NCERT Textbook - Gender, Religion and Caste Caste Class 10 Notes | EduRev

Social Studies (SST) Class 10

Created by: C K Academy

UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Gender, Religion and Caste Caste Class 10 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Gender, Religion and Caste
39
Chapter 4
Gender,
Religion and
Caste
Overview
In the previous chapter we noted that the existence of social diversity
does not threaten democracy. Political expression of social differences
is possible and sometimes quite desirable in a democratic system. In
this chapter we apply these ideas to the practice of democracy in
India. We look at three kinds of social differences that can take the
form of social divisions and inequalities. These are social differences
based on gender, religion and caste. In each case we look at the
nature of this division in India and how it gets expressed in politics.
We also ask whether different expressions based on these differences
are healthy or otherwise in a democracy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Gender, Religion and Caste
39
Chapter 4
Gender,
Religion and
Caste
Overview
In the previous chapter we noted that the existence of social diversity
does not threaten democracy. Political expression of social differences
is possible and sometimes quite desirable in a democratic system. In
this chapter we apply these ideas to the practice of democracy in
India. We look at three kinds of social differences that can take the
form of social divisions and inequalities. These are social differences
based on gender, religion and caste. In each case we look at the
nature of this division in India and how it gets expressed in politics.
We also ask whether different expressions based on these differences
are healthy or otherwise in a democracy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
40
Democratic Politics
Gender and politics
Let us begin with gender division. This
is a form of hierarchical social division
seen everywhere, but is rarely recognised
in the study of politics. The gender
division tends to be understood as natural
and unchangeable. However, it is not
based on biology but on social
expectations and stereotypes.
Public/private division
Boys and girls are brought up to believe
that the main responsibility of women is
housework and bringing up children.
This is reflected in a SEXUAL DIVISION OF
LABOUR in most families: women do all
work inside the home such as cooking,
cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring,
looking after children, etc., and men do
all the work outside the home. It is not
that men cannot do housework; they
simply think that it is for women to
attend to these things. When these jobs
are paid for, men are ready to take up
these works. Most tailors or cooks in
hotels are men. Similarly, it is not that
women do not work outside their home.
In villages, women fetch water, collect
fuel and  work in the fields. In urban
areas, poor women work as domestic
helper in middle class homes, while
middle class women work in offices. In
fact the majority of women do some
sort of paid work in addition to
domestic labour. But their work is not
valued and does not get recognition.
The result of this division of labour
is that although women constitute half
of the humanity, their role in public life,
especially politics, is minimal in most
societies. Earlier, only men were allowed
to participate in public affairs, vote and
contest for public offices. Gradually the
gender issue was raised in politics.
Women in different parts of the world
organised and agitated for equal rights.
There were agitations in different
countries for the extension of voting
rights to women. These agitations
demanded enhancing the political and
legal status of women and improving
A poster from Bengal affirming women’s
strength.
Sexual division of labour:
A system in which all work
inside the home is either
done by the women of the
family, or organised by
them through the
domestic helpers.
Why not? If
politics is about
power, then
surely male
dominance in the
household should
be considered
political.
Why are we
discussing things
like household
work in this
textbook on
Political Science?
Is this politics?
© Zuban
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Gender, Religion and Caste
39
Chapter 4
Gender,
Religion and
Caste
Overview
In the previous chapter we noted that the existence of social diversity
does not threaten democracy. Political expression of social differences
is possible and sometimes quite desirable in a democratic system. In
this chapter we apply these ideas to the practice of democracy in
India. We look at three kinds of social differences that can take the
form of social divisions and inequalities. These are social differences
based on gender, religion and caste. In each case we look at the
nature of this division in India and how it gets expressed in politics.
We also ask whether different expressions based on these differences
are healthy or otherwise in a democracy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
40
Democratic Politics
Gender and politics
Let us begin with gender division. This
is a form of hierarchical social division
seen everywhere, but is rarely recognised
in the study of politics. The gender
division tends to be understood as natural
and unchangeable. However, it is not
based on biology but on social
expectations and stereotypes.
Public/private division
Boys and girls are brought up to believe
that the main responsibility of women is
housework and bringing up children.
This is reflected in a SEXUAL DIVISION OF
LABOUR in most families: women do all
work inside the home such as cooking,
cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring,
looking after children, etc., and men do
all the work outside the home. It is not
that men cannot do housework; they
simply think that it is for women to
attend to these things. When these jobs
are paid for, men are ready to take up
these works. Most tailors or cooks in
hotels are men. Similarly, it is not that
women do not work outside their home.
In villages, women fetch water, collect
fuel and  work in the fields. In urban
areas, poor women work as domestic
helper in middle class homes, while
middle class women work in offices. In
fact the majority of women do some
sort of paid work in addition to
domestic labour. But their work is not
valued and does not get recognition.
The result of this division of labour
is that although women constitute half
of the humanity, their role in public life,
especially politics, is minimal in most
societies. Earlier, only men were allowed
to participate in public affairs, vote and
contest for public offices. Gradually the
gender issue was raised in politics.
Women in different parts of the world
organised and agitated for equal rights.
There were agitations in different
countries for the extension of voting
rights to women. These agitations
demanded enhancing the political and
legal status of women and improving
A poster from Bengal affirming women’s
strength.
Sexual division of labour:
A system in which all work
inside the home is either
done by the women of the
family, or organised by
them through the
domestic helpers.
Why not? If
politics is about
power, then
surely male
dominance in the
household should
be considered
political.
Why are we
discussing things
like household
work in this
textbook on
Political Science?
Is this politics?
© Zuban
© NCERT
not to be republished
Gender, Religion and Caste
41
their educational and career
opportunities. More radical women’s
movements aimed at equality in personal
and family life as well. These movements
are called FEMINIST movements.
Political expression of gender
division and political mobilisation on this
Discuss all these perceptions of an ideal woman that prevail in our society. Do you
agree with any of these? If not, what is your image of an ideal woman?
Feminist: A woman
or a man who
believes in equal rights
and opportunities for
women and men.
© Zuban
question helped to improve women’s
role in public life. We now find women
working as scientists, doctors, engineers,
lawyers, managers and college and
university teachers which were earlier not
considered suitable for women. In some
parts of the world, for example in
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Gender, Religion and Caste
39
Chapter 4
Gender,
Religion and
Caste
Overview
In the previous chapter we noted that the existence of social diversity
does not threaten democracy. Political expression of social differences
is possible and sometimes quite desirable in a democratic system. In
this chapter we apply these ideas to the practice of democracy in
India. We look at three kinds of social differences that can take the
form of social divisions and inequalities. These are social differences
based on gender, religion and caste. In each case we look at the
nature of this division in India and how it gets expressed in politics.
We also ask whether different expressions based on these differences
are healthy or otherwise in a democracy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
40
Democratic Politics
Gender and politics
Let us begin with gender division. This
is a form of hierarchical social division
seen everywhere, but is rarely recognised
in the study of politics. The gender
division tends to be understood as natural
and unchangeable. However, it is not
based on biology but on social
expectations and stereotypes.
Public/private division
Boys and girls are brought up to believe
that the main responsibility of women is
housework and bringing up children.
This is reflected in a SEXUAL DIVISION OF
LABOUR in most families: women do all
work inside the home such as cooking,
cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring,
looking after children, etc., and men do
all the work outside the home. It is not
that men cannot do housework; they
simply think that it is for women to
attend to these things. When these jobs
are paid for, men are ready to take up
these works. Most tailors or cooks in
hotels are men. Similarly, it is not that
women do not work outside their home.
In villages, women fetch water, collect
fuel and  work in the fields. In urban
areas, poor women work as domestic
helper in middle class homes, while
middle class women work in offices. In
fact the majority of women do some
sort of paid work in addition to
domestic labour. But their work is not
valued and does not get recognition.
The result of this division of labour
is that although women constitute half
of the humanity, their role in public life,
especially politics, is minimal in most
societies. Earlier, only men were allowed
to participate in public affairs, vote and
contest for public offices. Gradually the
gender issue was raised in politics.
Women in different parts of the world
organised and agitated for equal rights.
There were agitations in different
countries for the extension of voting
rights to women. These agitations
demanded enhancing the political and
legal status of women and improving
A poster from Bengal affirming women’s
strength.
Sexual division of labour:
A system in which all work
inside the home is either
done by the women of the
family, or organised by
them through the
domestic helpers.
Why not? If
politics is about
power, then
surely male
dominance in the
household should
be considered
political.
Why are we
discussing things
like household
work in this
textbook on
Political Science?
Is this politics?
© Zuban
© NCERT
not to be republished
Gender, Religion and Caste
41
their educational and career
opportunities. More radical women’s
movements aimed at equality in personal
and family life as well. These movements
are called FEMINIST movements.
Political expression of gender
division and political mobilisation on this
Discuss all these perceptions of an ideal woman that prevail in our society. Do you
agree with any of these? If not, what is your image of an ideal woman?
Feminist: A woman
or a man who
believes in equal rights
and opportunities for
women and men.
© Zuban
question helped to improve women’s
role in public life. We now find women
working as scientists, doctors, engineers,
lawyers, managers and college and
university teachers which were earlier not
considered suitable for women. In some
parts of the world, for example in
© NCERT
not to be republished
42
Democratic Politics
Patriarchy: Literally ,
rule by father, this
concept is used to refer
to a system that values
men more and gives
them power over
women.
Activities Men Women
Income generating work 6:00 2:40
Household and related work 0:30 5:00
Talking, Gossip 1:25 1:20
No work/ Leisure 3:40 3:50
Sleep, self-care, reading etc. 12:25 11:10
Daily time use (hours: minutes)
Source: Government of India, Time Use Survey, 1998-99.
+ A ‘time use survey’ was conducted in six states of our country. It
shows that an average woman works every day for a little over
seven and half hours while an average man works for six and a
half hours. Yet the work done by men is more visible because
most of their work leads to generation of income. Women also do
a lot of direct income generating work, but the bulk of their work
is household related. This work remains unpaid and invisible.
Scandinavian countries such as Sweden,
Norway and Finland, the participation
of women in public life is very high.
In our country , women still lag much
behind men despite some improvement
since Independence. Ours is still a male-
dominated, PATRIARCHAL society . W omen
face disadvantage, discrimination and
oppression in various ways:
? The literacy rate among women is
only 54 per cent compared with 76 per
cent among men. Similarly, a smaller
You can conduct a similar time use survey in your own household.
Observe all the adult male and female members of your family for
one week. Every day note down the number of hours each of
them spends on the following activities: income generating
activity (working at the office or shop or factory or field, etc.),
household related activity (cooking, cleaning, washing, fetching
water, looking after children or elders, etc.), reading and
recreation, talking/gossiping, self-care, taking rest or sleeping. If
necessary make new categories. Add up the time taken on each
activity for a week and calculate the daily average for each activity
for each member . Do women work more in your family as well?
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Gender, Religion and Caste
39
Chapter 4
Gender,
Religion and
Caste
Overview
In the previous chapter we noted that the existence of social diversity
does not threaten democracy. Political expression of social differences
is possible and sometimes quite desirable in a democratic system. In
this chapter we apply these ideas to the practice of democracy in
India. We look at three kinds of social differences that can take the
form of social divisions and inequalities. These are social differences
based on gender, religion and caste. In each case we look at the
nature of this division in India and how it gets expressed in politics.
We also ask whether different expressions based on these differences
are healthy or otherwise in a democracy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
40
Democratic Politics
Gender and politics
Let us begin with gender division. This
is a form of hierarchical social division
seen everywhere, but is rarely recognised
in the study of politics. The gender
division tends to be understood as natural
and unchangeable. However, it is not
based on biology but on social
expectations and stereotypes.
Public/private division
Boys and girls are brought up to believe
that the main responsibility of women is
housework and bringing up children.
This is reflected in a SEXUAL DIVISION OF
LABOUR in most families: women do all
work inside the home such as cooking,
cleaning, washing clothes, tailoring,
looking after children, etc., and men do
all the work outside the home. It is not
that men cannot do housework; they
simply think that it is for women to
attend to these things. When these jobs
are paid for, men are ready to take up
these works. Most tailors or cooks in
hotels are men. Similarly, it is not that
women do not work outside their home.
In villages, women fetch water, collect
fuel and  work in the fields. In urban
areas, poor women work as domestic
helper in middle class homes, while
middle class women work in offices. In
fact the majority of women do some
sort of paid work in addition to
domestic labour. But their work is not
valued and does not get recognition.
The result of this division of labour
is that although women constitute half
of the humanity, their role in public life,
especially politics, is minimal in most
societies. Earlier, only men were allowed
to participate in public affairs, vote and
contest for public offices. Gradually the
gender issue was raised in politics.
Women in different parts of the world
organised and agitated for equal rights.
There were agitations in different
countries for the extension of voting
rights to women. These agitations
demanded enhancing the political and
legal status of women and improving
A poster from Bengal affirming women’s
strength.
Sexual division of labour:
A system in which all work
inside the home is either
done by the women of the
family, or organised by
them through the
domestic helpers.
Why not? If
politics is about
power, then
surely male
dominance in the
household should
be considered
political.
Why are we
discussing things
like household
work in this
textbook on
Political Science?
Is this politics?
© Zuban
© NCERT
not to be republished
Gender, Religion and Caste
41
their educational and career
opportunities. More radical women’s
movements aimed at equality in personal
and family life as well. These movements
are called FEMINIST movements.
Political expression of gender
division and political mobilisation on this
Discuss all these perceptions of an ideal woman that prevail in our society. Do you
agree with any of these? If not, what is your image of an ideal woman?
Feminist: A woman
or a man who
believes in equal rights
and opportunities for
women and men.
© Zuban
question helped to improve women’s
role in public life. We now find women
working as scientists, doctors, engineers,
lawyers, managers and college and
university teachers which were earlier not
considered suitable for women. In some
parts of the world, for example in
© NCERT
not to be republished
42
Democratic Politics
Patriarchy: Literally ,
rule by father, this
concept is used to refer
to a system that values
men more and gives
them power over
women.
Activities Men Women
Income generating work 6:00 2:40
Household and related work 0:30 5:00
Talking, Gossip 1:25 1:20
No work/ Leisure 3:40 3:50
Sleep, self-care, reading etc. 12:25 11:10
Daily time use (hours: minutes)
Source: Government of India, Time Use Survey, 1998-99.
+ A ‘time use survey’ was conducted in six states of our country. It
shows that an average woman works every day for a little over
seven and half hours while an average man works for six and a
half hours. Yet the work done by men is more visible because
most of their work leads to generation of income. Women also do
a lot of direct income generating work, but the bulk of their work
is household related. This work remains unpaid and invisible.
Scandinavian countries such as Sweden,
Norway and Finland, the participation
of women in public life is very high.
In our country , women still lag much
behind men despite some improvement
since Independence. Ours is still a male-
dominated, PATRIARCHAL society . W omen
face disadvantage, discrimination and
oppression in various ways:
? The literacy rate among women is
only 54 per cent compared with 76 per
cent among men. Similarly, a smaller
You can conduct a similar time use survey in your own household.
Observe all the adult male and female members of your family for
one week. Every day note down the number of hours each of
them spends on the following activities: income generating
activity (working at the office or shop or factory or field, etc.),
household related activity (cooking, cleaning, washing, fetching
water, looking after children or elders, etc.), reading and
recreation, talking/gossiping, self-care, taking rest or sleeping. If
necessary make new categories. Add up the time taken on each
activity for a week and calculate the daily average for each activity
for each member . Do women work more in your family as well?
© NCERT
not to be republished
Gender, Religion and Caste
43
Mummy always
says to outsiders:
“I don’t work. I
am a housewife.”
But I see her
working non-stop
all the time. If
what she does is
not work, what
else is work?
Map not to scale
proportion of girl students go for higher
studies. When we look at school results,
girls perform as well as boys, if not
better in some places. But they drop out
because parents prefer to spend their
resources for their boys’ education rather
than spending equally on their sons and
daughters.
? No wonder the proportion of
women among the highly paid and
valued jobs is still very small. On an
average an Indian woman works one
hour more than an average man every
day. Yet much of her work is not paid
and therefore often not valued.
? The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
provides that equal wages should be paid
to equal work. However in almost all
areas of work, from sports and cinema,
to factories and fields, women are paid
less than men, even when both do exactly
the same work.
? In many parts of India parents
prefer to have sons and find ways to
have the girl child aborted before she is
born. Such sex-selective abortion led to
a decline in child sex ratio (number of
girl children per thousand boys) in the
country to merely 914. As the map
Source: UNFPA, Missing... Mapping the Adverse Child Sex Ratio in India, 2005, p.3.
Can you identify your district on this map?
What is the child sex ratio in it? How is it
different from others with a different colour?
Identify the States where most districts have
child sex ratio below 850.
Compare this map with the poster on the next
page. How do the two of them tell us about the
same issue?
CHILD SEX RATIO
BELOW 800
800-849
850-899
900-949
950 AND ABOVE
DAT A  NOT A V AILABLE
DELHI
NATIONAL AVERAGE 914
(2011 Census)
© NCERT
not to be republished
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