The quest for gender equality and the eradication of discrimination against women have long been central themes in the realm of philosophy and social sciences. In the context of one of the most prestigious and challenging competitive exams in India, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Mains Examination, the optional subject of Philosophy holds a unique place. It provides a platform for candidates to explore profound philosophical questions, including those related to gender discrimination. In this blog series, we embark on a journey through the previous year’s questions in the UPSC Mains, spanning from 2013 to 2023, focusing specifically on the topic of gender discrimination. We will dissect and analyze the questions, offering insights and perspectives from philosophical thinkers and scholars that will not only help aspirants preparing for the UPSC exams but also shed light on the evolution of societal attitudes and philosophies regarding gender discrimination over the past decade.
These questions provide a fascinating window into the evolving consciousness of gender-related issues and how the UPSC incorporates these themes into its examinations. They challenge candidates to think deeply, to analyze societal norms, and to explore the rich tapestry of philosophical thought in the context of gender. Join us in this exploration of gender discrimination in the UPSC Mains, and gain a deeper understanding of how philosophy can be a powerful tool in the fight for gender equality and social justice.
Gender Discrimination Philosophy – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
1. Is empowerment of women a sufficient means to their equal rights to land, property and divorce ? Discuss in the context of religious sanction. (2017/15)
2. Will a severe punishment for crimes against women change the mindset of society ? Justify your position. (2017/15)
3. What does gender discrimination mean? Is not a violation of equality and social justice? Discuss.(2015/15)
4. Does economic empowerment of women eliminate gender discrimination? Discuss.(2015/15)
5. “One is not born woman , but she becomes a woman. Critically comment on it. (2014/15)
6. What do you understand by ‘gender equality’ and why is it important ? (2013/15)
7. Is economic independence essential for equality between men and women ? (2013/15)
8. Why is adequate representation of women in political institutio nimportant in this context ? (2013/20)
9. Woman empowerment and social justice. (2012/12)
10. Is there any necessary connection between social progress and protection against female foeticide ? Discuss. (2012/20 )
11. “Denial of access and inheritance of land and property to women is denial of their fundamental as human.” Discuss (2012/20)
12. Does the right to property bring economic disparity and threat human fraternity? Discuss. 2010 – 20 marks.
13. Can only the political empowerment of women wipe out gender discrimination in a male-dominated Indian society? 2010 – 20marks.
14. Examine the land and property rights of women in India. How far do they contribute to empower women? 2009 – 60 marks.
15. Critically examine – “sex is the biological category whereas gende ris a culturally shaped expression of sexual difference.” 2005 – 20marks.
16. Critically examine – “Gender equality can be realized only within a socialist regime.”
17. What, in your view, is the source(s) of gender inequality? Is it primarily rooted in human biology? In what way, if at all? Can this inequality be bridged? Explain and defend your position on these issues.
18. Critically examine – “Gender equality: meaning and need.”
19. Critically examine – “The cause of gender inequality is entirely biological.”
Q: What is gender discrimination, and how is it different from sexism?
A: Gender discrimination refers to the unfair or unequal treatment of individuals based on their gender or sex. It encompasses a wide range of prejudicial behaviors and practices, while sexism is a form of gender discrimination that specifically involves attitudes, beliefs, or stereotypes that favor one gender over the other.
Q: What are some common forms of gender discrimination in the workplace?
A: Gender discrimination in the workplace can manifest in various ways, including unequal pay for equal work, limited career opportunities, sexual harassment, and biases in hiring and promotion decisions. It can also involve stereotypes that dictate certain roles and expectations based on gender.
Q: Is gender discrimination only harmful to women?
A: No, it can affect individuals of all genders. While women often experience it more acutely, men, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals can also be victims of gender discrimination. It is crucial to address the issue holistically to create a more inclusive and equitable society.
Q: How can individuals and organizations work to combat gender discrimination?
A: Individuals can contribute by raising awareness, challenging stereotypes, and supporting gender equality initiatives. Organizations can implement policies and practices that promote diversity and inclusion, conduct gender sensitivity training, and ensure fair and equal treatment for all employees.
Q: What are the international and legal frameworks against gender discrimination?
A: International frameworks include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Many countries have laws and regulations in place to combat gender discrimination, such as the Civil Rights Act in the United States and the Equality Act in the United Kingdom. These laws aim to protect individuals from discrimination based on their gender or sex.
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