Do you think women are treated with equal respect, dignity, and honor as men? The fact that women are not taken seriously is the worst aspect of their lives. Men are presumed competent until they demonstrate otherwise, and women’s presumed incompetent until they demonstrate competence. Women are not given the same rights, chances, choices, or income as males because society views them as being weaker, less significant, and in need of protection.
These difficulties are significantly more severe and obvious for girls who originate from low-income homes and developing nations, where there are severe income and gender disparities that further deny women their fundamental right to equality. Girls from low-income families and developing countries, where there are stark gender and income gaps that further deny women, their fundamental right to equality, face these challenges in a way that is noticeably more severe and evident.
The greatest barrier that hinders a woman from achieving her life’s goal and several accomplishments are Patriarchy. Little do we know, patriarchy is the underlying social evil that significantly impacts the mental health of women to the extent that it leads to psychopathologies as well.
What Is Patriarchy?
A patriarchal social system is one in which men rule over women, children, and property, according to Walby (1990). Patriarchy encourages male domination, power, and leadership. In a patriarchal social framework, where men dominate decision-making in society, women are subservient to men. Patriarchy can have a significant and pervasive impact on women’s emotional, social, economic, and political lives in a variety of different ways.
Consider these instances:
Private life: Private life: The main flaw in patriarchy is that it restricts a woman’s freedom of choice. It immediately becomes a threat to her personal life. Pressure and persuasion force women to learn about gender roles and adherence to them, which limits their ability to pursue an education, a career, and a fulfilling personal life. She regularly experiences domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of abuse; the presence of patriarchy is the primary source of these problems.
Social life: Patriarchy restricts a woman’s access to her social life. It restricts her access to public areas and other social interactions. Men consistently bar women from environments and activities dominated by them, such as business, politics, and athletics. Women’s mental health and general well-being suffer as a result of social isolation and a lack of support.
Economic life: Patriarchy can affect a woman’s financial life by limiting her access to financial resources, career opportunities, and educational opportunities. In the workplace, discrimination against women may take the form of lower pay and fewer promotion possibilities. They may also be in charge of unpaid home chores, which could restrict their ability to look for a paid job.
Political life: Women’s political lives can be impacted by patriarchy when it restricts their involvement and representation in politics and government. hurdles that female political candidates may face due to the possibility of discrimination and harassment. Furthermore, positions of power might not sufficiently represent them, restricting their ability to influence public policy and defend their rights.
Patriarchy Impacts Women in A Number Of Ways:
A person’s physical, social, financial, and psychological circumstances influence physical and mental wellness. In this instance, paternalism is important. Women contend with issues including workplace sexism, a lack of equal rights, difficulty juggling work and family duties, etc., which can cause a variety of health issues. But because the patriarchal idea is so ingrained in men, they find it difficult to express their actual emotions.
1) Gender-based discrimination (GBD): In a patriarchal society, people expect women to hold a lower rank or position. Society constantly conditions men to perceive themselves as superior and to consider women as their subordinates in all areas of life. Prejudice and marginalisation of women are prevalent. As a result, they develop low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, self-doubt, remorse, and a sense of worthlessness.
2) Sexual Objectification: In patriarchal societies, men view women as sexual objects, correlating their value with their attractiveness. This may result in negative body image issues, body dysphoria, and low self-esteem.
3) Lack of freedom: Patriarchy clearly puts an end to women’s independence. Authorities do not permit them to make independent judgments or move about freely. Psychological tensions, irritation, and a sense of not having control over one’s life result from this.
4) Gender-Based Violence (GBV): Patriarchy frequently exacerbates gender-based violence, turning sexual assault, domestic violence, and harassment into prevalent examples. Trauma, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may result from this.
Sexism in Patriarchal Countries:
Sexism refers to the unfair treatment of individuals based on their gender. When someone treats another person unfairly due to their gender, it is known as sexism. Typically, men exhibit this unfair treatment towards women, considering them in a lesser regard.
Sexism negatively affects women’s mental health. They could become more vulnerable to problems like depression and other mental illnesses as a result. On a global scale, people regard it as a moral problem outside of the United States. Sexist attitudes might contribute to drug abuse and low self-esteem.
Statements like “boys are stronger than girls” and others that hint to the fallacious notion that girls are less capable than boys eventually impact women’s mental health. Although these expressions and acts initially seem innocent, the effects of this treatment on women are readily obvious.
Effective Ways to Deal with Patriarchy:
1) Education and awareness: The first step in eradicating patriarchy is education and awareness and bringing awareness to it through educating and motivating others also, Increase public awareness of the need for gender equality as well as gender-based violence and abuse.
2) Discard Gender Stereotypes: It’s important to dispel the outdated gender stereotypes that restrict women’s development and to establish gender norms that are suitable and good.
3) Support women empowerment: Encourage women’s empowerment by speaking out against gender-based violence and for other women’s rights in business, academia, politics, and other fields. Applaud their initiatives and the groups fighting for them.
4) Support intersectionality: In support of intersectionality, it is vital to understand the connections between racism, classism, and discrimination, as well as the intersection between patriarchy and these negative ideologies.
A woman is not an object. She is not something. She is someone. Factors such as Oppression, denial, victimization, harassment, and abuse contribute to the damage to the mental health of women. Women internalize all these factors which eventually leads to self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is high time that we need to eliminate patriarchy and provide liberty, power, and opportunity to grow to women!!