“Masculinity” refers to the behaviors, social roles, and relations of men within a given society as well as the meanings attributed to them. The term masculinity stresses gender, unlike male, which stresses biological sex. There are enough research in the social development space which demonstrate that approximately half of the pay gap between men and women (women earn about 20% less) is due to women having a tendency to work in different occupations and industries than men, a phenomenon called “gender segregation.” But what causes this gender segregation? Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell and Roxana Barbulescu, a management professor at McGill University in Montreal, decided to find out and what they uncovered is that negative employer behavior isn’t the only cause of gender segregation. “How women view the employment landscape even before starting the job application process” can lead them to choose different jobs than their male counterparts, thus further promoting gender segregation.
Since 2013, Plan India working in partnership with PANI (a grasroots NGO) has been working with more than 10,000 working women in the rural sector in Ambedkar Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, their employers and men of their families; to understand the reasons why gender pay disparity persists, even though there are strong legal provisions to the contrary. Also the program examined the types of paid work that women were engaged and ways in which changes could be ushered through their participation. The program has resulted in bridging the gender pay gap, employers being more aware of their legal obligations and women taking up new, higher paying work opportunities in the rural ecosystem, especially those which were hitherto done only by men.
The Panel discussion proposed to be curated by Plan India and which is located within the larger context of “Difficult Dialogues: Gender Equality: For Everyone’s Benefit?” seeks to answer these burning questions related to masculinities in the workplace and ways in which they can be eliminated.
Cinema and television in India have mainly reflected the patriarchal nature of the Indian society. Here the so-called ‘ideal’ role of men, women and other sex people have been narrated through a very narrow and rigid framework of stereotypical but, culturally, socially, religiously and politically popular norms based on the sex of a person.
Men were mostly shown as the breadwinner and warriors, while the position of women was limited to the kitchen or the bedroom, or they were to be projected as the sufferer, the giver and the house-maker. The subjugation and ridiculousness towards LGBT in cinema has been appalling.
However, with modernisation, the ‘Gendered Roles” also evolved. Unlike, movies like, Do Beegha Zameen, Biwi Number 1 or TV series like, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, where idolization of characters was the base of the storyline, but some films like, Fire, Ki & Ka, Simran, Gulaab Gang, Parched and Lipstick Under My Burkha extended narration of complex characters that are not riddled with patriotic or religious metaphors.
Cinema has had a very powerful impact on the people’s understanding of Gender but, very little has been discussed on its role in portraying the shifting roles of Gender and its far-reaching influence on the Indian Society and hence policymaking. This makes the discussion on, “Portrayal of Gender in the Indian Cinema” very crucial because films in India are seen as a reflection of the change in the social structure.”