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By: Neha Choudhary. When women are assigned with the labels of being/becoming a widow there is an impact that is felt though many different forms within.

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Presentation on theme: "By: Neha Choudhary. When women are assigned with the labels of being/becoming a widow there is an impact that is felt though many different forms within."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: Neha Choudhary

2 When women are assigned with the labels of being/becoming a widow there is an impact that is felt though many different forms within their lives. The impact of becoming a widow has a psychological and social impact on the women. Within the Indian society, not only are women treated differently after becoming a widow, but also shown through a different aesthetic appearance than when they were married. The “rules” which are assigned to women are not the same as men who are widowers. However, not all cultures view widows in the same manner. There are differences that can be seen through Western Cultures vs. Indian Culture.

3  Widow- a woman who has lost her husband through death and has not remarried  Widower- a man who has lost his wife through death and has not remarried  Widowhood- the state of time when a person is a widow or widower

4  No longer able to wear jewellery– exception is made to plain necklaces  can no longer wear coloured clothing--- white and dull colours acceptable  In the Brahmin Caste (along with the above): - Shave head after the death of the husband - Changes to eating bland food - Not allowed to sing or dance (Reddy A.,2004)

5  associated with aging- majority being 65yrs+  No physical descriptions found– e.g.. Difference in attire of married or widowed  It is more difficult to distinguish if someone is single or widowed (Owen, 1996)

6  Can not have desire for children if she does not have any children *expectation are made however*  Avoid Social gatherings- Including weddings  Not able to look at men outside of her immediate family  The topic of remarriage is still debated upon, although it is legal for women to be remarried (Harlen, 1995)  Must remain devoted to husband and his honour even after his death  Should remain in the husbands house  Tradition of Sati (widow burning)- Widows use to be burned alive on her husbands funeral (is an illegal practice) (Reddy, 2004)

7  The behaviours assigned to widows are socially constructed  Expected to not wear colours  Plain white sarees/clothing to show that they are widows  Not wear any jewellery like: bangles, and symbolic customs such as: sindoor, as they are a sign of a married woman  Are expected to live within the household under close monitoring (Bhana, 2007)

8  Have more resources available to them (Lopata, 2010)  Are at times not invited to gatherings where other couples are present  Behave in certain gender roles What is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable behaviour of widows, depending on the time frame after the death of the spouse (Bruck, 2007)

9  Taking on the role of the provider for children  Expectations placed on how children should be reared by other family members (Lopata, 2010)

10  Is considered the most stressful event in the life of a person  In India, women are often not given inheritance after the death of their husband. (Laws to protect but unaware)  There are young women who are widows with children  Vulnerable to poverty Poor working conditions Children become (especially daughters) vulnerable due to financial situation (Reddy, 2004)

11  Widowed women often are controlled by sons (if they have)--- continued notion of Father  Husband  Son  Loss of support  Out casted--- lack of resources (Harlen, 1995)  Some women in the western cultures are more hesitant to get into relationships  At times, women find it difficult to address themselves as being single and yet married (although they are widowed) (Lopata, 2010)

12  Ways of coping: Keeping busy Look to religion Focus on the positive rather then the negative Not thinking of regrets (“What if...”) (McFadden, 2003) Knowledge of the life cycle Support that is available Knowledge of grieving process Mental health prior to death of spouse (Hanson, 1994)

13  Aging: Decline in pension benefits (if they have) More difficult to adjust to income shortfalls Decline in economic status remains Older widows compose of a higher poverty rate (Sevak, 2003) Some try to maintain separate households Some allow unmarried children live in the households as a form of support (Hareve, 1996)

14 VisitorsBefore %After% Parents In-laws Brothers Sisters Friends Neighbours58.80 Brother In-Laws Sister In-Laws6.8013

15 AgePersonsMalesFemales All Ages44,018,6489,728,91934,289, ,99328,78779, ,00332,20194, ,250112,492293, ,615227,566573, ,294,540336,803957, ,984,886447,0131,537, ,547,722553,7621,993, ,188,846639,7752,549, ,240,181862,9673,377, ,894,613806,0553,088, ,908,5301,335,9775,572, ,827,8811,179,9544,647, ,862,6291,317,8304,544, ,683,554690,4221,993, ,059,4661,134,0042,925,462 Age not stated 83,93923,31160,628

16 Widowed Both Sexes1,532,9401,544,2261,553,4881,563,8561,573,455 Male288,816295,446301,404307,050312,357 Female1,244,1241,248,7801,252,0841,256,8061,261,098

17  In India, Widowers are allowed to remarry and are not looked down on by the society  There are no restriction placed on how they must dress  Prefer to live in the house of their children (move) then remain in their own house  Do not face the same challenges/struggles as women  Different methods of coping (Lopata, 2010)

18  Regarding women who are cast out by their families after their husbands have died.  uwO4o8k uwO4o8k  Produced by: ABC Australia


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