Gender, Religion, and Caste: Class 10 Notes

Class 10 students, brace yourselves! As you gear up for the 2023-24 board exams, there's a pivotal topic in your Social Studies curriculum that demands your attention. Chapter 3 of Political Science delves deep into the intricate web of Gender, Religion, and Caste. In this blog post, we'll equip you with comprehensive Class 10 notes on these crucial subjects, ensuring you're well-prepared to conquer your exams. Let's unravel the essentials together!

gender religion and caste class 10 notes

SubjectSocial Science (Political Science)
BoardCBSE and State Boards
Chapter No.3
Chapter NameGender, Religion, and Caste
Weightage 2 marks

"अगर आप सपने नहीं देखेंगे तो उन्हें पूरा कैसे कर पाएंगे?"

- दृढ़ता सिंह

Class 10 Notes: Exploring Gender, Religion, and Caste

In this chapter, we will study three kinds of social differences:

  1. Gender difference
  2. Religion difference
  3. Caste difference

Gender and Politics

Gender division is based on social expectations and stereotypes.

Sexual division of labor: A system in which all work inside the home is either done by the women of the family or organized by them through the domestic helpers.

The result of this division of labor is that although women constitute half of humanity, their role in public life, especially politics, is minimal in most societies.

Feminist Movement: Women all over the world fought for equal rights in the feminist movements. They demanded the right to vote, more political and legal power, and better education and career opportunities. They also fought for equality in their personal and family lives.

In Scandinavian countries, such as Sweden, Norway, and Finland, the participation of women in public life is very high.

Women face disadvantage, discrimination, and oppression in various ways:

  • The literacy rate among women is only 54 % compared to 76 % among men as many parents prefer to spend their resources only on sons.
  • The proportion of women in highly paid and valued jobs is very low.
  • The Equal Wages Act provides that equal wages should be paid for equal work. However, in many areas of work like sports, cinema, agriculture, and factories, women are paid less than men for the same work.
  • Girl children are aborted before being born as many parents prefer to have sons rather than daughters. Such sex-selective abortion has led to a decline in the child-sex ratio in the country to merely 919.
  • Women face various kinds of harassment, exploitation, and violence inside as well as outside their homes in both rural and urban areas.

Political representation of women in India:

  • In India, the proportion of women in the legislature has been very low.
  • Central Legislature: The percentage of elected women members in Lok Sabha has touched 14.36 % of its total strength for the first time in 2019.
  • State Legislature: Less than 5% of its total strength is women.
  • Local Government: 1/3rd of the seats are reserved for women in Panchayats and Municipalities.
  • India is among the bottom group of nations in the world, in this aspect.
  • Women’s organizations and activists have been demanding a reservation of at least 1/3rd of seats in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. But the Women’s Reservation Bill has not been passed.

Religion, Communalism, and Politics

Religious differences are expressed in politics in various ways (Relationship between Religion and Politics):

  • Gandhiji used to say that religion can never be separated from politics. He believed that politics must be guided by ethics drawn from religion.
  • Human rights groups in our country have argued that most of the victims of communal riots in our country are people from religious minorities. They have demanded that the government take special steps to protect religious minorities.
  • The women’s movement has argued that family laws of all religions discriminate against women. So they have demanded that the government should change these laws to make them more equitable.


It is defined as the use of religion in politics to divide people and create conflict. It is often used to promote the interests of one religious group over others and can lead to violence and discrimination.

Communal belief is flawed because:

  • People of one religion do not have the same interests and aspirations.
  • There are many voices inside every community. All these voices have a right to be heard.
  • Therefore, any attempt to bring all followers of one religion together in a context other than religion is bound to suppress many voices within that community.

Communalism can take various forms in politics:

  • The most common expression of communalism is in everyday beliefs. These involve religious prejudices, stereotypes of religious communities, etc.
  • A communal mind often leads to a quest for political dominance of one’s own religious community.
  • Political mobilization on religious lines involves the use of sacred symbols, religious leaders, and emotional appeal to bring the followers of one religion together in the political arena.
  • Sometimes communalism takes its ugly form of communal violence, riots, and massacre.

Secular State

A secular state is a state that is neutral in matters of religion. It does not favor any one religion over another, and it does not promote or discourage religious belief. Secular states guarantee freedom of religion for all citizens, regardless of their beliefs.

The constitutional provisions that make India a ‘secular state’ are as follows:

  • There is no official religion in the Indian state.
  • Our constitution does not give a special status to any religion.
  • It provides all individuals and communities the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate any religion, or not to follow any.
  • The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion.
  • It allows the state to intervene in matters of religion in order to ensure equality within religion to ensure equality within religious communities.

Caste and Politics

The caste system is a social hierarchy that has existed in India for centuries. It is based on the idea that people are born into different social groups and that their social status is determined by their birth group.

The caste system is a form of social inequality and discrimination. People from lower castes are often denied access to education, employment, and other opportunities.

Political leaders and social reformers like Jotiba Phule, Gandhiji, B.R. Ambedkar, and Periyar Ramaswami Naicker advocated and worked to establish a society in which caste inequalities were absent.

The caste system has undergone changes in modern India: (Socio-economic changes)

  • Economic development and urbanization have broken caste hierarchies in India.
  • Growth of literacy and education, as well as occupational mobility, have also changed the mindset of people towards caste.
  • The Constitution of India prohibits caste-based discrimination.
  • Practicing untouchability is a punishable offense in India.

Caste has not yet disappeared from contemporary India:

  • Even now most people marry within their own caste or tribe. Untouchability has not ended completely, despite constitutional prohibition.
  • The effects of centuries of advantages and disadvantages continue to be felt today.
  • The caste groups that had access to education under the old system have done very well in acquiring modern education as well. Those groups that did not have access to education or were prohibited from acquiring it have naturally lagged behind.

Caste can take various forms in politics:

  • When parties choose candidates in elections, they keep in mind the caste composition of the electorate.
  • Political parties and candidates in elections make appeals to caste sentiments to muster support.
  • Universal adult franchise and the principle of one-person-one-vote compelled political leaders to gear up for the task of mobilizing and securing political support.

The focus on caste in politics can sometimes give an impression that elections are all about caste and nothing else. But This is not true:

  • No parliamentary constituency in the country has a clear majority of one single caste. So, every candidate and party needs to win the confidence of more than one caste and community to win elections.
  • No party wins the votes of all the voters of a caste or community.
  • Many political parties may put up candidates from the same caste. Some voters have more than one candidate from their caste while many voters have no candidate from their caste.
  • The ruling party and the sitting MP or MLA frequently lose elections in our country. That could not have happened if all castes and communities were frozen in their political preferences.

It is not politics that gets caste-ridden, it is the caste that gets politicized:

  • Each caste group tries to become bigger by incorporating within it neighboring castes or sub-castes that were earlier excluded from it.
  • Various caste groups are required to enter into a coalition with other castes or communities.
  • New kinds of caste groups have come up in the political arena like ‘backward’ and ‘forward’ caste groups.

Positive aspects of caste in politics:

  • Expression of caste differences in politics gives many disadvantaged communities the space to demand their share of power.
  • Several political and non-political organizations have been demanding and agitating for an end to discrimination against particular castes, and for more dignity and more access to land, resources, and opportunities.

Negative aspects of caste in politics:

  • Caste politics lead to tension and violence.
  • Politics based on caste identity alone is not a healthy feature in a democracy.
  • It can divert attention from other pressing issues like poverty, development, corruption, etc.
Must Read: Gender, Religion, and Caste Class 10 Important Questions & Answers
Gender, Religion, and Caste Class 10 NCERT Underlined PDF
Must Read:
Class 10 Revision Notes
Class 10 Important Questions

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