Equal Rights for Women

Topics: India, Women's rights, Human rights Pages: 4 (1626 words) Published: April 20, 2006
Women have long been fighting for equal rights in every sphere of society. Land ownership, choice of marriage partner, and right to work or leave the house are a few of the basic rights that many men and women take for granted. Many nation-states have been reluctant to treat women as full citizens, entitled to the full array of civil and human rights, because they view them as incomplete national subjects . The issue of women being viewed as incomplete national subjects is three-fold; male-dominated societies, class and caste systems, and religion have all caused this trend to exist and continue. There are many male-dominated societies around the world, including much of South-East Asia and Africa. Women have had a complicated and often violent time securing rights and fighting oppression in these male-dominated societies struggling against class and caste systems. A greater challenge to progression of women's rights is the underpinning of religion in their societies. India is a leading example of a male-dominated society struggling in a religious caste system. Women's place in Indian society has been extremely fixed in nature, and has kept women at a low rung on the ‘status-ladder'. The main handicap of women in India, and truly world-wide, has been that of childbirth. The bondage of reproduction has left women reliant on men for food, protection and shelter. While men are able to do work viewed as productive, women are treated as property bought and sold as chattel to reproduce. Male-domination and this view of women being owned results in young marriages; this is believed to guarantee the virginity of the girl. In India, Hindu religious leaders decreed that a girl should be married soon after the beginning of puberty, and that the age of ten is considered puberty. For Hindu girls, this means that they have little chance at education past this age, and truly many do not even receive education before. Traditional beliefs on whether women should...
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