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The Juxtaposition Of Women Stereotypes

Seven women from across the country talked about their work and called for a change in the country as they engaged with people from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media accounts on International Women’s Day.

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Stereotype is a generalised view or preconception about attributes or characteristics that are or ought to be possessed by members of a particular social group. It includes the roles that are or should be performed by, members of a particular social group. Stereotyping on the basis of gender, caste, class, region, religion is very prominent in our patriarchal society. Among all, women stereotyping is the all-time tea-talk issue. Women stereotype comes under the category of gender stereotyping. Gender stereotyping is the practice of ascribing to an individual woman or man specific attributes, characteristics, or roles by reason only of her or his membership in the social group of women or men. In this male dominant world, no matter how intelligent or powerful women is, she is only going to be called as beautiful and lucky.

From the Western world to the Asian countries’ women are the subject of oppression since ancient times. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has explained that States Parties are required to modify or transform “harmful gender stereotypes” and “eliminate wrongful gender stereotyping”. No doubt women were and are strong mentally as well as physically. Since ancient times from Mother Teresa to Rani Laxmi Bai women have proved their leadership, intelligence and power of instincts and skills. But we all are born and brought up in such stereotypical air of ladki hai toh pink colour aur ladka hai toh blue hi jachega. Gender stereotypes have two components, one; descriptive components, or beliefs about how males and females typically act. And the second; prescriptive components, or beliefs about how males and females should act. For example, women are supposed to be nurturing and avoid dominance, and men are supposed to be agentic and avoid weakness. One of the famous Bollywood personality mentions that, “Girls are never encouraged to be somebody or to do something. My father and unrealistic expectations from my brother while I just stood in the corner.” This highlights prescriptive stereotypes, which shows the pathetic and underestimated image of women in society as well as at their personal space, i.e. home.

But, but, but! This transitional shift was taking place with the wave of feminism and it juxtapose the women stereotype based on personality traits (from aree tum ladki tumse nahi hoga to aree ladki hai kuch bhi kar dikayegi), domestic behaviors (from ladki ho ladkiyo wale kaam kro to ladki ho jo mrzi chahe kro), occupations (from chulha-choka kro, bahr jakr kamana admi ka kaam hai to work and home is balanced by her with equal care and responsiblity) and physical appearance (from aree itni kali ho, fairness cream lgaya kro to waah mata-pita ka naam roshan kr dikhaya hai).

Today women are shining and aspiring the world towards not only their own progress but also showing path to the world being determined leader. To name few, Ahilyabai Holkar, Queen of Malwa During her time, the region prospered and scaled many new heights. She is often cited as the "philosopher queen" and an "absolute ideal ruler." She even personally led armies into battle. Finland’s Sanna Marin become the youngest serving prime minister in the world. Neena Malhotra is an Indian Foreign Service officer. She is currently Indian Ambassador to Italy plus She has been appointed as the next ambassador of India to the Republic of San Marino. In the field of music, Usha Mangeshkar has been awarded Lata

Mangeshkar Award for the year 2020-21 by the Government of Maharashtra to the field of photography Aishwarya Sridhar won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award for the year 2020. Priyanca Radhakrishnan has become the first minister in New-Zealand of Indian origin. Even the women kid is not behind in breaking the stereotypes as Geetanjali Rao awarded the ‘Kid of the Year Award’ launched by Time magazine. Anandi Gopal Joshi: She was the first female doctor in India and the first Indian woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States.

To respect women and also her decision has changed the world from gender equality to gender equity. Seven women from across the country talked about their work and called for a change in the country as they engaged with people from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social media accounts on International Women’s Day.

To conclude,

“Girls can be athletic. Guys can have feelings. Girls can be smart. Guys can be creative. And vice versa. Gender is specific only to your reproductive organs (and sometimes not even to those), not your interest, likes, dislikes, goals, and ambitions.” ― Connor Franta, A Work in Progress

Opportunity is the key which should be taken advantage of irrespective of men or women. Today India’s current finance minister and former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has topped Forbes list of 100 most powerful women in the world. With the juxtaposition of women stereotypes our world is transforming and evolving towards world of equity and sustainable development.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Shreya Sabharwal

Founder and CEO, Square Fork

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