Status of Women in Tribal Society

Status of Women in Tribal Society

The status of women has been everyone’s focus of attention in every society. Naturally, vital with a view to bringing about the desirable changes for social mobility and granting them equally in the matters of rights and privileges, every society ratifies some social status to women within its own social structure. The status of women folk and the role to be played by them in the society norms and values, customs and attitudes and social behavior, they are to accept and do whatever is sanctioned by the society.

But in recent years, some changes have taken place in the status of women. It is because of the spread of education and wider social contacts. Urbanization of society, introduction of varieties of employment opportunities educating wider socio-cultural contacts, etc. stimulated the women to waive out he varies and compete with man. Because of these stimulation, women are now not confined to him only rather they are increasingly undertaking new roles with new status in the society. On one hand they are mothers, sisters, wives and on the other hand they are doctors, engineers, politicians, etc.

In the tribal society also the women play a very important role, even though the tribal families were male dominated. So women are considered inferior to, dependent on, and under subjugation of man. She is considered to be under the protection of man all through the life, under father in childhood, and under husband in the youth and under the son in old age. They are not recognized as a free person. Division of work among the tribal male and female has prevailed since time immemorial. Men being the bread winners have to take important role of earning, for the family and hence appropriate roles in the outside society. He keeps control of family finance and has a right to family inheritance. Even when women participate in earning a living it is rated as subsidiary and subordinate to that of man. Women’s role is recognized in the domestic sphere within the house hold. She has to cook and serve the family members, clean and look after home, children and cattle too.

Therefore, every society accords social status to women members as per its own perspective. An attempt has been made in this article to evaluate the status of tribal women in their society in respect of the following aspects.

Status in terms of occupation (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

This basic division of labour illustrates most aptly the forces which probably operated to give human society, its orientation towards a division of activities between men and women. The woman is assigned the household duty within the family. She has to cook and clean and wash utensils and up bring the children. She used to take part in some of the agricultural operation. The very success of its operation depend upon women as they are the one who carry out most of the work like sowing, weeding, harvesting, etc. there is no fixed period or holiday from it which occupies all the wakeful hours of women. They are rarely helped by men folk in carrying out the household chores. It is true that women have always worked, but this the first time they have entered the modern labour market. Though this has improved the family economy, it has also given rise to certain problems.

Status in terms of ownership to property (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

Inheritance and ownership of property is another important aspect in the context of studying status. A woman in tribal society or daughter is so restricted in the share of property that she is almost excluded from its rights. She may be given some property when she leaves for her husband’s place after marriage. She is given some ornaments. The rule of restriction on inheritance applies to all the married and unmarried daughters. As regards widow’s share in her deceased husband’s property, she has only limited rights that too, if she stays with the family and property to be handed over to her son when he attains maturity.

Status in terms of family affairs (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

This is another important aspect on the context of studying status of women. A boy in the family is most for continuation of their family line. Daughters are regarded as transient members of the family to be handed over on marriage to outside. It is among the patriarchal family. But in the matrilineal families women were traditionally entitled to the succession of authority in the family.

Status in terms of political and religious activities (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

In each and every tribal village has its council of elders which exercises the legal and financial powers. The members are chosen from within the village on the merit of their personal influence, experience, skills, wealth, etc. there is neither any woman and do they actively participate in its proceedings. Women always cast their vote for the candidate approved by their men.

Status in terms of training and education (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

In earlier days also the women were interested to get educating but in reality they were not allowed by their parents. Parents used to think that all the girls, whether educated or illiterate they had to say at home ultimately doing domestic chores. Parents thought that benefits of female educating would not bring economic benefits to their families. Now-a-days the situation has changed to a progression outlook. The parents acquired a positive attitude towards education. In 1980-90, female enrollment was 61.10%, where male role was 8.90%j. it shows a positive response.

Status in terms of Recreation (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

Recreation is one of the most important aspects of human life. Particularly, the art of singing and dancing is found by and large in every human society though in various nature. The tribal women do not involve much in recreation due to their being busy in household affairs and ignorance in games and sports and less interest. Folk dance and folk songs are the main means of their recreation.

Changes and Development (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

The change in a society is inevitable. The Change in a society depends on a number of factors such as cultural contact resulting from development of communication, deduction and so on and so forth. As far as the status of women is negligible. Until recently the economy of tribes was based largely on food gathering and hunting.

Conclusion and Suggestion on (Status of Women in Tribal Society)

For the improvement and better position tribal women in their society certain measures are to be taken by women themselves and the society as a whole. Education should be given the first propriety special attention must be given for better enrollment of girls. Child marriage system should be banned. Approve a girl to continue her studies after her marriage also. There should be admission of more numbers of women to adult education centers. The department of industries is giving training to women in various arts and crafts. Hence, it is suggested the either they should be absorbed in government services and their field or should be rendered financial help to enable them to startup small scale or cottage industries in their village. It is obviously inspire them to move towards the prosperity. 

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