The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. From equal status with men in ancient times through the low points of the medieval period, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful. In modern India, women have held high offices in India including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Leader of the Opposition. As of 2011, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the parliament) were women. Women have occupied a significantplace in Indian society through the ages. This is evident in historical accounts, ancient stories , poetry and narrations. Throughout, women have been viewed as the pivot around which the family revolves. In the Vedic age, women enjoyed a privileged status in no way less than men. After the Vedic Age, the position of women in society weakened. Further during the Muslim period the customs and traditions which advocated subordination of women affected the status of women to a great extent.
However with the passage of time, the british presence had the effect of generating self-awareness among women and they made their presence felt In the freedom struggle. Thousands came forward as volunteers at the call of Mhatma Gandhi who spurred the movement for women’s right to equality. He addressed women directly, inspiring and encouraging them to shed their stereotyped roles and render hteir services to society as educators, politicians and working professionals.
The 20th century saw the emergence of Mahila Samitis and other organizations devoted to the upliftment of women.The educated society about ill-effects of the purdah system, child marriage and ill-treatment of widows. They campaigned for equal rights for women in franchise and education. The current picture is entirely different when we look on the urban areas of India, but in majority of...
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