Racial Treatment of Women in India

Racial Treatment of Women in India 

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We all know the injustices suffered by victims of racial discrimination for ex- segregation; and endemic, poverty, unemployment, high illiteracy rate, to name a few. While race contributes to one reason of discrimination when interact with caste, gender and religion, it leds to double discrimination, making it quite difficult for individual to survive and gain the equal status in society.

A cross-sectional survey including 170 pregnant women in rural Gujarat, India, through a longitudinal cohort study, categorising women in three categories General, Other Backward Castes (OBC), and Scheduled Caste or Tribes (SC/ST) and it reported 68% of women suffer from discrimination. For authenticity, they used standard Kuppuswamy scale.

This reveals how gender, caste and class are looked at and treated in our Indian society and the struggle they have to go through compared to people in top hierarchies and privileged sections. Ex- Most of the house workers belong to lower caste in India.

How are gender and racism linked?

Racism and gender discrimination are different, but they can’t be separated from each other.Both have to fight against discrimination, for equal opportunities, society, norms, freedom and rights.

But it is the women who have to suffer the burden of both gender and other intersections which make their life quite challenging, miserable and they even lack basic resources and rights like education, healthcare, safe drinking water, etc.

In India it becomes more challenging as there are so many stereotypes against Muslim women, North-Eastern and Dalit Women and they fall in minorities and have to face hate crime, violence, discrimination, lack of facilities. They don’t get proper access to education, healthcare, employment, hygiene rights, freedom etc and have to face isolation from society due to their race, caste, religion and culture, language, etc.

How Racism and Gender Discrimination is different yet same?

As India is a place of different caste, religion, culture and intersection hence disparity and discrimination exist and if they are north-east women, lower caste women and Muslim women suffer the most as they have to face both gender and racial discrimination.

From North India being called Chinese, Korean and given nickname like chinky-chinky, Moshi to auctioning of Muslim women, have to face many discriminations being from different caste, culture, race and religion.

Gendered Racism 

Gendered Racism is oppression and discrimination due to race and gender. Perceptions, stereotypes, and images of certain groups are the factors which give rise to it. It is the fight between inferiority and superiority between the races. Sexism is something which focuses on gender-based inequalities and discrimination. Gendered Racism refers to ethnic understandings of masculinity and femininity, as well as along gendered forms of race and ethnic discrimination.

For an instance - 80% Violence against dalit women go unreported, report by Swabhiman Society, a grassroots organisation led by Dalit women, and international women’s rights organisation.

Discrimination because of Caste (DBA Community)

According to reports, at least 80% of violence towards dalit comes from states like Haryana and the abusers are the men from dominant caste and that too only 10% of cases ended with successful conviction and most go unreported. All the convictions were against either rape or they committed murder against girls under the age of 6.

Dalit Women Rise to Justice: Status Report 2021 by All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) exposed how they lack cultural freedom, communication and support from state authorities, retaliation over unsolved disputes, lack of awareness of basic human rights, legal and fundamental rights, and women-related policies, wages water, sanitation, land and all the basic resources.

Islamophobia and Muslim Women

“We don’t want women with headscarves.” This brief statement in February made by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy tells us about the perspective of Muslim women by Europeans and all other countries as if they are a taboo.

There are many instances where women who don’t get jobs or could not access vocational trainings just because they are Muslim and women. There are so many preconceived notions, stereotypes, hate against Muslim and Muslim Women.

Islamophobia is racism emerging from the social group of Muslims and Muslim women across European countries, Asia, etc. It is high time we overcome all these and raise our voice against all the discrimination, stereotypes, hate crime against Muslim women.

Racism Towards Northeastern Women 

About three years back when Ebongo (name changed) was looking for a place to live in Delhi’s Munirka village, they refused him accommodation because he was a Manipuri.

“The caretaker asked me where I was from. When I told him I was from Manipur, he said the landlord did not rent his place out to people like me,” he said.

The northeasterners feel alienation from the rest of India because of demographic shifts which is result of insurgency over decades.

The case of women from Northeast India is the most challenging, as it stands out as the challenging state of minority affairs throughout the country

Ex- Outbreak of Covid-19, they were highly racial and stigmatized throughout the world, with the blame falling on China as the origin of the virus. 

What Contributes to these?

Our society, media, social media, political powers, social, cultural and religious organizations or cults contribute. We embed something preconceived to all these and some of it from ancient times and some notions or simply hatred towards each other.


Whether the women are of lower caste, northeastern or Muslim, they cannot live with freedom, happiness and a life without discrimination, hate and stereotypes. We as women, society, media and social media should raise our voice against it and demand for equal education, healthcare, basic resources and rights to create an equal world.

So, it is our responsibility as a citizen, media or government to fight for against racism and gender discrimination and provide them with basic resources, rights, ensure their safety as a minority through protests, creating awareness, education, media and social media campaigns and all other means and sources then only we can develop as a nation.

Ex- Brands can raise campaigns for them as everyone gets influenced by it and has access to social media and it can help them build trust and popularity.

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