Violence Against Women

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Introduction Violence against women refers to acts that target women exclusively, resulting in physical or emotional harm or the loss of their liberty, through threats, coercion, physical or sexual assault. It cannot be seen as the actions of a deranged individual, but as an interplay of varying socio-cultural institutions, historical preconditions and societal change, which shapes attitudes towards women. This essay seeks to understand violence against women through the lens of the sociological imagination, which situates private, gendered troubles within a broader, socio-cultural milieu that qualifies as public issues (Lemert, 1999). Situating private troubles within public issues In understanding violence against women, the sociological…show more content…
Patriarchal beliefs equating the physical strength and stature of men with their dominance in society, justifies the subordination of women in private and public life. Such norms of power and domination, albeit outmoded, continue to guide social relationships between the sexes. Furthermore, when men are raised in environments in which patriarchal norms are prevalent, they come to rationalise abusive attitudes towards women. For example, the violent disposition that Dharmender possesses towards working women who do not solely rely on their husbands for economic support, reflects his upbringing in Roshan’s household. Therefore, culturally sanctioned norms regarding the rights and privileges of men act as a conduit to warrant the use of violence for the forcible restriction of women’s opportunities and the entrenchment of their…show more content…
While market forces driving the employment of women are comparatively more egalitarian as compared to prevailing patriarchal beliefs, it has also brought men from patriarchal cultures to work alongside women, leading to incidences of violence against women (Deb, 2011). Female labour force participation has also led to a subsequent loss of male control over women as their economic capital made them less reliant on their husbands, who may perceive this as a threat to their masculinity and authority. As such, modernity has caused a shift in the role of women in society, which disturbs existing power dynamics within households and relationships. Therefore, violence against women is a reaction towards modernity and a social repercussion arising from the breach of cultural

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