In a game theoretic framework it can be argued that a gender sensitive institution is an offshoot of certain social conditions, which in most cases need to be acted upon by some anti-establishment catalytic agent. Given the fact that among about half of the population there is a need for such an institution, the main function of a catalytic agent is to engineer a conversion of that need into an active demand. In a society characterized by gender exploitation, catalytic agent can only come exogenously. For a sub-society it is easier to come across such an exogenous catalytic agent. The specific community conditions prevailing in such a sub-society may also prove to be congenial for a catalytic agent to act upon, or even to emerge from. In a larger canvas, however, as the exogenous force transforms into mere endogenous entity, and the society takes on the general character of male-dominance, the space for exogenous agency shrinks. A democratic Government, insofar as it represents the society, cannot be looked upon as a prospective catalytic agent for the country as a whole. There are, however, three possible escape routes from this closure. Firstly, external effects of women’s empowerment in one subsociety on another may snowball. Secondly, the awareness campaign presently underway on a global scale is itself a potent exogenous catalytic agent. Thirdly, general development programs undertaken within a patriarchal order may unwittingly create conditions conducive to feminist struggle.
Lahiri, Debabrata and Mitra, Santanu
Who Will Empower The Better Half? Social Dynamics in Operation.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 4(1), 43-65.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol4/iss1/4