Being Women

Debunking Gender Bias: The Challenging Journey From Stigma To Strength

This article explores various everyday gender biases women face, from workplace stereotypes to societal expectations. By sharing real stories, the article aims to empower women and dismantle these biases to create a more equal future.

Gender bias is the tendency to provide preferential treatment toward one gender over another, or have prejudice against a certain gender. Gender bias is a type of unconscious bias, where someone may stereotype or hold preconceived notions about other individuals based on personal or learned experiences.

Let’s look at some of the stereotypes that our TSS women have faced

A Man’s Domain

“You won’t be able to do it. I hear this when I attempt to do something that is considered to be the forte of men.”

Outdated Funeral Rites

“The worst statement that was said to my parents many years ago – “So sad that you have no son to do your last rites.”

It’s always believed that it’s only a son who can light the funeral pyre. As per the Hindu traditions, its the son who can give ‘moksha’ to his parents.

~Jayashree Pillai~

The Climb for Equality

“She won’t make it to the finish line.”

It’s believed that women can get far, but they can’t get to the top.

Women are not making it to the top because of inferior qualities, but because of backward thinking from their male colleagues. Discrimination remains women’s greatest obstacle on the ladder of success, but is only one of many obstacles. Women must overcome a lack of mentors and role models in the workforce, as well as a lack of spousal support. Furthermore, women face internal roadblocks within themselves such as socialisation (upbringing), and the decision of pursuing a career, pursuing a family, or pursuing both a career and family. 

Redefining strength in women

“She is physically weak”

It’s a flawed notion that women are weaker than men. there are many articles supporting this. One of them cites five reasons why women are deemed stronger than men.

  • Women can give birth. The female body can perform miracles and the fact is alluded to in the Reproductive Health Journal.
  • Women Are More Flexible Than Men. because women have special mobility and stability that men don’t. It also means that women are less likely to get injured and have faster-paced reactions than men.
  • Women Have Stronger Aerobic Endurance Than Men. While men are stronger when it comes to muscle strength, women are more powerful when it comes to endurance training. 
  • Women Are More Sensitive To Stress Than Men. Stress management is something women practice naturally to perform tasks.
  • Women Are Built To Survive. Women have an innate ability to problem-solve and thus have proven over history to survive longer than men in famines. There are several theories for this, including the emotional strength and support that women get from other women.

Reframing the Narrative around Women Drivers

“Her driving is pathetic.”

A commonly held stereotype leads to thinking that women are poor drivers (Chateignier et al., 2011). They are considered hesitant, overcautious and unsure behind the wheel (Berger, 1986, Harris and Miller, 2000), because of a presumed difficulty in making fast decisions (e.g., swerving or braking to avoid a collision). 

A member writes on the popular platform Quora,

“Most men love cars, and they put in more effort than women to learn how they work, how to fix them and understand the physics of driving. Most women, however, care less about the car and the physics of driving as long as it runs well and gets them from point A to B. Women also have slower reflexes which comes from genetics, whereas men historically required faster reflexes for hunting. It’s also important to note that while women get into more accidents than men do, men tend to get into more serious accidents because they speed more, like to race cars etc. “

Breaking the Period Taboo

“She will find excuses for not doing a particular task on her period days.”

At present, under Article 68, employers cannot ask women who experience difficult periods to work during that time. However, many women may not avail of it— a 2014 study by the government revealed that less than 0.9% of the surveyed women who had such a policy in place in their workplace had taken leave.

~Aparna Nagda~

Smashing the Beauty Code

“The biggest bias I have faced is for being a short woman rendering me naturally incapable of many things …but not that I have ever been traumatized about it. Being a dark-skinned woman comes next but honestly, I did not face much discrimination or bias here but have always read about it.”

A woman is judged by a code of beauty standards which is governed by physical attributes like her body shape, facial features, and skin tones. height, and body weight.

~Sanghamitra Ghoshbasu~

Divorce wasn’t the enemy, the stigma was. 

“The biggest stigma I faced was the time I filed for a divorce against my ex-husband. The fact that I wasn’t a stereotypical woman, the world blamed me and called me infidel. All his slip-ups were overlooked and I was the one blamed the most. “

Being divorced is a crime. Deciding to divorce your husband is a greater crime for the inferior sex is accusing her superior. Who gave her the right or the power?

The Double Standard of Divorce

“When I decided to remarry and move on, I was called names. My ex-husband married before me and had moved on, but I was condemned for moving on in a year and was expected to mourn the divorce.”

A man can get divorced and move on. But not the woman. She is expected to stay single, face the shame and cower in silence.

~Amrita Iyer~

Cup size matters

“Oh. Look at you, flat-chested! How will you find a partner?”

A flat-chested woman doesn’t fit into the societal standards of beauty. A pair of good-sized boobs makes a woman and that makes her man happy.

Beyond the Pyre

My parents were often mocked for having three daughters. They would say, ‘Three girls and no son! Who will look after your parents? Who will light your parent’s pyre?

Defined by the Uterus.

We got married in 2005. but did not have a baby till I was 30 years old. I would often be teased.

“Still working -when will you have a kid? A happy marriage needs a baby! Else your husband will go astray.”


“A complete woman is someone who can give birth. when will you prove that you are not barren, but fertile?”

My success lay in proving my fertility. But that was not the end. I had to give birth to a male child to continue the family line and make everyone proud. You see, a woman who gives birth to a girl child is still deemed inferior to her counterpart whose first child is a boy!

~Sreemati Sen~

Sources –,only%20one%20of%20many%20obstacles.



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