In this philosophical work, Martha Nussbaum briefly explores issues on gender concerning gender suppression and inequality in religion as well as our overall society, its role in social justice, autonomy and sexual orientation. She describes the utilization of her very own list of "capabilities" in which she provides in an attempt to resolve these issues- or at the very least, come to a compromise with them. She proceeds with claims that state that these inequalities are induced by religion, culture, tradition and social constructs developed over the course of time. Although Nussbaum has accumulated a few amount of critics for her more feminist positions in regards to these subjects, Nussbaum also has a number of supporters who agree with a majority of, if not all, the points she makes that will be presented in this paper. .
First and foremost, the Capabilities Approach is described by Nussbaum as "a counter-theory to challenge . . . entrenched but misguided theories . . . to move policy choice in the right direction" (Nussbaum Preface, Kindle Locations 37-38). The "misguided theories" she mentions are ones such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) approach, or the utilitarian approach. These approaches go about measuring a nation's economical development at face value, determining its success by calculating only its monetary value instead of doing what the Capabilities Approach intends to do, which is focused solely on the ten factors Nussbaum asserts are necessary for a good quality life. The Capabilities Approach is composed of these ten different as well as essential aspects of life: life, bodily health, bodily integrity, senses and thought, emotions, practical reason, affiliation, other species, play, and control over one's environment. In this paper I will be including research obtained from the online Contra Costa College Library database (search.ebscohost.