JAC Board Class 7 Social Science Notes Civics Chapter 5 Women Change the World
→ Still getting an education was one way in which new opportunities were created for women.
→ Fewer Opportunities and Rigid Expectations:
- 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. In the same way, it is believed that science requires a technical mind and girls and women are not capable of dealing with technical things.
- Most of the people believe in these stereotypes, hence many girls do not get the same support that boys do to study and train to become doctors and engineers.
- Once girls finish their school, they are encouraged by their families to see marriage as their main aim in life.
- 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.
→ Learning for Change:
- • An extremely important part of our life is going to school. As more and more children enter school every year, we begin to think that it is normal for all children to go to school.
- In the past, the skill of reading and writing was known to only a few. Most children learnt the work their families or elders did. The situation was worse for the girls. In communities that taught sons to read and write, daughters were not allowed to learn the alphabet. Even in families where skills like pottery, weaving and craft were taught, the contribution of daughters and women was only seen as supportive.
- In the nineteenth century, many new ideas about education and learning emerged. Schools became more common and communities that had never leamt reading and writing started sending their children to school but there was a lot of opposition to educating girls even then.
- Around 200 years ago, Rashsundari Devi (1800-1890) was bom in West Bengal. At the age of 60, she wrote her autobiography in Bangla. Her book titled A mar Jiban is the first known autobiography written by an Indian woman.
- During that time, it was believed that if a woman leamt to read and write, she would bring bad luck to her husband and become a widow.
- She leamt the alphabets with great efforts and read the Chaitanya Bhagabat as well. There were days when she did not have a moment’s rest, no time even to sit down and eat.
- Another example is about Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain (1880-1932) who did a lot in the field of education for women. She herself knew how to read and write Urdu. Later, she also learnt to read and write English and Bangla. She wrote a phenomenal story named ‘Sultana’s Dream’.
→ Schooling and Education today:
- Though today, both boys and girls attend school in large numbers. Yet, there are differences between the education of boys and girls.
- India has a census every 10 years which counts the whole population of the country along with other details.
- According to the 1961 census, about 40 per cent of all boys and men were literate compared to just 15 per cent of all girls and women. In the census of2001, these figures have grown upto 76 per cent for boys and men and 54 per cent for girls and women. But, then also there is a huge gap.
- Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) girls leave school at a rate that is higher than the category of ‘All Girls’. It means that girls who are from Dalit and Adivasi backgrounds are less likely to remain in school. The 2001 census also found that Muslim girls are less likely than Dalit and Adivasi girls to complete primary school.
- In many parts of the country, especially in rural and poor areas, there may not even be proper schools nor teachers who teach on a regular basis.
- Most families are too poor and not able to bear the cost of educating all their children. Boys may get preference in this situation. Many children also leave school because they are discriminated against by their teacher and classmates.
→ Women’s Movement:
- Now, women and girls have the right to study and go to school. There are other spheres .such as legal reform, violence and health where the situation of women and girls has improved.
- Women individually as well as collectively have struggled to bring about these changes. This struggle is known as the Women’s Movement. Individual women and women’s organisations from different parts of the country are part of the movement.
- The diversity, passion and efforts of those involved makes it a very vibrant and energetic movement. Different methods and strategies have been used to spread awareness, fight discrimination and seek justice. Many men also supported this movement.
- Campaigns are to fight discrimination and violence against women are an important part of the women’s movement.
- Campaigns also led to new laws being passed. In 2006, a law was passed to give women who face physical and mental violence within their homes are known as domestic violence some legal protection.
- In 1997, to protect women against sexual harassment at the workplace and within educational institutions, efforts made by the women’s movement led the Supreme Court to formulate guidelines.
- In the 1980s, women’s groups across the country campainged against ‘dowry deaths’ means cases of young brides being murdered by their in-laws or husbands, greedy for more dowry.
- Women did so by coming on to the streets, approaching the courts, and by sharing information. Hence, this became a public issue in the newspapers and society and the dowry laws were changed to punish families who seek dowry.
→ Showing Solidarity
The women’s movement is also about showing solidarity with other women and causes.