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Rural Vs Urban: Is There A Divide In Patriarchal Societies?

patriarchy in rural india
“People are talking about gender issues on the grassroots level. With access to digital, a girl sitting in a village in Indore knows the conversations that are happening in Delhi. The COVID-19 period has led to some increment in the speed with which people are grasping information”, says Shaili Chopra, Founder of SheThePeople.TV.

She was asked if the whole movement of smashing the patriarchy, gender stereotypes and women empowerment is trickling down to grassroots levels.

She was speaking at Charcha 2021 on “Shaking Up Social Spaces – Perspectives from trailblazers” alongside other speakers including artist and equal rights champion Sushant Divgikar AKA Rani Ko-He-Nur, Hindi screenplay writer Gazal Dhaliwal and actor and Director Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal. The panel was moderated by RJ Malishka Mendonsa and was organised by Dalberg.

Patriarchy In Rural India Vs Urban India:

Chopra added that the main problem lies in areas like South Mumbai and South Delhi where girls have international exposure. She said that many of them aren’t permitted to work and are asked to marry as soon as they find a suitable guy.

“We need to stop thinking of issues in silos and come up with solutions for everyone”, she believes.

Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal resonated with this thought and said that women in villages are becoming stronger whereas people living in high rise buildings might not be that courageous because they fear losing their position or they don’t want to displease people. “90 per cent of my close friends haven’t watched Vaginal Monologues. They think it is too heavy”, she said referring to her path-breaking play that made the word ‘vagina’ a part of regular conversations.

However, she also feels that more women leaders need to come up at the grassroots level to make decisions for their communities. She also suggested the creation of small women groups where they can hold discussions and find solutions to their problems.

Talking about the Future of Gender track at Charcha 2021,

Swetha Totapally, Partner, Dalberg Advisors said the focus is actually to create a more gender-equitable India for all women but also for all genders and sexual minorities that enabling us to take on more holistic and gender-equitable approaches in our policy and actions.

Gazal Dhaliwal, on the other hand, opined that women in urban areas are comparatively more independent than their rural counterparts and have role models living around them. That’s not the case with girls or women living in rural areas, she said.

Talking about how digital space can empower rural people, Sushant Divgikar said that making cohesive content and creating a more accessible playground for people can help people from less-privileged backgrounds to understand themselves in a better way. He feels better reference points need to be created for them.


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