Status of Women in India
In previous times, the status of women in India was inferior than men in the practical life. However, they had a higher status in scriptures. They are considered as the perfect home maker in the world. With their incomparable quality of calmness of their mind, they can easily handle even toughest situation. Indian women are completely devoted to their families. They’re preached in the names of Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Durga, Parvati & Goddess Kali.
Their condition remains unchanged even during the modern times with only little changes. In India, women were never given any right of liberty & equality. Their condition becomes even worse when they gave birth to girls. Men treated them in a humiliated manner. They were not only permitted not to step outside their house but also abstained from being educated.
They were also supposed to eat after their husbands or even sometimes to eat their husband’s leftovers. Women were prohibited from prohibited from taking external matters as well as domestic matters. They were under the influence of their parents before marriage & their husband after marriage. However, their status varied a lot depending on the period which they were living us illustrated below:
Women status in the ancient India
It’s said during the ancient India, women enjoyed equivalent status & rights like their males counterparts. In addition they were properly educated in the early Vedic period. These references are available from the works of Grammarians such as Katyayana and Patanjali. Women also had the freedom to select their husbands. This system was known as ‘Swayamvar.’ In fact during this time, women had superior position than the males.
Women status in medieval India
The status of women in India deteriorated during the medieval period with the entrance of the Muslims. Several evil practices such as female infanticide, sati and child marriage were practiced during this period. ‘Purdah’ was introduced to the society. Women were also forced to practice ‘zenana.’ Polygamy was also common during this period. Women also excelled in literature, music and arts. They were also rulers during this period.
Some great-women rulers were Razia Sultana who was the only women-monarch to-rule-the throne of Delhi, Nur Jahan, Gond queen Durgavati who ruled for fifteen years before she was defeated in a battle by Ali emperor Akbar’s. Nur Jahan is still considered as the most effective ruler by the society. In spite of these powerful women, the condition of poor women remained the same. At this time girl were forced to get married at a very tender age. The society also practiced Sati where women were forced to jump over the burning bodies of their husbands during funerals. The southern India also practiced Devdasi tradition where girls were forced get married to trees or deity.
Women status in modern India
During this time there was a little development in the women status. There were many women reformers in India who worked for the uplift & betterment of their female counterparts. The begun of Bhopal discarded the ‘purdah’ & fought in the revolt of 1857. Their education was elevated and English was introduced during this period. Various female writers emerged in the society.
In the modern time, women in India were given freedom & right such as freedom of expression & equality as well as the right to be educated. Various prestigious positions at this period were held by women. They’re enjoying the ‘ladies first’ facility in different fields. However, some problems such as dowry, domestic violence, sex selective abortion, female infanticide are still prevalent. Preventive measures needs to be taken to ensure that women are empowered in India.
How can women be empowered?
Women are educated about the social benefits including awareness about the existing social problems in the society, good recognition & image in the family & community, role in making important decision in their family, plan & promote better education for their children, taking care of health of the aged and the children just to mention a few.
Women are also allowed to participate in political and public life. Therefore, they are given a chance to serve the community including fighting for the basics amenities & welfare needs of the village community such as:
- Safe drinking water
- Public sanitation
- Street light
- Chance to help the weaker people like disable and the aged
Empowering Indian women by education
Most women are given a chance of finishing their education to the degree level. They are discouraged from getting married and raising a family when they are young. There are number of women education grants that offer help to women from poor background in order to give them a chance to be educated.
There’re various scholarships that benefits women in India to achieve their career by going back to school or various training institutions where they can further their education. Also, many NGO‘s in India offer support to women in order to benefit them in education. The government of India is also setting aside funds that are used to empower women & other initiatives that will empower them.
Women who have the desire to improve their lives are allowed to take these grants from the government and NGO’s to empower themselves with the help of their spouses or without for single mothers to get education to the degree level, post graduates, PHD just to mention a few. These grants for women get most supports from different companies after realizing that women can perform better than men if they are well educated and equipped.
Empowering women in business
The government of India set aside some reasonable amount of money which women who have business ideas can borrow in order to start businesses. Women are encouraged to start small business in order to have their own source of income thus they become independent. Various non-governmental organizations also offer financial support to women in India and encourage and teach them how they can be making their own money by starting various business activities.
The status of the women in India has greatly improved and there are many women who are holding high position in the government offices. This has proved that women can be even better than men if they are given an opportunity. Women are given equal opportunity like their male counterparts by the government.