Content Page no. 1. ABSTRACT2 2. INTRODUCTION3 3. GENDER DISCRIMINATION4 3. 1- Definition 3. 2- Scenario 4. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE6 4. 1- Pre-Aryan period (B. C. 3000 ??? B. C. 2000) 4. 2- Vedic Period (B. C. 2000 ??? B. C. 600) 4. 3- Revolution period (B. C 600 ??? 300 A. D) 4. 4- Puranic Age (300 A. D ???1200 A. D) 4. 5- Medieval Period (1200 A. D -1757 A. D) 4. 6- Period of British rulership (1757 A. D ??? 1947 A. D) 4. 7- Era after independence (After A. D 1947) 5. TYPES OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION9 5. 1- Abortion of female foetus with the help of scanning. . 2- Infanticide. 5. 3- Denial of education. 5. 4- Denial of health facilities. 5. 5- Early marriage, forced marriage, arranged marriage without consent. 5. 6- Rape and sexual harassment. 5. 7- Dowry. 5. 8- Divorce, Destitution. 5. 9- Eve teasing. 5. 10- Denial of employment. 5. 11- No equal pay for equal work. 5. 12- No freedom of selection. 5. 13- Discrimination in religious affairs. 5. 14- Discrimination in policy making. 6. CAUSES OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION10 6. 1- Creed. 6. 2- Caste. 6. 3- Educational backwardness. . 4- Culture. 6. 5- Religious beliefs. 6. 6- Family Background. 6. 7- Races. 6. 8- Beliefs and Customs. 6. 9- Unemployment. 6. 10- Low income. 6. 11- Family specific conditions. 6. 12- Society. 6. 13- Attitudes. 6. 14- Mind set. 6. 15- Male dominated society. 7. GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN CONTEMPORARY INDIA12 7. 1- Context 7. 2- Situation 8. SOLUTION FOR GENDER DISCRIMINATION13 8. 1- Education 8. 2- Employment 8. 3- Independence 8. 4- Empowerment 8. 5- Social awareness 9. CONCLUSION14 10. BIBLIOGRAPHY15 1. Abstract
The topic which is analysed here is very relevant for studying because it encompasses the whole society and gives us very clear picture of modern society at the same time it provides us the opportunity for the betterment of the society in which we are living and contributing, we as the basic constituent of the society must understand about the society and its problems and solutions and for that we must undertake this kind of study. We can expand our knowledge base at the same time with this kind of study and can provide insight for the society.
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Humans are social animal and they are interdependent on each other for their living and survival. In context of India where diversity is basic and there are societies in the Indian society and every society has her own culture and living norms. In this kind of scenario study is bit difficult but with various factors and traits like historical cultural and familial we can draw some conclusion and on the basis of some assumption we can get very clear picture. This study is not very exhaustive but this can provide useful insight. . Introduction Indian society is a unique example of diversity with various cultures, religions, races, castes, ideologies and ethnic groups beside this, migrant also, they differ each other in cultural practices and custom. And so we can definitely say that India as a country shows unique feature of a society. We are living in a society which is changing rapidly having the basic traits of modern society such as technological advancement, rapid industrialization, globalization, rationalization and fast flow of information.
Our society is still in transition because of which we are facing lots of social problem like illiteracy, fanaticism, unemployment, terrorism, child malnutrition, child labour, poverty, linguistic tension, ethnic and racial discrimination, population explosion, corruption, untouchability, naxalism and various other problems. Indian society is very diverse perhaps the most multifaceted than in any other of the world’s great civilizations. It is very difficult to make any generalization about Indian society. The complexities of Indian social structure have challenged many scholars from around the world over many decades.
The ethnic and linguistic diversity of Indian society is more varied any other single nation-state. As a citizenry of Indian nation there are vast numbers of different regional, social, and economic groups, each with different cultural practices. The most prominent are differences between social structures in the north and the south, especially in the area of kinship systems. Throughout the country, religious differences are very significant, especially between the Hindu majority and the large Muslim minority; and other Indian groups like Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Jews, Parsis, Sikhs, and practitioners of tribal religions.
There are considerable economic inequalities in Indian State and vast differences in socioeconomic status are evident everywhere in India. In many villages, there are some solid cement houses of landlords at the same time there are flimsy thatched shacks of landless labourers. It is very obvious that distinctions of class are found in almost every settlement in India. Urban-rural differences are very significant in Indian Society. Nearly 70% of India’s population dwells in villages, with agriculture providing support for most of these rural residents.
In India’s great cities millions of people live in concrete jungle, amidst cacophony. But one thing is common in both urban and rural area and that is gender bias or rather Gender Discrimination. The behaviour and expectations from men are quite different than a man not especially in villages and small towns, but also in considerably educated urban areas. These gender specific biases are not limited to any particular cast creed or religion that discrimination is everywhere in Indian society. Having diversity as a prime characteristic, Indian nation is yet to achieve dignity for her female population.
As she has achieved lot of accolades in various other fields like Information Technology, Economic Sphere, Science and Technology and food sufficiency. 3. Gender Discrimination 3. 1- Definition: The historical meaning of gender is “things we treat differently because of their inherent differences”. It has three common applications in contemporary English. Most commonly, it is applied to the general differences between male and female entities, without any overt assumptions regarding biology or sociology.
Sometimes, however, the usage is technical or overtly assumes a particular theory of human nature, which is usually made clear from the context. Finally, gender is also commonly applied to the independent concept of distinctive word categories in certain languages. Grammatical gender has little or nothing to do with differences between female and male. -Wikipedia- Discrimination is a sociological term referring to the treatment taken toward or against a person of a certain group in consideration based solely on class or category.
Discrimination is the actual behaviour towards another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups. The United Nations explains: “Discriminatory behaviours take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection. ” Discriminatory laws such as redlining have existed in many countries. In some countries, controversial attempts such as racial quotas have been used to redress negative effects of discrimination. -Wikipedia- | 3. – Scenario: Women, the most important constituent of human society, almost 50% of the whole population have always been the focus of attention not because they are somewhat different but because they are treated differently in this male dominated society. Social scientist, political reformist, philosopher, and planners of the society have all shown the concern about this particular flaw of the whole society. No one is spared from this phenomenon there are some places which are relatively better in this world. But in context of Indian women, the conditions generally deteriorated due to socio-political and socio-economic forces.
In any society women and men should have equal participation for the growth and development of individual and social lives of all the stake holders in that society. The women play very significant role in the society as mother and this makes her unique. Beside that a careful analysis of Indian society shows us that the situation is worse for women living in rural area. The sex ratio of male and female in India a bit skewed towards male population. Social Status of the women in India is changing but very slowly.
So we can say that the condition is not changing at all and becoming unfavourable towards women because the speed of social change is very fast. Throughout the Indian social history women are major contributors to family and society. In India majority is Hindu and they have gods and goddesses both and one of the incarnations of lord Shiva is Ardhanareeshwar, which shows the collaboration of half male and half female as its constituent. Unfortunately this is completely in contrast with the reality. The women are subjected to discrimination in almost every sphere of life.
There is discrimination in learning, in employment, in social life, in market place, in games and sports etc beside this we have seen dowry deaths and exploitations of various kinds which are very common. In the real world the women are targets of atrocities of many types. These things got manifestations in discrimination against them from very early period. There are incidents of female foeticide, infanticide, early marriage, forced domestic activities and lesser emphasis on education and career have made women’s lives full of problems. They are discriminated against their male counterpart from early childhood.
They never get self dependence, they are forced to depend on male (e. g. parents, husbands) because of some orthodox social norms. And in Indian society this is the destiny of the majority of the women folk. The gravity of discrimination against women changes across urban, rural and tribal areas. Most of the time, they are expected to do different works and to fulfil various responsibilities and treated as relatively weaker and inefficient. This is the reality that still prevailing in various spheres of the society. And the discriminatory practices in the family are quit visible, such as distribution of work, food and social activities.
Very often the girl child in the family burdened with lots of responsibilities which are beyond her capacity. They are neither able to realize their potentials nor able to contribute to the society as an integral part of the social structure. These exploitations are main obstacles in the developmental process and growth of the girl child, and at the same time these things hampers the success of the country as a whole. Due to these obstacles when girl child matures and becomes an adult she is often found physically weak and mentally stagnant.
With these conditions and hampered learning their contributions towards the society are often limited, their main contribution is towards family and these contributions are often ignored. There are some legal provisions about the age of marriage and reservation for women in various spheres of life has contributed to change in their situation. Today there is some representation of women in various occupations and public offices. The condition is slightly better than past but overall the whole scenario is gloomy and that tells us that we have to travel too long to ensure no negative gender discrimination in Indian society. . Historical perspective 4. 1- Pre-Aryan period (B. C. 3000 ??? B. C. 2000): Regarding the status of the women nothing can be said with certainty due to the absence of enough literature. It has been accepted, on the basis of some clues from the excavation that the status of the women at that time was high because civilisation leads to higher status of the women. 4. 2- Vedic Period (B. C. 2000 ??? B. C. 600): The Rig Veda which was written around 1500 B. C gives the vague picture of the early Aryan society. It is concluded that the Aryans were more civilized and cultured.
In the Vedic Society Aryan had the Varna System They got settled in the plane of the river Ganga for agricultural purposes, at this time there was no stratification and differentiation among the Varnas. In the Vedic period Indian women enjoyed high status. But due to religious affiliation and patriarchal family system the birth of son was given more importance except this there was no considerable discrimination in education, religious affairs, social affairs and economic affairs. 4. 3- Revolution period (B. C 600 ??? 300 A. D): Lots of social changes took places. In this period society became more stable and rigid.
Brahmins were at the highest position in the society, and Varna system got more rigid, the gender discrimination got more prominent in the society in more are less in every religion. In Hindu religion custom of ‘Kanya Daan’ got established, the marriage age of the girl was fixed before the appearance of maturity. In the Manu Code wife’s faithfulness to her husband was emphasised. The custom of Pardah came in to practice. There was the deterioration in property related rights for women in this period. 4. 4- Puranic Age (300 A. D ???1200 A. D): Gupta imperialism flourished.
The form of the Hindu religion was determined only in this period. The Purans were written in this period. Bouddh and Jain religion had given challenge to the Hindu religion, that is why stability came in the social pattern, and society became more rigid in terms of moral values and custom. Women became subordinates to their male counterpart. The religious life of women got limited to the observation of some fasts, they could listen only to Purans and not to Vedas, early marriage was the established custom by that time, therefore there was no asking for their desire and likings with regard to marriage.
In this period marriage became compulsory for the women. The custom of Sati became very prominent in this period. 4. 5- Medieval Period (1200 A. D -1757 A. D): Muslim Invaders had established their rulership in India in order to propagate their religion and for the economic benefits. In the 16th Century Muslims of Mughal tribe became ruler of India this phenomenon went very long. Cast system had been established properly in the Hindu society. The status of women became very low and more pitiable. And the reason for that was the safety of Hindu religion, purity of blood, chastity of women.
Education of girls was almost finished, Purdah system got more rigid, marriage age was lowered down upto four years, the number of unseen and unmatched marriages had increased significantly, widow marriages stopped completely and custom of Sati reached its peak. Women became merely subordinates in this period. There was a continuous degradation of the status of the women in this period. Discrimination was more prominent in this era. 4. 6- Period of British rulership (1757 A. D ??? 1947 A. D): Indian society came in to contact with western world.
When Britishers started their influence as a trading company at that time country was weak in terms of integration, they took advantage of the deteriorating social condition of the country and established their rulership in whole country. But during that period economic and cultural power gave new form to the society. The process of Urbanization started in 1850 and due to this modernization also started, with industrial development new ideas and thought came into existence. During this period Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda and other learned people started Social reform movement.
During British regime every possible effort was made to reduce negative gender discrimination but those actions was not fruitful enough. Some condition got better due to social reforms movements of 19th century awareness regarding the discrimination came into public mind. British government passed the prohibition of Sati Act, Widow Remarriage Act, Civil Marriage Act, Married Wife property Act, Child Marriage Restraint Act etc the effort was made to reduce the discrimination through legislations as a result status of women was a bit better but discrimination was very high.
Education was extended to the women and that was the most significant change started in that time. Political movements accelerated the movement of women in the whole country. But on the discrimination front it was no change. 4. 7- Era after independence (After A. D 1947): India got divided into two countries namely Hindustan and Pakistan. The country was declared as the secular and welfare state. Through Indian Constitution equal rights were given to every citizen of the state. The Decade between 1975 to1985 was declared as women decade by United Nations for the improvement of women conditions.
After independence lots of effort has been made to improve the conditions of the women in our society. The girl’s age of marriage has been raised to 18 years by the amendment in Child Marriage Act, 1929. Then there was Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Although no practical benefits has been gained. Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1954 have permitted women to marry away from the restriction of religion, caste and to break the bond of marriage. Due to significant effort of State the condition is bit better but the discrimination is very considerable in every sphere of Indian society.
Form employment to social life there is discrimination everywhere. 5. Types of Gender Discriminations Gender discrimination manifest itself in various forms in this society some of them are given bellow; 5. 1- Abortion of female foetus with the help of scanning: There are lots of cases in India related to female foeticide, which is so prevalent in some northern states of India and due to this sex ratio is dwindling. 5. 2- Infanticide: killing of new born baby is called infanticide, and this is quite often in that female newborns are killed because of gender discrimination. . 3- Denial of education: In India most of the time girls are associated with home base activity that’s why girls are not given proper education. 5. 4- Denial of health facilities: Females are not provided with health facilities because they are not considered productive and often involve in small activities. 5. 5- Early marriage, forced marriage, arranged marriage without consent: Girls are subject to various atrocities in India in case of marriage they are neglected, and their will is not considered important. 5. – Rape and sexual harassment: In a male dominant society like India female are victim of various heinous crimes like rape and sexual harassment for the fulfilment of men’s desire. 5. 7- Dowry: This is the Gifts and other material that is given by the family of girl at the time of marriage and if the family of the bride is not able to give the Dowry bride is subject to physical and mental torture by the groom’s family. 5. 8- Divorce, Destitution: Female are subject to breaking of the relationship even for silly or without any reason and they are left with no sustenance option. 5. – Eve teasing: Eve teasing is the men’s unfriendly and some time very sexually explicit remarks for the females. 5. 10- Denial of employment: Females are not provided proper employment in public space because they are considered and associated with household work. 5. 11- No equal pay for equal work: When females are provided with some employment they are not given the equal salary because they are considered to be the less efficient than men regarding the work they do. 5. 12- No freedom of selection: In Indian society female have very few rights regarding selection in various aspect of the life. 5. 3- Discrimination in religious affairs: Females are also discriminated in religious affairs they cannot be the high priests in various temples and in Islam they are not allowed to go to the mosque. 5. 14- Discrimination in policy making: Females are not properly considered for the policy making they are discriminated in various decisions. 6. Causes of Gender Discrimination There are various forms of Gender Discrimination but it is very difficult to find one proper cause for one form so we can conclude that there are various causes of gender discrimination and they are interlinked with each other. Some causes are given bellow; 6. – Creed: This is basically a type of religious belief that some section of the society has. 6. 2- Caste: This is the demarcation of the society in various groups related to occupation, work and political power 6. 3- Educational backwardness: In terms of education when somebody is not as versed and lag behind is called backwardness. 6. 4- Culture: The culture consists of shared attitudes values and goals of particular society that defines the social behaviour. 6. 5- Religious beliefs: they define the mental state of the society in which certain creed, supernatural or God related notions exemplify themselves. . 6- Family Background: Social state of the family on the basis of economical political and religious notions. 6. 7- Races: Related to the classification of humans into populations or groups based on factors such as culture, language, social practice or heritable characteristics. 6. 8- Beliefs and Customs: Related to a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted rules, norms, standards or criteria, 6. 9- Unemployment: No opportunity for work according to the skill or competency of the Individual. 6. 0- Low income: When the earning of the individual or the family is less than what is required for the fulfilment of the basic needs. 6. 11- Family specific conditions: Those circumstances which are related to the family in given environment. 6. 12- Society: Human society is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations such as social status, roles and social networks 6. 13- Attitudes: This is basically the likings and disliking of the society as a whole unit. 6. 14- Mind set: A particular criteria of judging various phenomenon and certain preconceived notions 6. 5- Male dominated society: A society where all the decisions are taken by the male rather than female. 7. Gender Discrimination in contemporary India 7. 1- Context: Whenever we talk about Contemporary India the image we get is a country with high growth rate, technical advancement, technological development, industrial advancement, knowledge centre, Stable government, young population, changing mind set, great future prospect etc, but behind this rosy picture there are some poignant realities like high unemployment rate, poverty, religious conflicts, terrorism, discriminations etc. But the ost important issue is gender discrimination almost 50% population is afflicted with this harsh problem. Gender discrimination is not the new thing in India as it has already been discussed above but in contemporary India condition has not changed too much. And a careful analysis shows us that this is very big problem but we are not too much concerned about this problem as this is related to our system as a society. 7. 2- Situation: After analysing the situation we found that the discrimination is subconsciously ingrained in our minds collectively as parents feel somewhat uneasy to educate daughters.
Parents have several reasons for gender discrimination, they give more preference to male child than female one, because in India they feel that educating girl gives no returns. And this discrimination is more prominent in Rural Areas because of the lack of awareness. Females in India are discriminated against their male counterpart in various ways ??? fewer months of breastfeeding less of nurturing and play, less care or medical treatment, less food, less parental attention.
And due to all these factors girls are far more vulnerable than boys to disease and infections. Gender discrimination in the market place in India from corporate to government is very prominent, which has negative economic consequences. Gender discrimination can be of various forms. From social, cultural, Religious, any kind every form is available in India from eve teasing to foeticide, from sexual harassment to denial of education. 8. Solution for Gender Discrimination
There are various movements and programmes are being carried out by the Government, voluntary organizations and by lots of social activists for reducing gender discrimination. There should be integrated approach to solve the gender discrimination, some solutions are given bellow; 8. 1- Education: Education is the very important factor for the development of any society because it is useful in developing the skills, for spreading knowledge, as a change agent, it improves the mindset of the society it changes the attitude.
It provides various opportunities and Imparts in new Development. Hence education of the society as a whole will be helpful in reducing the gender discrimination. 8. 2- Employment: Employment provides the opportunity of survival and improves the social status of women. Employed women are given importance by the family members. Employment gives the economic freedom to the women. 8. 3- Independence: In Indian society, women are at young age dependent on their fathers, after marriage they depend on their husbands, and in the older age they depends on their sons.
Woman always depends on somebody for her livelihood, hence, independence in various social and economical aspect is very necessary for the reduction of gender Discrimination. 8. 4- Empowerment: Empowerment of women with the help of knowledge, education, laws, and employment can transform the society, and this change will be able to reduce the Gender discrimination. 8. 5- Social awareness: Society as a whole is responsible for gender discrimination so we can safely conclude that a change in the mindset of the society can definitely reduce the gender discrimination. 9. Conclusion
Gender is a common term used to define the biological difference between male and female but gender discrimination is a negative term it afflicts the whole society not only women, females are the only victims but consequences for the society as a whole is more dangerous and they put a question mark on the survival of the whole society. Gender discrimination may be biologically determined but in social norms this is determined by the people as stake holders of society. And the discrimination can be reduced by the proper and continuous efforts of the state and its people.
In this scenario where some of us can understand the importance of the equality but it is very ironical that after so many years of evolution still we are not able to achieve that humanity perspective which is very necessary for our success as human species. Because gender discrimination is not bounded by any country any race any border, this is all pervasive. This can be eradicated by collective effort of all the humans. In the above given whole text we analysed that there are various reasons of the gender discrimination some of them are ingrained in our system and some of them are related to other social problem.
There are some solutions given in this text they are not exhaustive but they can be helpful in bringing the equality and consequently creating in better world. 10. Bibliography 1. Saraswati Mishra (Status of Indian Women) Gyan publishing house New delhi-110002(2002) 2. Anuradha Bhoite (Women Employees and Rural development) Gyan publishing house- New delhi-110002(1987) 3. Karuna Channa (Socialization Education and Women) (1988) Orient Longman Ltd, Hyderabad 4. Wikipedia (July 2010) Thank you