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Author: Debanjali Chakraborty, III year of B.A., LL.B. from Asian Law College

Before we start talking about feminism and it’s the role in society. I would like to explain what the word feminism means. The word feminism refers to the belief that men and women deserve equality in all opportunities, treatment, respect, and social rights. In general, feminists are people who try to acknowledge social inequality based on gender and stop it from continuing.[1]

As we all know we live in a Patriarchal society i.e. the men hold a primary position and power and are privileged to certain aspects of the society which sometimes a woman is denied. So with the passing time, the Feminists of the society have raised their voices and questioned over this unbalanced division of the society. They have opposed the norms and regulations which have prevailed for a long time. According to the Feminists, Men control women’s production, reproduction and sexuality.

There are different branches of feminism and feminist such as

· Liberal Feminism: Liberal feminism is one of the earliest styles of feminism, stating that girls’ secondary status in society is primarily based on unequal possibilities and segregation from guys. emerging out of the abolitionist and women's movement inside the US, this frame of feminism specializes in disposing of gender inequality. The primary ideas are grounded in liberalist philosophical traditions, in addition to French and British feminist concept. Society consists of those who are equals and therefore anybody must have identical rights. there may be a clear department between the function of the country (public) and man or woman freedom (non-public). Liberal feminists create an exchange by working inside current social structures and converting people's attitudes.

· Radical Feminism: Radical feminism is a philosophy emphasizing the patriarchal roots of inequality among ladies and men, or, more specifically, the social domination of women through men. Radical feminism perspectives patriarchy as dividing societal rights, privileges, and power normally alongside the lines of intercourse, and as a result, oppressing ladies and privileging men.[2]

·Marxist Feminism: Marxism deals with a shape of inequality that arises from the class dynamics of capitalism. It knows the elegance inequality as the number one axis of oppression in capitalist societies. Feminism deals with any other shape of inequality that is the inequality between the sexes. Feminism is familiar with gender inequality because of the primary axis of oppression in patriarchal societies. The Marxist feminist framework intends to free up girls by using reworking the situations of their oppression and exploitation.

· Socialist Feminism: Socialist feminism, most customarily represents theories and practices initiated via the mid‐1970s[3], which work to research male domination and socioeconomic oppression and exploitation as inter‐related establishments and cultures. This analysis counters earlier arguments, consisting of Marxist perspectives, suggesting that after elegance (or racial or international economic) disparities could be levelled, sex‐based discrimination might end.

· Difference Feminism: Difference feminism, additionally called Black feminism is an angle that sees how women are oppressed through the patriarchy but also via capitalism and racism. They argue that minority-ethnic, running-elegance ladies are the most discriminated against in society.

· Postmodern Feminism: Post-modern feminists start with the assumption that the modernist thought of feminism places overt emphasis upon gender differences between ladies and men at the same time as ignoring the variations inside every gender. Submit-cutting-edge feminists additionally claim that gender is largely developed from a discourse that we learn to undertake overtime. Gender is therefore neither natural nor innate. rather, gender is constituted by using the way we communicate, create photos and present ourselves to others.[4]

· Black Feminism: Black feminist philosophy is a version of feminism whose primary consciousness worries, at least to a few diplomae, Black ladies from within African diasporic contexts. It has the purpose of expertise problems going through Black women at the side of identifying and/or uncovering liberation strategies. it is also paintings that seek to highlight the methods Black women's thought illuminates broader philosophical questions and problems.

· Lesbian Feminism: Lesbian feminists recall same-intercourse relationships legitimate and use their lesbian identification as a basis for network building and collective motion. Lesbian feminism challenges the perception of heterosexuality and male supremacy as “normal” and offers opportunity methods of thinking about gender and electricity.

· Psychoanalytic Feminism: Psychoanalytic feminism is a social movement primarily based on the paintings Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalytic theories[5]. It keeps that gender isn't always biological but is primarily based on the psycho-sexual development of the man or woman. Psychoanalytic feminists accept as true that gender inequality comes from early life stories, which lead men to consider themselves to be masculine, and ladies to consider themselves female.

Feminism v. Patriarchy

Patriarchy refers to a society dominated by men i.e. society, kingdom and the financial system are characterized via systematic, institutionalised and pervasive gender oppression.

In a literal sense, the patriarchy method rules by way of the father. A patriarchal own family is therefore ruled by way of the daddy with power transferred down the male line, whereas a patriarchal society is based upon male dominance.

All feminists are exceptionally important in the way the various instruments of patriarchy impact adversely upon women. For instance, feminists claim that marriage works in favour of the husband because he profits an unpaid servant to attend to each his conjugal desires and the renovation of the house. The exploitation of girls inside a wedding displays deeper structural inequalities within a male-dominated society.

As an ideology, feminism seeks to focus on the disastrous effect of patriarchy on women’s lives. They claim that the exploitation and subjugation of ladies occur both inside the non-public sphere and the general public realm. The socialist feminist Simone de Beauvoir argued that handiest man has the freedom to pick out and set himself up as crucial and concern. In comparison, girls are each inessential and object. To address the problem, she recommended a circle of relatives shape concentrated upon a balanced couple that displayed “equality in distinction, and difference in equality.” Eco-feminists consisting of Carolyn service providers expand this critique of patriarchy toward the damage completed via guys to the surroundings, advocating an extra maternal dating with mom Earth.

Patriarchal institutions and practices must be challenged in recent years through legislative measures and changing social attitudes. inside the context of the former, places of work who hire a specific range of personnel are beneath a legal duty to post the pay gap among ladies and men. There also are laws to prevent sexual discrimination within the place of work with employers dependable if observed guilty. cases are regularly heard in employment tribunals in which grievances may be resolved. In phrases of the latter, there may be additionally an extra stage of sensitivity toward sexist attitudes within the public sphere.

Having said this, patriarchy has proven itself able to reproduce itself from one era to the next. Sexist attitudes within the classroom, the place of work, the boardroom and people expressed on line retain to blight the lives of many women. Sexism is one of the maximum tremendous limitations in the direction of enjoyable lifestyles probabilities, and one that many ladies (and men) would effectively perceive of their ordinary lives. To deal with the problem of misogyny, liberal feminists suggest a positive engagement with the political technique. In contrast, radical feminists trust that the traditional technique is characterized by a way of gradual development towards gender equality. The eradication of a machine primarily based upon systematic and institutionalised gender oppression thereby demands an extra militant technique

Feminism and Law: A major prerequisite

Criminalising Marital Rape

The Supreme Court docket in Bodhisattwa Gautam vs. SubhraChakraborty[6] discovered that rape is against the law in opposition to the simple human rights and amounts to the violation of the maximum cherished essential proper, that of the right to a life with Dignity as enshrined below Article 21 of the charter, of the victims of the said offence. The offence of rape and sexual violence towards girls inside the area of the own family needs to be contextualised in the broader understanding of Indian social systems.[7]

Women’s Political Participation: From bill to Act

The constitution of India in granting equality to all persons, makes precise provisions concerning ladies, empowering the country to undertake affirmative measures to make certain sizeable equality of ladies, i.e. equality that results from granting of concessions to held overcome ancient and social prejudices which impede free and truthful get entry to resources. In trying and further this Constitutional purpose and boom the political participation of girls, the H.D. Deve Gowda government in September 1996 brought the ladies’ Reservation invoice, the 108th proposed modification to the charter which stipulated 33% reservation for girls inside the Lok Sabha and all country Legislative Assemblies.

All the group of people might have different perspectives and nature of their opinions but seek the common goal in society. I.e.- equality of the sexes. As the ratio of the society in men v. Women in India, it says to every 1000 men there are 949 women[8]. Hence with the development of the countries, people need to stop the practices which have prevailed since ages. Sati Pratha was one of the evilest practices ever seen. Foeticides and female infanticides still prevail in some areas of the society where women are treated as a burden should be stopped. Girls education and development is still one of the major challenges in India. Rape culture is common where no girls are safe no matter which part of the country they live in or what kind of dress they wear. There are no laws yet for the Marital rape which is a thing. There’s a lot of things which need to be changed and initiated to become a better Nation. Changes are important and required so that like every man of the society would live education free and independently without any dominance over them.


There may be a common false impression that only women may be feminists and that feminism only advantages women. Feminism strives for equality of the sexes, not superiority for women. And one of the principal aims of feminism is to take the gender roles which have been around for decades and deconstruct these to allow humans to stay unfastened and empowered lives, without being tied down to ‘conventional’ restrictions. This can advantage each man and woman. it's miles a movement that everybody can, and ought to, get concerned with.

[3] Linda Napikoski- Socialist Feminism Definition and Comparisons, 7:30 pm 16th December 2020

[6] 15th December 1996 AIR 922, 1996 SCC (1) 490

[7] Feminist Laws That We Must Have In 2017. 9:48 16th December 2020


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