What Are Gender Roles in India?

In India, gender roles are determined largely by sex, religion, oppressive tradition and culture, according to LifePaths360.com. The male-dominated culture calls for subordination of women.

Dating back to 200 B.C., Indian tradition dictates that a woman’s sole purpose in life should revolve around her husband, children and home. Though some women work alongside men in society, their efforts are expected and unappreciated. A wife is subject to her husband’s authority and is required to honor him and bring him happiness. However, mothers are disciplinarians and demand obedience from their children. A son’s birth is celebrated, while the birth of a daughter is considered painful to the family. Boys are lavished with love and respect and are provided better food and health care than girls. The Azad India Foundation reports that 120 million of the country’s women live in poverty, because they are considered of no value. Males generally receive better education opportunities than females. Girls are often removed from classes to perform chores, and well-educated women may suffer social stigma. Since 1993, however, women have been overcoming gender bias and filling positions in local governance. A national policy in India was drafted in 2001 in an effort to bring about advancement and empowerment of women.