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48 Social and Political Life
Women Change
the World
In the previous chapter, we saw how women?s
work in the home is not recognised as work. We
also read how doing household work and taking
care of family members is a full time job and
there are no specific hours at which it begins or
ends. In this chapter, we will look at work
outside the home, and understand how some
occupations are seen to be more suitable for men
than for women. We will also learn about how
women struggle for equality. Getting an education
was, and still is, one way in which new
opportunities were created for women. This
chapter will also briefly trace the different types
of efforts made by the women?s movement to
challenge discrimination in more recent
years.
5
CHAPTER
Page 2


48 Social and Political Life
Women Change
the World
In the previous chapter, we saw how women?s
work in the home is not recognised as work. We
also read how doing household work and taking
care of family members is a full time job and
there are no specific hours at which it begins or
ends. In this chapter, we will look at work
outside the home, and understand how some
occupations are seen to be more suitable for men
than for women. We will also learn about how
women struggle for equality. Getting an education
was, and still is, one way in which new
opportunities were created for women. This
chapter will also briefly trace the different types
of efforts made by the women?s movement to
challenge discrimination in more recent
years.
5
CHAPTER
49
A farmer A factory worker A nurse
A scientist A pilot A teacher
Are there more images of men
than women?
In what kinds of jobs were there
more images of men than women?
Have all the nurses been drawn as
females? Why?
Are there fewer images of female
farmers? If so, why?
Category Male image Female image
Teacher
Farmer
Factory worker
Nurse
Scientist
Pilot
Who does what work?
Draw images of the following ?
See what images your class drew by filling in the
table below. Add up the number of male and female
images separately for each occupation.
49 Chapter 5: Women Change the World
Page 3


48 Social and Political Life
Women Change
the World
In the previous chapter, we saw how women?s
work in the home is not recognised as work. We
also read how doing household work and taking
care of family members is a full time job and
there are no specific hours at which it begins or
ends. In this chapter, we will look at work
outside the home, and understand how some
occupations are seen to be more suitable for men
than for women. We will also learn about how
women struggle for equality. Getting an education
was, and still is, one way in which new
opportunities were created for women. This
chapter will also briefly trace the different types
of efforts made by the women?s movement to
challenge discrimination in more recent
years.
5
CHAPTER
49
A farmer A factory worker A nurse
A scientist A pilot A teacher
Are there more images of men
than women?
In what kinds of jobs were there
more images of men than women?
Have all the nurses been drawn as
females? Why?
Are there fewer images of female
farmers? If so, why?
Category Male image Female image
Teacher
Farmer
Factory worker
Nurse
Scientist
Pilot
Who does what work?
Draw images of the following ?
See what images your class drew by filling in the
table below. Add up the number of male and female
images separately for each occupation.
49 Chapter 5: Women Change the World 50 Social and Political Life
83.6 per cent of working women in India
are engaged in agricultural work. Their
work includes planting, weeding,
harvesting and threshing. Yet, when we
think of a farmer we only think of a
man.
Source: NSS 61st Round (2004?05)
Category Male image Female image
T eacher 5 25
Farmer 30 0
Factory worker 25 5
Nurse 0 30
Scientist 25 5
Pilot 27 3
How does your class exercise
compare with Rosie Ma?am?s
class exercise?
Rosie Ma?am?s class has 30 children. She did the
same exercise in her class and here is the result.
Page 4


48 Social and Political Life
Women Change
the World
In the previous chapter, we saw how women?s
work in the home is not recognised as work. We
also read how doing household work and taking
care of family members is a full time job and
there are no specific hours at which it begins or
ends. In this chapter, we will look at work
outside the home, and understand how some
occupations are seen to be more suitable for men
than for women. We will also learn about how
women struggle for equality. Getting an education
was, and still is, one way in which new
opportunities were created for women. This
chapter will also briefly trace the different types
of efforts made by the women?s movement to
challenge discrimination in more recent
years.
5
CHAPTER
49
A farmer A factory worker A nurse
A scientist A pilot A teacher
Are there more images of men
than women?
In what kinds of jobs were there
more images of men than women?
Have all the nurses been drawn as
females? Why?
Are there fewer images of female
farmers? If so, why?
Category Male image Female image
Teacher
Farmer
Factory worker
Nurse
Scientist
Pilot
Who does what work?
Draw images of the following ?
See what images your class drew by filling in the
table below. Add up the number of male and female
images separately for each occupation.
49 Chapter 5: Women Change the World 50 Social and Political Life
83.6 per cent of working women in India
are engaged in agricultural work. Their
work includes planting, weeding,
harvesting and threshing. Yet, when we
think of a farmer we only think of a
man.
Source: NSS 61st Round (2004?05)
Category Male image Female image
T eacher 5 25
Farmer 30 0
Factory worker 25 5
Nurse 0 30
Scientist 25 5
Pilot 27 3
How does your class exercise
compare with Rosie Ma?am?s
class exercise?
Rosie Ma?am?s class has 30 children. She did the
same exercise in her class and here is the result.
51
Breaking stereotypes
Engine drivers are men. But 27-year-old Laxmi Lakra, from a
poor tribal family in Jharkhand has begun to change things.
She is the first woman engine driver for Northern Railways.
Laxmi?s parents are not literate but they struggled and
overcame many hardships to make sure their children got an
education. Laxmi studied in a government school. Even in school,
Laxmi helped with the housework and did odd jobs. She studied
hard and did well and then went on to get a diploma in
electronics. She then took the railway board exam and passed
it on her first attempt.
Laxmi says, ?I love challenges and the moment somebody says it
is not for girls, I make sure I go ahead and do it.?  Laxmi has had
to do this several times in her life ? when she wanted to take electronics; when she rode
motorcycles at the polytechnic; and when she decided to become an engine driver.
Her philosophy is simple ? ?As long as I am having fun without harming anyone, as long as I am
doing well and helping my parents,  why should I not lead a lifestyle of my choice??
(Adapted from Driving Her Train by Neeta Lal, Women?s Features Service)
Fewer opportunities and rigid expectations
A lot of the children in Rosie Ma?am?s class drew
women as nurses and men as army officers. The
reason they did this is because they feel that outside
the home too, women are good at only certain jobs.
For example, many people believe that women make
better nurses because they are more patient and
gentle. This is linked to women?s roles within the
family. Similarly, it is believed that science requires
a technical mind and girls and women are not capable
of dealing with technical things.
Because so many people believe in these
stereotypes, many girls do not get the same support
that boys do to study and train to become doctors
and engineers. In most families, once girls finish
school, they are encouraged by their families to see
marriage as their main aim in life.
Chapter 5: Women Change the World
Page 5


48 Social and Political Life
Women Change
the World
In the previous chapter, we saw how women?s
work in the home is not recognised as work. We
also read how doing household work and taking
care of family members is a full time job and
there are no specific hours at which it begins or
ends. In this chapter, we will look at work
outside the home, and understand how some
occupations are seen to be more suitable for men
than for women. We will also learn about how
women struggle for equality. Getting an education
was, and still is, one way in which new
opportunities were created for women. This
chapter will also briefly trace the different types
of efforts made by the women?s movement to
challenge discrimination in more recent
years.
5
CHAPTER
49
A farmer A factory worker A nurse
A scientist A pilot A teacher
Are there more images of men
than women?
In what kinds of jobs were there
more images of men than women?
Have all the nurses been drawn as
females? Why?
Are there fewer images of female
farmers? If so, why?
Category Male image Female image
Teacher
Farmer
Factory worker
Nurse
Scientist
Pilot
Who does what work?
Draw images of the following ?
See what images your class drew by filling in the
table below. Add up the number of male and female
images separately for each occupation.
49 Chapter 5: Women Change the World 50 Social and Political Life
83.6 per cent of working women in India
are engaged in agricultural work. Their
work includes planting, weeding,
harvesting and threshing. Yet, when we
think of a farmer we only think of a
man.
Source: NSS 61st Round (2004?05)
Category Male image Female image
T eacher 5 25
Farmer 30 0
Factory worker 25 5
Nurse 0 30
Scientist 25 5
Pilot 27 3
How does your class exercise
compare with Rosie Ma?am?s
class exercise?
Rosie Ma?am?s class has 30 children. She did the
same exercise in her class and here is the result.
51
Breaking stereotypes
Engine drivers are men. But 27-year-old Laxmi Lakra, from a
poor tribal family in Jharkhand has begun to change things.
She is the first woman engine driver for Northern Railways.
Laxmi?s parents are not literate but they struggled and
overcame many hardships to make sure their children got an
education. Laxmi studied in a government school. Even in school,
Laxmi helped with the housework and did odd jobs. She studied
hard and did well and then went on to get a diploma in
electronics. She then took the railway board exam and passed
it on her first attempt.
Laxmi says, ?I love challenges and the moment somebody says it
is not for girls, I make sure I go ahead and do it.?  Laxmi has had
to do this several times in her life ? when she wanted to take electronics; when she rode
motorcycles at the polytechnic; and when she decided to become an engine driver.
Her philosophy is simple ? ?As long as I am having fun without harming anyone, as long as I am
doing well and helping my parents,  why should I not lead a lifestyle of my choice??
(Adapted from Driving Her Train by Neeta Lal, Women?s Features Service)
Fewer opportunities and rigid expectations
A lot of the children in Rosie Ma?am?s class drew
women as nurses and men as army officers. The
reason they did this is because they feel that outside
the home too, women are good at only certain jobs.
For example, many people believe that women make
better nurses because they are more patient and
gentle. This is linked to women?s roles within the
family. Similarly, it is believed that science requires
a technical mind and girls and women are not capable
of dealing with technical things.
Because so many people believe in these
stereotypes, many girls do not get the same support
that boys do to study and train to become doctors
and engineers. In most families, once girls finish
school, they are encouraged by their families to see
marriage as their main aim in life.
Chapter 5: Women Change the World 52 Social and Political Life
Read the story below and answer
the questions ?
If you were Xavier, what subject
would you choose and why?
In your experience, what are some
of the other pressures that boys
experience?
Xavier was happy with the results of his Class X
board exams. Though his marks in Science and
Maths were not high, he had done well in his
favourite subjects ? History and Languages.  When
his parents saw his report card, however, they did
not look pleased at all...
My Goodness! Xavier,  you have
managed only 65% in Maths. Y our marks
in Physics are low too...
I know Mama, but it?s
okay, because I don?t
want to take Maths or
Science. I want to
study History.
   Why do you want to take History?
Think about your future.
Y ou have to get a good job!
    History will not help. It has no scope!
But, but, I don?t like
Maths or Science!
Be sensible, son. Take Maths, and you can
study computers side by side. The job market
for computers is very good.
It is important to understand that we live in a
society in which all children face pressures from the
world around them. Sometimes, these come in the
form of demands from adults. At other times, they
can just be because of unfair teasing by our own
friends. Boys are pressurised to think about getting
a job that will pay a good salary. They are also teased
and bullied if they do not behave like other boys.
You may remember that in your Class VI book you
read about how boys at an early age are encouraged
not to cry in front of others.
Read More
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FAQs on NCERT Textbook: Women Change the World - NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - CTET & State TET

1. Who are some notable women who have made significant changes in the world?
Ans. Some notable women who have made significant changes in the world include Malala Yousafzai, who fought for girls' education and became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate; Rosa Parks, who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus; and Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields.
2. How did women contribute to the women's suffrage movement?
Ans. Women contributed to the women's suffrage movement by organizing protests, marches, and demonstrations demanding the right to vote. They also formed suffrage organizations, wrote articles and pamphlets advocating for women's suffrage, and lobbied government officials. Their collective efforts and determination led to the eventual granting of voting rights to women in many countries.
3. What challenges did women face in their fight for gender equality?
Ans. Women faced numerous challenges in their fight for gender equality, including societal norms and expectations that limited their roles and opportunities. They also encountered legal barriers, such as the denial of basic rights like voting and property ownership. Discrimination in education, employment, and politics further hindered their progress. Additionally, women often faced resistance and backlash from those who opposed their demands for equal rights.
4. How did women contribute to the field of science and technology?
Ans. Women have made significant contributions to the field of science and technology throughout history. For example, Ada Lovelace is considered the world's first computer programmer, while Rosalind Franklin's work on X-ray crystallography was instrumental in the discovery of the structure of DNA. Marie Curie's pioneering research in radioactivity revolutionized the field of physics, and Grace Hopper played a key role in the development of computer programming languages.
5. What impact did women's movements have on society?
Ans. Women's movements have had a profound impact on society by challenging gender norms, advocating for women's rights, and promoting gender equality. They have paved the way for significant social and legal changes, such as the recognition of women's suffrage, access to education and employment opportunities, reproductive rights, and the fight against gender-based violence. These movements have also raised awareness about gender issues and sparked important conversations about equality and justice.
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