiring wealth, this situation created fewer opportunities for the black family to acquire wealth, producing social inequality.
 Forms of Social Inequality
Following are the major types or forms of social inequality.
 Gender Inequality
Main article: Gender inequality
One of the major forms of social inequality is in the form of gender. The emphasis on gender inequality is borne out of the deepening division in the role assigned to male and female in all spheres of human endeavor, particularly in the economic, political and educational spheres. Women are less active compared to men in political activities and decision making processes. Gender discrimination and women’s development is a greatly discussed matter, even though awareness regarding this subject is often ignored on the lower level. The gender and development approach through gender analysis, seeks to understand the roles, responsibilities, resources and priorities of women and men within a specific context, examining the social, economic and environmental factors which influence their roles and decision-making capacity. The practice of male-female differentiation results in structural deprivation of the female life.
It has been observed that world issues like HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, and poverty are experienced more by women than men. Girls face problems to access good education, which limits their opportunities to succeed. It is important to increase enrollement rates in school for girls and ensure they have safe, stable and good quality education. Women’s participation in work has been increasing globally. But women are faced with wage discrepancies and differences compared to what men earn. This is true globally even in the agricultural and rural sector in developed as well as developing countries. An important concept related to this is the glass ceiling effect. It refers to the unseen, yet unreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements. This is still practiced by many countries, lowering the chances of women to excel. It prevents women from succeeding and making the maximum use of their potential, which is at a cost for women as well as the society’s development. Ensuring they are entitled to women's rights promotes a sense of belonging that motivates women to contribute to the society. Once accessible to work, women should be titled to job security, a safe environment and need to be protected against gender based violence.
 Racial Inequality
Main article: Racism
Racial Inequality is the belief where individuals are treated based on the race they belong to, and their racial characteristics such as their skin colour, physical characteristics, their place of origin and culture. Some races are considered superior than others, thus resulting in unequal treatments and opportunities in a society. Racism is evident and people have the tendency to prejudge - just because one person or a group of people of a particular race does wrong, it doesn’t give anybody the right to classify them all in that same group. This classification is known as stereotyping, it is when people form pre-judgments and assumptions. This along with xenophobia and other forms of discrimination continue to occur in societies especially with the advancement of technology and globalisation. What is shown on televisions, newspapers and the internet has a huge role to play in giving people some preconceived notions to decide their views on these races. This results in racial inequality.
 Caste Inequality
Caste system is another way of treating people unequally. It exists in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Africa, Japan, Korea and majorly in India. Caste maybe dependant on one’s occupation (functional), based on origin or by birth (hereditary).   There are a number of restrictions faced by people that belong to a certain caste. For example, they are not allowed to exchange and share food/drinks between people from other castes, they are restricted from going to certain places, they are only supposed to marry someone that belongs to the same caste as them – this is referred as endogamy, and also their dressing sense and food habits gets determined according to the caste they belong.  Unequal treatments are faced by lower castes in the form of discrimination, physical violence and exploitation.