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CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 8 Notes - Women, Caste and Reform

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Women, Caste and Reform Class 8 Notes History Chapter 8 - PDF Download

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In today’s world women are respected; they can work, study and even get married when they are mature enough to understand. But this was starkly different 200 years ago. The lives of women were comparatively difficult from what it is now. There were various limitations or restrictions imposed on women. Girl children had no access to education; they were married at an early age. In most parts of the country, women were forced to practice ‘sati’.


The caste system was also one of the biggest issues during those times. The Kshatriyas and Brahmins considered themselves of upper caste, the moneylenders and traders followed them and were referred to as Vaishyas and the artisans, peasants, weavers, and potters were considered as Shudras, the lower caste.


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CBSE Class 8 History Chapter 8 Notes - Women, Caste and Reform part-1
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Illustrate Jyoti Rao’s Justification for Criticising Caste Inequality.

Ans: Jyotirao Phule was born in 1827. He was known as the leader of the Low-caste. He was highly critical of the Brahmans’ claim of their supremacy to others. According to Phule, the “upper” classes had no right to their power and land. He believed that the land belonged to the indigenous people who were referred to as the low castes.  Phule claimed that before Aryan rule, there thrived a golden age when warrior-peasants cultivated the land and ruled the Maratha countryside. He suggested that the Shudras and Ati Shudras should join and unite against caste discrimination. The Satyashodhak Samaj association founded by Phule worked towards bringing down caste inequality.

Q2. What were the Opportunities Available for People Who came from the Lower Caste?

Ans: With the development of cities, new requirements for labour were required. Drains had to be cleaned, buildings were constructed, and for this work carriers, diggers, bricklayers and sweepers, where needed. This labour came from people who were from the low caste. They moved out of their villages and small towns and shifted to the cities to get work. Some went to work in the plantations in Mauritius, Assam, Trinidad, and Indonesia. Although it was not comfortable to work in the new locations, poor people saw this as an opportunity to get away from the upper-caste exploitations.