The Proclamation to the world teaches that gender is "an essential characteristic of individual pre-mortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose" (paragraph 2). Gender is at least one way we will differ in the eternities. Without these differences there could be no divinity. This doesn't mean that gender difference conceals some kind of ranking between men and women. One gender does not have a greater eternal possibility than the other.
"All human beings-male and female-are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents" (Proclamation to the world, paragraph 2). When Adam and Eve were placed on this earth, we know that Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and were cast out of the garden of Eden. We call this the Fall. We do not view this as a tragedy. Because of the Fall, "the doorway was opened toward eternal life" (Dallin H. Oaks). Eve had a very important role in introducing the plan of happiness. The door to mortal life for God's children could only be open by a daughter of God.
In the Plan of Happiness, men and women equally listen to each other and both play influential roles in that plan. They each have to look to each other for the plan to work. In the sight of God, they are equal and should stand beside each other. In different cultures across the world, relationships between husbands and wives are viewed in many different ways, and some are the opposite of the true doctrine of equal partnership. In a general conference address, Elder Richard G. Scott made this easy to understand:
"In some cultures, tradition places a man in a role to dominate, control, and regulate all family affairs. That is not the way of the Lord. In some places the wife is almost owned by her husband, as if she were another of his personal possessions. That is a cruel, mistaken vision of marriage encouraged by Lucifer that every priesthood holder must reject. It is founded on the false premise that a man is somehow superior to a woman. Nothing could be farther from the truth."
For Latter-day Saints, equal partnership in marriage is a commandment, not an alternative lifestyle. The reason for this is because "men are that they might have joy"(2 Nephi 2:25).
When there is an equal partnership in marriage, research has shown that the results of this are: better emotional, and physical health, better marital relationships, and better parenting and outcomes for children.