Patriarchy

Literally, rule by father, this concept is used to refer to a system that values men more and gives them power over women.

Sexual division of labour

  1. A system in which all work inside the home is either done by the women of the family, or organized by them through the domestic helpers. Gender division is a form of hierarchical social division seen everywhere, but is rarely recognized in the sociological studies. The gender division tends to be understood as natural and unchangeable. However, it is not based on biology but on social expectations and stereotypes.
  2. Boys and girls are brought up to believe that the main responsibility of women is housework and bringing up children.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Manifestation of Patriarchy and Sexual Division of Labour

  1. The persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women;
  2. Inequalities and inadequacies in, and unequal access to, education and training;
  3. Inequalities and inadequacies in, and unequal access to, health care and related services;
  4. Violence against women;
  5. The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation;
  6. Inequality in economic structures and policies, in all forms of productive activities and in access to resources;
  7. Inequality between men and women in the sharing of power and decision-making, at all levels;
  8. Insufficient mechanisms, at all levels, to promote the advancement of women;
  9. Lack of respect for, and inadequate promotion and protection of, the human rights of women;
  10. Stereotyping of women and inequality in women’s access to, and participation in, all communication systems, especially the media;
  11. Persistent discrimination against, and violation of the rights of, the girl-child.

Other Aspect of SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOUR

  1. 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.
  2. Gradually the gender issue was raised in politics. Women in different parts of the world organized 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.
  3. 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 mobilization on this question helped to improve women’s role in public life.
  4. 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.

Entitlement

  1. Entitlement means the socially sanctioned right to have or do something, something that we have an official right to: the amount that we have the right to receive. When we analyze entitlement at microscopic, refers to place where one is living (the household), food one is taking within the household, over the property, over the child over the sexual relationship, over work, over power and authority, over liberty and equality.At macroscopic level entitlement is defined by law, etc.
  2. Differential entitlement of every individual over social and political affairs is characteristics of traditional society e.g. Dalits were denied temple entry in traditional Indian society, Women were not entitled to take part in social and political affairs in most part of traditional Indian society.
  3. Entitlements are equitably distributed in modern societies. For example class mobility is now possible to lower strata of society. They can achieve this through education, acquision of wealth, political power etc.
  4. Feminist sociologists criticize modern criteria of entitlements. They blame that entitlement is differentially distributed in modern society. Patriarchy still defines entitlements, not the modernity.

Entitlements on the basis of gender status

  1. Entitlements over household: A woman’s right over household declines after the death of her parents. Entitlements of ownership over her house are restricted because of patriarchy and primordial values.
  2. Entitlements over food: Bina Majumdar studied status of a woman on the basis of entitlement over food. Her findings show the influence of patriarchal values still prevalent in matters of food in the family. Malinowski in his study found that- food meant for god is prepared by unmarried girls and food for domestic consumption is prepared by married women.
  3. Women in traditional Indian society generally eat after the meal of make members. Also their food is of inferior quality some times.
  4. Entitlement over projection of oneself: Women make food using rental and physical labour. So her productive labour is involved in preparation of food But she is not given credit for such act. Entitlement our maiden surname changed after marriage. Prefix is a must before the name of women after marriage. This signifies women as private property of man. Cultural prescription, patriarchal prescriptions define how a woman will present herself before or after her marriage. This shows that a woman does not have entitlement over her own existence.
  5. Entitlement over women’s own self: Tulsi Patel in study of Rajsthan concluded that a woman becomes mother-in-law by the age of 35. This is because of child marriage. This shows that women do not have entitlement over the children she is going to produce.
  6. Entitlement over sexuality: Women’s sexuality is greatly controlled and men’s sexuality is free, in a patriarchal society.Women’s sexuality is subjected to patriarchal construct Men make culture and dominate private sphere of women. Men and women are bom equal but it is the society and culture which makes the status unequal.
  7. Entitlement over work: Gender based inequality in sphere of work is found in almost all societies. But it is absolute in socialist society. Reproductive role of women restricted her role in work field Women never get out of her confinement of domestic life. Women’s labour is rendered unpaid in domestic sphere. Her work is absolutely unrecognized and unappreciated A kind of exploitation of women takes place at home. Gender role division persists. Women are silent workers. Exploitation in industries leads to revolution by exploited workers. But the silent workers never manifest the opposition to exploitation.
  8. Entitlement over power in the family and society : Decisions taken in a family are also influenced by patriarchal values. In less important decisions women are concerned Important decisions are taken by elders in the family in consultation with other male members. Women don’t have the power to control over her body. The number of children to produce, the name of the child property belonging to family, her public affairs are all controlled by family.

In our country, women still lag much behind men despite some improvement since Independence. Ours is still a male-dominated PATRIARCHAL society. Women face disadvantage, discrimination and oppression in various ways.

  1. The literacy rate among women is only 54 per cent compared with 76 per cent among men. Similarly, a smaller proportion of girls 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 dropout because parents prefer to spend their resources for their boys education rather than spending equally on their sons and daughters.
  2. No wonder the proportion of 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 Wages Act 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 boy do exactly the same work.
  3. In many parts of India parents prefer to have sons and find ways to have the girls child aborted before she is born.Such sex-selective abortion led to a decline in child sex ratio (number of girls children per thousand boys) in the country to merely 927. There are reports of various kinds of harassment, exploitation and violence against women. Urban areas have become particularly unsafe for women. They are not safe even within their own home from beating, harassment and other forms of domestic violence.

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