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Patriarchal Society and Women

Updated on August 19, 2017

Patriarchal society is a type of society; where male have ultimate power on decision making. Male is rule maker, ruler and agency to make the people follow rule. This type of society is primarily male dominated society, where women have limited rights, and these rights are decided by a so called group of intellectual men.

The origin of patriarchal society depends on the old system of family. In this system of family the oldest male person of the family considered as the head of the family, which is termed as “Karta” in Indian subcontinent. Karta is not only a person but he is also an agency. The agency of Karta decides dos and don’ts of family members. Karta allocates roles of the family members. Since Patriarchal society is very old society, therefore, there is no need to make new rules and regulations each time. The ancient rules made by their forefathers are still executed. These rules may be out-dated but they cannot be modified because these are associated with the respect of their forefathers.

These rules impose lots of restrictions on women. These rules have converted into system, because these rules have been following by a large number of people for hundreds of years. These systems includes,

  1. Parda System-Parda system is an ill practice. It follows in most of the Indian Subcontinent societies as well as most of the Islamic countries. Under this system women have to cover all parts of her body including hair and nail. In Hindu society women keeps a “Ghoonghat” (a large part of her clothes) to cover up her face and in Islamic societies they wear “Burka” ( an special garment of black colour) which is used to cover all parts of body including face.
  2. Gharelu Karya system- Under this system women have to perform only domestic duties. Their work is to arrange fuel for cooking, cook for the whole family, take care of children, clean the pots and clothes of the family members, bring water from water source etc. This includes all works which can be performed under the boundaries of a household.
  3. Vidayee System – Vidayee means departure, in patriarchal society after marriage a girl has to depart from the house of her parents and she have to settle down with the family members of her husband. The house of her husband is known as “Sasural”.With this; her limited ownership over the property of her parents also comes to an end.
  4. Raksha System- According to Hindu mythological books a woman has to live in the custody of man forever. In childhood and adolescent she has to live under the custody of Father, in adulthood she has to live under the custody of Husband and in Old age she has to live in the custody of her son.
  5. Vansh system-This system is related to kin and descent .Under this system only a male has right to further extended descent. Therefore women don’t have any right over their property of her parents. If a spouse has only daughters then also the ownership of property will be transferred to other male relatives.

In this way women have limited rights and lots of duties in patriarchal society. They not only have to follow these systems but also to live with it forever. If they dare to break this system they have to pass through repressive punishment. This includes physical and mantle torture. In some cases they are set ablaze are killed for violation of these rules. Even in modern democratic societies this system exists and no Government has dared to destroy this system completely.

Patriarchy and Male Dominance in Society


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