Latasinha's Weblog

Social and political Values and Systems in India.

Discrimination on grounds of gender



Gender discrimination on the basis of gender is not a unique feature of Indian society only. It is a universal phenomenon and exists almost in all the societies. East or West, Developed or Developing – irrespective of religious faith and economic system.

Till very recently, traditional societies regarded women weak, emotional, lacking in the strength of mind, to resist temptations, and falling an easy prey to external temptations. In Hamlet, Shakespeare described women as; Frailty, thy name is woman.

As late as 1960s, it was believed that womens fundamental biological make-up made them unfit for managerial role. Logic, reason and efficiency, the basics of professional management were supposed to be lacking in them. Therefore, women were subjected to nearly complete male domination and control.

The qualities like perseverance, patience and devotion to duty, attitude to accept challenges unhesitatingly and the nature of not raising a voice for their rights or against their plights caused irreparable damage to the cause of women and relegated them to a secondary position in the society. It reduced them to a subordinate status. 

The slave like condition, deep rooted prejudices, systematic deprivation, the suppression and oppression of women have been strengthened and institutionalized by religious practices and unequal family laws of patriarchal societies. The gender bias against women can be seen in matters of succession, inheritance and property rights. Even basic human rights are denied to them. Their contribution to society and nation remains invisible and unrewarded. 

The forceful and aggressive qualities of body and mind of men has forced a majority of women to accept complete male domination.  The conceptualization of man-woman relationships and their representation in traditional institutions like family, community, religious agencies, state, educational institutions etc. focus on the weaker nature of woman in patriarchal societies.

Any attempt for emancipation and empowerment of women, strikes at the root of power structure and the base of man-woman relationship, which is tilted heavily in favour of male members of the society. Therefore, the task of empowering woman is not expected to be accepted easily by the male dominated social and political set-up.


October 3, 2009 Posted by | Women's issues | | 1 Comment

Reservations and women

 Women in India comprise about 50% of the total population. They present a classic example of demonstrating, how with sincere efforts, self-confidence and inner strength, success can be achieved, even against odds, pressures, restrictions and disabilities. They have fought their battle in an uneven terrain and paved their way to success without any shelter under protectionism policies of the Government. In almost all the fields of nation-building activities, be it political, social, economic, civil administration or armed services, they have proved themselves to be second to none in matter of qualification or intelligence. Their remarkable success, that too, within a short span of time, forces one to doubt the efficacy of Reservation as a rational means for the uplift of the down-trodden.

If women, despite their being the most disadvantaged section of the society, could succeed without Reservations, why not others? Backward Classes, including untouchables, tribal and minorities were availing the benefit of Reservations since later half of the 19th century, formally or informally, in admissions to Schools, Scholarships, and jobs in Government and in positions in political institutions consisting of elected representatives of the people.


October 3, 2009 Posted by | Reservation/Affirmative action program, Women's issues | | Leave a comment


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