How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India?
The increased mobility of working women in the middle class has improved their social standing in a multitude of ways. In today’s world, working women of the middle class assume all the duties and responsibilities of a working middle class man, in addition to the tradition roles accorded to women in Indian society. The job and the attendant pay and other perks must technically put the women on an equal footing with the men. However, India is predominantly a patriarchal society, and this deeply impacts the status of women in Indian society.
Patriarchy perpetuates a social structure wherein men dominate, oppress and exploit women (in varying degrees). A patriarchal society assumes the superiority and submits to the leadership of men. In such a society, though a level of independence is gained by middle class working women, they are still considered subordinate to their husband/father. Whatever advances in social position are achieved by women stand nullified by the entrenched patriarchal mentality. The reins of power in the household still remain with the male head of the family, despite the fact that the women shoulder as many, if not more, responsibilities.