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Chapter 4: Gender Religion and Caste
Boys and girls are brought up to believe that the main responsibility of women is housework and bringing up children. This is reflected in a SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOUR in most families: women do all work inside the home such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring, looking after children, etc., and men do all the work outside the home.
It is not that men cannot do housework; they simply think that it is for women to attend to these things. When these jobs are paid for, men are ready to take up these works. Most tailors or cooks in hotels are men. Similarly, it is not that women do not work outside their home. In villages, women fetch water, collect fuel and work in the fields.
In urban areas, poor women work as domestic helper in middle class homes, while middle class women work in offices. In fact the majority of women do some sort of paid work in addition to domestic labour. But their work is not valued and does not get recognition. The result of this division of labour is that although women constitute half of the humanity, their role in public life, especially politics, is minimal in most societies.
Earlier, only men were allowed to participate in public affairs, vote and contest for public offices. Gradually the gender issue was raised in politics. Women in different parts of the world organised and agitated for equal rights. There were agitations in different countries for the extension of voting rights to women.
These agitations demanded enhancing the political and legal status of women and improving their educational and career opportunities. More radical women’s movements aimed at equality in personal and family life as well.
These movements are called FEMINIST movements. Political expression of gender division and political mobilisation on this Discuss all these perceptions of an ideal woman that prevail in our society. Do you agree with any of these? If not, what is your image of an ideal woman? Feminist: A woman or a man who believes in equal rights and opportunities for women and men. © Zuban question helped to improve women’s role in public life.
We now find women working as scientists, doctors, engineers, lawyers, managers and college and university teachers which were earlier not considered suitable for women. In some parts of the world, for example in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, the participation of women in public life is very high.
In our country, women still lag much behind men despite some improvement since Independence. Ours is still a maledominated, PATRIARCHAL society. Women face disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways: The literacy rate among women isl only 54 per cent compared with 76 per cent among men. Similarly, a smaller proportion of girl students go for higher studies.
When we look at school results, girls perform as well as boys, if not better in some places. But they drop out because parents prefer to spend their resources for their boys’ education rather than spending equally on their sons and daughters.
No wonder the proportion ofl women among the highly paid and valued jobs is still very small. On an average an Indian woman works one hour more than an average man every day. Yet much of her work is not paid and therefore often not valued.
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976l provides that equal wages should be paid to equal work. However in almost all areas of work, from sports and cinema, to factories and fields, women are paid less than men, even when both do exactly the same work. In many parts of India parentsl prefer to have sons and find ways to have the girl child aborted before she is born. Such sex-selective abortion led to a decline in child sex ratio (number of girl children per thousand boys) in the country to merely 914.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Social Science Chapter 4 Gender Religion and Caste
1. Mention different aspects of life in which women are discriminated or disadvantaged in India.
The women in India are discriminated or disadvantaged in the following ways:
- Literacy – The literacy rate for women is 65.46 per cent, against 82.14 per cent for men. This shows that since independence, the gap between the ratio of men and women with respect to literacy still cannot be filled.
- Higher education – When you compare the percentage of boys and girls opting for higher studies after school, it is lower for girls as they tend to drop out after schools. This is because parents do not wish to spend their resources on a girl’s education, which is quite expected in boys’ cases.
- High-Paid jobs – The percentage of women working in high-paying jobs is still smaller than men. On an average, an Indian woman works one hour more than an average man every day. Yet much of her work is not paid and therefore often not valued.
- The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 states that equal wages should be paid to equal work. However, in almost all areas of work, from sports and cinema to factories and fields, women are paid less than men, even when both do exactly the same work.
- Sex-ratio – Sex Ratio of India is 107.48, i.e., 107.48 males per 100 females in 2019.
2. State different forms of communal politics with one example each.
The different forms of communal politics are:
- Communalism takes a form of religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities and a belief in the superiority of one’s religion over other religions. E.g. Militants religious groups.
- The quest for political dominance of one religion over another in a community. It takes a form of majoritarianism. For example, the tiff between Hindus and Muslims.
- Political mobilisation on religious lines is another frequent form of communalism. Example – During elections, hate speeches come to the surface, revealing the communalism.
- Communal violence is another form of communalism in politics.
Example – Indian and Pakistan.
The tiff between the two countries has a long history and the violence that followed is well known.
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