In the Wealth of Nations, the definition of gender
There are a host of gender problems posed by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. Smith and Reich believe that the individual is the owner and controller of goods such as food while analyzing the concept of division of labor (15).
For example, Smith and Reich demonstrate in describing the faculty of reason between man and animals that a Spaniard would use other ways other than logic to draw his master's attention in order to be fed by him (15). In this scenario, men rather than women are the source of calories.
Gender identity and the concept of barter trade
Secondly, gender identity is evident in the illustration of the concept of barter trade. The beggar is assumed to be a man who takes up the role of the provider. He solely depends upon the benevolence of his fellow men in order to obtain basic needs such as food and clothing for his family (Smith and Reich 15).
Smith and Reich use the concept of gender roles to explain division of labor in a tribe of hunters or shepherds (16). They explain that a man who makes bows and arrows will invest in his skills in order to acquire other necessities such as cattle or venison from his fellow men. The barter trade in this instance is a reserve for men. Women have no input in the trade.
The gender situation in The Wealth of Nations
The gender situation explained in The Wealth of Nations describes a pre-modernization era in which economic interactions are a reserve for men only. Unlike in the modern era where both men and women have the opportunity to own, invest and control economic resources, there’s no mention of the economic role of women in the above book. However, the situation has changed. At the moment, women just like men in most countries have equal opportunity to learn and choose their own careers through which they can impact the economy and society at large.
Reich, Robert, and Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations. Oakland: Fodor's Travel, 2000.