How did differences in resource access affect the social status and roles of men and women in early Indian societies?

Q.1. How did differences in resource access affect the social status and roles of men and women in early Indian societies?

Ans: – Resource disparities influenced the division of labour and roles assigned to men and women. Men, with greater access to resources, were primarily engaged in activities related to agriculture, trade, and governance, which conferred social status and decision-making power. Women, on the other hand, were primarily responsible for domestic duties, such as childcare, household management, and subsistence agriculture, reinforcing traditional gender roles.

– Resource disparities resulted in unequal access to education between men and women. Education was often limited to men from privileged backgrounds, who gained knowledge and skills that enhanced their social standing and opportunities for advancement. Women, however, had limited access to education, which restricted their ability to participate fully in social, economic, and political spheres.

– Differences in resource access influenced property ownership patterns. Men had greater opportunities to acquire and control property, including land and other assets. In contrast, women had limited rights to own and inherit property, leading to economic dependence and further reinforcing their subordinate position in society.

– Differences in resource access resulted in significant disparities in decision-making power between men and women. Men, due to their control over resources, held greater influence in matters of governance, lawmaking, and community affairs. Women, with limited access to resources, had reduced agency in decision-making processes, both at the household and societal levels.

Q.2. Outline four policies of the Mughal empire that contributed to the growth of agriculture.

Ans: – Marketplaces and Trade: The Mughals established well-organized marketplaces known as “mandis” to facilitate the exchange of agricultural goods. These marketplaces played a crucial role in connecting farmers with merchants and consumers, stimulating economic activity.

– Zamindari System: The Mughals introduced the Zamindari system, where zamindars (landlords) were granted revenue rights over specific areas of land. This system aimed to ensure stable revenue collection and provide incentives for zamindars to invest in agricultural development.

– Introduction of New Crops: The Mughals introduced several new crops to India, including fruits, vegetables, and cash crops like tobacco and maize. These additions diversified agricultural production and provided economic opportunities for farmers.

– Irrigation Infrastructure: The Mughals invested in the construction of extensive irrigation systems, including canals, wells, and tanks. These infrastructure projects facilitated improved water management, increased agricultural yield, and reduced the impact of droughts.

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