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Abstract

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.

Note on the Author

Debabrata Lahiri, Assistant Professor, Bidhannagar College, Salt Lake, Kolkata, India

Santanu Mitra, Lecturer, Dept. of Science & Humanities, Jnan Chandra Ghosh Polytechnic, Kolkata, India

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