The Status of Women

In: Social Issues

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The Status of Women

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Meaning of ‘status of women’
• Three separate but interdependent components of women’s position are: a) The extent of exposure to the outside world; b) The extent of interaction with the outside world, and in particular, the extent of economic interaction; and c) The level of autonomy in decision-making within and outside the household Absolute levels of women’s position on above variables, not necessarily relative to the men in their households .
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Predictors of the status of women
• Education Marriage and kinship patterns North • CULTURAL INFLUENCE South Potential for female employment Exposure Interaction Autonomy

• Employment
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Kinship and Marriage :North South Variations
• Northern kinship system is characterized by a principal of expansion and the incorporation of outsiders as wives into the family > Village is exogamous unit. No exchange marriage • South represents the principle of immediate exchange and a policy of consolidation of existing kin network > Intra-kin marriages and marriages within a village
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Women’s Economic Roles
• Opportunities for women’s participation in the labour force • Perception of women and their kin group Women in North India are less likely to be doing work and in waged activity Women’s participation in labour force : Rural areas
(Source: Registrar General of India,1987)

% of women UP Tamil Nadu In labour force 5 22 Cultivators 48 23 Agricultural labourers 35 53 -----------------------------------------------------------------------Ownership of sewing-machine (%) 22 8
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Purdah or female seclusion
• Origins: marriage and kinship patterns, history of invasions, Islamic influence etc. • Practiced by 45 % of women in UP, 5 % in Tamil Nadu • Effect: differential use of space by women like avoidance of outdoors when there are men. Example from the study

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