Patriarchy: Prof. Vibhuti Patel

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Women's status in the family is determined by PANCHMAHABHOOTA (five omnipresent factors) of Patriarchy (PPs), namely the caste/ kinship network, religion, economic status, media and the state. PPs draw their strength from male chauvinism and women’s subjugation. Patriarchal control over women’s sexuality, fertility and labour takes a barbaric turn due to commercialization of human relations in a capitalist drive for profit. Economic globalization thrives on unpaid care work and poorly paid work of women and girls in the informal economy. Economic subordination of women and girls make them prone to covert and overt, psychological, emotional, sexual and physical violence.


Presentation Transcript

Patriarchy & Women:

1 Patriarchy & Women Dr. Vibhuti Patel, DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R. Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020 Tel  91) (22) 22031879, Ext.243, Mobile-9321040048 E mail:


2 Patriarchy Patriarchy is an institution that perpetuates male domination and female subordination. It sustains power relations that discriminate against girls and women in the households and in the economy. Pillars of Patriarchy are Family, kinship network, state, religion and media- PANCH MAHABHOOTA. . Patriarchy perpetuates double standards for women and men in each & every sphere of life.

Public versus Private:

3 Public versus Private It attributes ‘private’ realm to women and ‘public’ domain to men. In a patriarchal society, the line of inheritance passes from father to son known as Patrilineage. The patriarchal order is Patrilocal i.e. after marriage, the bride is expected to go to the groom’s residence

Deconstructing Patriarchy:

4 Deconstructing Patriarchy Different historical periods, cultural context Patriarchy thrives on control of women’s sexuality, fertility and labour for male hegemony over economic resources. marriage, divorce, custody of children, guardianship rights, alimony, maintenance, property rights of mother, sister, daughter, legally wedded wives and her child/ children, co-wives and their children, keeps and their children and the issues concerning adoption .

Control of women's sexuality:

5 Control of women's sexuality Dress code which, restricts mobility of women and girls, does not allow her to do those chores which require flexible body movements, reduces her efficiency and employability in non-conventional occupations. "Tool" as a phallic symbol, not being allowed to be used by menstruating women as it is supposed to have contaminating influence. Hostility towards women who ride bicycles, drive cars and scooters, operate machines and use ploughs for farming, wheels for pottery, saw for carpentry.

Control over women’s sexiality:

6 Control over women’s sexiality Women being treated as repository of custom and tradition and cultural practices, dedicated as devdasis , jogtis and forced to undergo series of masochistic fasting, scarification and self infliction of pain which make them unemployable and perpetually dependant on the patriarchs. They enjoy only subversive power of a comfort woman that too, is mediated by men, as they don't have any legal rights. In the commercial context, the same happens to women beneficiary of Maitri-Karar (friendship contract) and Seva-karar (Service contract) . Need for male escorts, bodyguards for dainty, sickly and weak women who see their identity as anorexic women. Billion-dollar beauty business thrives by controlling young women so that they are incapable of using their body for manual chores. Here, women's insecurity about their looks is used by the cosmetic industry. Women eating last, the least and the left over. Nourishing and balanced diet as a male prerogative. Daughters and brides kept on starvation diet. Food secures middle-aged women as honorary men.

Control of women's fertility::

7 Control of women's fertility: Women being treated as male-child producing machine. Customary practices of female infanticide and neglect and abandonment of girl child, scientific techniques of sex determination tests used for female foeticide, pre-conception elimination of female embryo with the help of sex-preselection techniques. Population policies targeting women for unsafe contraceptives and harmful hormone based contraceptive researches, which violate bodily integrity and dignity of married and unmarried girls and women. Laws on prostitution penalising and persecuting women victims of sexploitation running a parallel economy of as much as 200 billion rupees. Social boycott of unwed mothers. Illegitimate children being stigmatised by society and deprived of economic, social and educational opportunities. They are further marginalised in the economy, which is undergoing massive structural adjustments and instability. Facilities like identity card, ration card and other legal documents which are a must for citizenship rights are not provided to them.

Control of women's labour::

8 Control of women's labour: Use of women in the economy for the occupations which, are extensions of housework, i.e. 3 Cs (cooking, cleaning and caring). Only 6 % of women are in the organised sector which guarantees protection of labour legislation and ERA (Equal Remuneration Act). 94% of women are in the informal sector which does not guarantee job-security, regular income and personal safety. Demonisation of highly qualified, efficiency plus and career women. Witch hunting of intellectually independent and verbally articulate women workers, employees, technicians and decision-makers. Sexual harassment as an occupational hazard to crush the confidence of women and to keep them in the state of perpetual terrorisation, humiliation and intimidation


9 Matriarchy Matriarchal institutions are mother centered. In this system, the line of inheritance is from mother to daughter, known as Matrilineage. After marriage, groom goes to brides house termed as Matrilocal.

Gender Based Division of labour :

10 Gender Based Division of labour Patriarchy demands male order, male supremacy & gender based division of labour. Men in commanding position In India, it is based on the ideology of male dominance, caste and social norms of ‘purity and pollution’. It is also based upon the notion that women are physically weaker than men and are not suited for physically arduous tasks. Women’s biological tasks of monthly menstruation and pregnancy, confined them to subsistence economy such as lowly paid agricultural work, handicrafts and also household work.

Patriachy and the Process of Economic Development:

11 Patriachy and the Process of Economic Development The incorporation of subsistence economies into ‘modern’ market economies has brought into question the traditional gender-based division of labour as an organizing principle in the rural and urban sector because of the basic injustice it perpetuates. Women end up doing the least skilled work and are underpaid or are expected to contribute to survival needs of the family without any corresponding benefits.

Challenge to Patriarchy:

12 Challenge to Patriarchy Esther Boserup in her pioneering work brought to fore African women’s crucial contrib 12 ution towards food security and explained the political economy of polygamy in Africa that allowed men to concentrate and centralize economic resources thro’ unpaid and backbreaking labour of women and children in the subsistence economy that did not have much animal resources for cultivation of land.

Gender mainstreaming :

13 Gender mainstreaming Gender mainstreaming is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. The calls for increased gender mainstreaming are not only for increased gender balance within the institutions but for increased attention to gender perspectives and the goal of gender equality in their work. Gender mainstreaming does not entail developing separate women’s projects within work programmes, or even women’s components within existing activities in the work programmes.

Challenging patriarchy:

14 Challenging patriarchy It requires that attention is given to gender perspectives as an integral part of all activities across all programmes. This involves making gender perspectives – what women and men do and the resources and decision-making processes they have access to – more central to all policy development, research, advocacy, development, implementation and monitoring of norms and standards, and planning, implementation and monitoring of projects

Gender Analysis :

15 Gender Analysis is the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated information. Men and women both perform different roles. This leads to women and men having different experience, knowledge, talents and needs. Gender analysis explores these differences so policies, programmes and projects can identify and meet the different needs of men and women. Gender analysis also facilitates the strategic use of distinct knowledge and skills possessed by women and men.

Sex-Disaggregated Data :

16 Sex-Disaggregated Data Data that is collected and presented separately on men and women. UN INSTRAW The Planning commission of india National Sample survey Sample Registration System Census of India

Origin of the gender mainstreaming strategy :

17 Origin of the gender mainstreaming strategy Efforts in the 1970s shifted instead to integrating attention to women into all activities rather than keeping women on the sidelines of development. However the gains made through the integration strategy were limited by the fact that most efforts were undertaken too late in processes when all important decisions on goals, strategies and resources had already been taken.

The Platform for Action (Beijing Conference, 1995 :

18 The Platform for Action (Beijing Conference, 1995 made it very clear that gender analysis is the first essential step in the mainstreaming strategy. Before any decisions are taken in any area of societal development an analysis should be made of the current responsibilities and contributions of both women and men and the potential impact of planned processes and activities on women and men respectively.

Agency for gender mainstreaming :

19 Agency for gender mainstreaming Gender specialists should, however, have new roles – catalysing, advising and supporting the efforts of others rather than doing mainstreaming themselves. Effective roles for gender specialists requires adequate allocation of resources, clear mandates and strategic location within organizations. Specialists require the strong support of, and direct access to, senior management levels.

Process of gender mainstreaming:

20 Process of gender mainstreaming The first step required is an assessment of the linkages between gender equality and the issue or sector being worked on, that is, to identify the gender implications of working on, for example, environment, poverty elimination, health development & all other areas of development. This involves understanding why promotion of gender equality is important for securing human rights/social justice for both women and men, as well as for achievement of development goals.

Gender Mainstreming:

21 Gender Mainstreming Secondly the opportunities for introducing gender perspectives need to be identified in the work tasks undertaken. These opportunities or entry-points can be found in research and analysis, policy development, use of statistics, training events and workshops/conferences, as well as in planning and implementing projects and programmes.

Gender Mainstreaming:

22 Gender Mainstreaming Thirdly an approach or methodology has to be identified for successfully incorporating gender perspectives into these work tasks in a manner which facilitates influencing goals, strategies, resource allocation and outcomes. This could include, for example, giving attention to gender perspectives and the goal of gender equality in terms or reference and job descriptions. Institutional development , in terms of developing guidelines, utilizing gender specialists, providing competence development for all personnel, etc., is also required to support gender mainstreaming.

Changes from Top and Pressure from Below:

23 Changes from Top and Pressure from Below Top Down Approach- Mandate from top, Trustees, Donors, employers Bottom up- Women’s Voices, Men animators, demands from communities Influence from Media, education system Global pressure Social movements

Thank You:

24 Thank You

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