Critically discuss the impact of patriarchy upon the position of middle class working women in India?
Patriarchy refers to the dominance of male in the power equation with female, which in turn leads to subjugation of the latter. In terms of its impact on women folk, following points can provide the required insight:
Dual burden of work
With the rise of economic wellbeing in the post 1990s India, women have found themselves increasingly getting employed outside home. However there liberty has come in a form where they have to do household work combined with office work, due to nuclearization of family and high labour cost.
Corporate Glass ceiling
Owing to patriarchal expectation of looking after children and doing household chores lead to affecting the mobility of women in corporate ladder.
Limited job venues
The freedom to choose one’s occupation is severely eclipsed for women, where in recent times they are largely confined to service sector, more commonly known as pink sector which includes Sales jobs, Information and technology, customer care, and others.
Despite equivalent qualification for a job like man, women often bear the brunt of patriarchy in the form of low pay.
Work often requires constant spatial mobility, which in the wake of increased cases of violence against women, discourages them to take employment in the first place, and further dampening India’s low women’s labour-force participation rates
To make work environment conducive for women, government has passed legislations for increased maternity leaves, provisions for crèche facility, committee to protect women from sexual offences among others. All these legislation though try to insulate the harmful effect of patriarchy has in turn increased the cost of employing women compared to men.
Though the values of patriarchy still looms on India’s landscape, however owing to increased education and economic prosperity among women in particular and in society in general, the condition of women is rapidly improving. All this is making India an inclusive society in true sense.