The status of women in patrilineal societies is attributed to two main reasons – protective arid preventive. For example, a Toda woman of South India, immediately after the childbirth, is not permitted to go to the fields or touch the buffaloes or to take part in religious ceremonies. As she is still assumed to be unclean, the harvest may be badly affected. However, it does not mean that the Toda women are regarded inferior or ill treated. They do enjoy certain status in the society. Though the Gond women also enjoy certain status and freedom, they are a depressed lot when it comes to choosing their husbands or in the cases involving divorce.
In the patriarchal ‘Tharu’ society, the wives are dominant and are supposed to be experts in sorcery and witchcraft. The Tham women are notorious and have plenty of influence over many things. They are usually of a loose character, but are exceptionally good looking. Among the ‘Khasa’ tribe, the women are under the constant domination of their husbands-physically, emotionally and socially. It is said that the Khasa women lead a dual life – when they are with their husbands they are completely dominated with no rights and freedom of any kind. But, whenever they go to their parents home, they are totally free from all obligations and restrictions and may even enter into physical relationships with other men. Among the Khasa tribe, the woman is not allowed to enter her husband’s house and village directly when she returns from her parents’ house. She is allowed to enter the house/village only after the purification ceremony.
Among the Nagas of Nagaland, the status of women varies from tribe to tribe. The Sema Nagas are better placed against the Ao and Angami Naga women. However, the Angami and Ao women are well placed than the Sema women in terms of properties. Sema women have no voice as far as choosing husbands is concerned, though their consent is required before marriage. The Naga women are given importance according to their ability to work and not their physical appearance.
Tibetans and Bhutias treat their women with great respect and they share equal rights with men. However, despite all these many of them are still subject to exploitation and subjugation.
Among the other Indian tribes as well, women work along with their husbands and more or less enjoy the same rights and freedom as their husbands. However, in spite of all these, they still continue to suffer from exploitation, discrimination and all forms of dehumanizing treatment.