Patriarchy and Sexual Division of Labour


According to the sexual division of labour, the women of the household are responsible for all domestic work. Or, domestic helpers who are under the supervision of the women of the house perform the task. The head of the household works outside to support the family.

For example, in some communities, women are responsible for weaving and raising crops, while men are in control of hunting and making pottery. In this article, we will discuss it in depth.


The main impediment to women's advancement in the home and workplace is patriarchy. Men's dominance over women is still the fundamental tenet.

Almost all societies experience these phenomena, and the key to removing the structure is to comprehend how society is set up regarding the placement of women.

The Sexual Division of Labour

A system in which the ladies of the household either carry out all domestic work themselves or organise it through domestic servants. Though it is frequently observed, gender division is a type of hierarchical social division that is rarely acknowledged in sociological studies. The distinction between the sexes is frequently seen as inherent and natural. However, it is founded on societal expectations and preconceptions rather than biological principles.

Boys and girls are raised to believe that women's primary responsibilities are caring for the home and raising children.

Men are willing to take on these tasks when they are paid. Most hotel cooks and tailors are male. Women do work outside the home, thus the opposite is also true. Women work in the fields, gather fuel, and get water in villages.

In the majority of families, women handle all domestic tasks like cooking, cleaning, laundry, tailoring, child care, etc., while males handle all work outside the home. Men simply believe that women should handle certain chores, even if they are perfectly capable of doing them.

Manifestation of Patriarchy and Sexual Division of Labour

  • The ongoing and growing impact of poverty on women.

  • Inequality in economic systems and practices, in all forms of labour, and the distribution of resources.

  • The unequal distribution of power and decision-making between men and women at all levels.

  • Inadequate systems, at all levels, to support women's growth.

  • Inadequately promoting and protecting women's human rights; a lack of regard for women's rights.

  • Sexual assault against women.

  • Armed conflict's consequences on women, particularly those who are living under foreign occupation.

Other aspects of the Sexual Division of Labour

Women make up about half of the human population, yet in most civilizations, they play very little part in politics and other aspects of public life. Only men could vote, run for office, and engage in public affairs in the past.

Women's more radical movements sought equality in both personal and family spheres. They are referred to as FEMINIST movements. The political mobilization around this issue and the political manifestation of gender inequality have improved the status of women in public life.

Politics gradually began to address the gender issue. Women gathered and fought for equal rights throughout the world. There were protests in various nations calling for the inclusion of women in the voting process. These protests called for increasing women's political and legal standing, as well as their educational and employment possibilities.

Society Wrongly Blaming the Victim

Description-Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them.


The term “entitlement” relates to the socially sanctioned right to possess or exercise a particular ability, as well as the legal entitlement to a certain sum of money. When we examine entitlement at the microscopic level, we refer to the home (the household), the food consumed there, the property, the kid, the sexual relationship, the job, the exercise of power and authority, and the enjoyment of liberty and equality. The legislation, among other things, defines entitlement at the macro level.

Traditional society, for example, is characterized by each person's varying entitlement to influence social and political issues. In traditional Indian society, Dalits were prohibited from entering temples, and for the most part, women were not allowed to participate in social or political matters.

Entitlements on the basis of Gender Status

In traditional Indian culture, women typically eat after family members' lunch. Additionally, occasionally, their food is of poor quality.

In a patriarchal society, women's sexuality is heavily regulated while men's sexuality is unrestricted. The patriarchal construct affects women's sexuality. Men shape society and control women's private lives. Men and women are created equal, but society and culture are what create an uneven standing.

After the passing of her parents, a woman's control over the household decreases. Due to patriarchy and primitive ideals, she has limited rights to ownership over her home.


This article taught us that the patriarchy recognizes childbearing as a woman's primary responsibility. Additional societal norms that are influenced by the institution of patriarchy in Indian society include the desire for male offspring, sexual virginity, monogamy, women's fasting, and women's silence in public discourse.

The concept of “sexual division of labour” describes the practice of distributing tasks to individuals based on their sex and gender.


Q1. Is patriarchy an issue in society?

Ans. According to certain feminist theorists, the patriarchal social structure is unjust and detrimental to both men and women. Any social, political, or economic structure that encourages male domination over women is frequently included.

Q2. Why is there an issue with the sexual division of labour?

Ans. Disparities in wages and career prospects between the sexes are effects of segregation. Because males often hold more desirable professions and because traditionally female activities are culturally undervalued, the gender makeup of jobs is linked to employment benefits.

Q3. What two forms of patriarchy are there?

Ans. Finally, Walby contends that the social world is characterized by two distinct types of patriarchy: private patriarchy and public patriarchy.

Updated on: 27-Feb-2023

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