This article tells about the infringement of women’s rights in society. Many of us feel that ordering the
world and human behavior into masculine and feminine is unfair. Women, of course, and with good
reason, are more likely to feel thus, even the wealthiest and most powerful of women are perceived
chiefly as mothers, wives, daughters, or sisters.
They are seldom viewed as persons in their rights and very few women see themselves as autonomous beings. This article examines how women have been rendered subordinate to men and how the oppression of societal norms and regulation lead to the violation of women’s right.
IMPOSITION OF GENDER ROLES
Gender is everywhere. When a female child is born, she will be dressed in soft colors and frilly clothes, and toys gifted to her will be a kitchen set, soft toys, Barbie set, etc. but if a male child is born he will get a
gun, car, etc. this is how society starts allotting gender roles. When people admonish girls for behaving
like boys or tease boys for being timid ‘like girls’, we are ‘doing’ gender. That is, they are allocating to
the male and female sexes specific and distinctive attributes and roles; likewise, we also impose different
sets of expectations on them and this is how subordination of a girl or a woman starts from the birth itself.
More importantly, we seem to imply that these attributes and roles may not be easily exchanged.
Norms and expectations exist in almost all societies, to a greater or lesser degree. These norms usually
have to do with patterns of work, modes of feeling and relating, style of clothing, the system of learning
and communication, and, most significantly, access to resources and power.
Once you agree that men and women are and will always be different, you are left with two rigid
categories of behavior, thought-action, and ethics i.e. masculine and feminine. Masculine and feminine
categories are then so taken for granted that you do demur when people say ‘Boys will be boys’, ‘After all
she is a girl, how else could she have reacted’. Such a categorization assumes that all men and all women
are similar across societies and will remain so for all time to come. In all these instances, it is not the sex
of the child that decides whether it is valuable.
The point is, at various moments in our lives we do actively question routine practices of gender. But we
rarely question the fundamental premises on which these practices are based. We do not ask ourselves
whether men and women are not similar as we imagine them to be. Whether masculine and feminine
attributes and roles cannot be exchanged or transformed, or what if men and women can be equal to and
coeval with each other?
DIFFERENTIATION OF GENDER AT THE WORKPLACE
To begin, women do the majority- 75 percent- of the world’s unpaid care and domestic work. Women
spend more hours at work, they used to look after the children and take care of all domestic chores.
Whatever the hardship and rewards for such work, it remains the case that those who govern our countries or economies do not recompense or adequately recognize it as a contribution to the overall social wealth.
As for paid labor, women’s global participation rates are lower than men’s. Even after the emergence of
capitalism, women are still more likely to land in the informal and low-wage sectors. This pattern
compels us to ask what women’s work has to do with gender and gender oppression.
In earlier times, women used to contribute to the work of production but the task allotted to them required high strength.
They perform heavy chores and physically exacting tasks such as farming, laboring, used
to make flour through hand milling, etc. and generally, these work are low-wage work. On the one side
women were confined to performing heavy chores simultaneously on the other side society had created a
taboo that women are physically weaker than men. Even after the industrial revolution, when machinery
and technology created work easier, all men were working on the machines women had not provided any
For example- earlier, in old stone flour mills women used to work which needed high strength
but when machinery was launched, work became easier for men used to work. A significant thing is that
there has been no bar on men doing women’s work. In fact, in those instances where men have taken on
characteristically female roles and tasks, such as cooking, they have transformed them into professions
that fetch money and prestige, as when a man does the work of cooking he becomes “CHEF” but a
woman does the same work she is only a “HOUSEWIFE”. The work done by women has never been
recognized by any of the society.
In every field, women are earning less than men even if they are the doing same work that men are
doing. Women only get high wages than men where they have to sell their bodies. Prostitution and
modeling is the only field where women are earning more than men. Still, society is highly discriminated
against women which leads to the infringements of their human rights. The right to equality and right to
recognition are basic and are highly ignored by people in the context of women.
To conclude, such taboos and norms of society had subordinated women to a very extreme level. The
creation of gender roles played a very vital role in the oppression of women’s rights. The point is not only
about the right but also about the recognition. Legally and constitutionally women have all the rights and
have also provided recognition in every sphere but at ground level, there is no recognition. Their roles are
always seen as inferior to men. One is not born as a woman but becomes one. The position, recognition,
taboos, rules, and norms all are created by society and can be changed by society itself.