Position of Women in India

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Topics: Family, Inheritance
Introduction “Savitri fought with the God of Death (Yama) and succeeded in getting her husband back to life. Can you find any instance in the scriptures or history where a husband was prepared to do sacrifice for his wife? If the wife is dead, he is ready to have a second marriage. Such unfair things are happening in the world in respect of women.” -: Sathya Sai (Volume 31, Chapter 14 'Glory Of Womanhood')
When we look at the Hindu mythology we see that women are supposed to be treated as Goddesses. One of the most popular festivals of Hindus is the ‘Navratra’ in which Hindus worship Goddess Durga (the worrier goddess), Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Goddess Saraswati (the goddess of Knowledge and Arts). On the last day of this festival, the daughters of the house are worshiped. But still in India we see that our society has grown so favorable towards the males. Hindu’s, even after referring to the daughters as Devi (goddess), expect a widow to jump on the pyre of the husband, a practice known as Sati. Dowry is still date given (even after being criminalized) to the groom at the time of marriage. The Gender imbalance can be traced down to Manusmriti in 200 B.C. which lays down the duties of a woman. “In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.” . The Manusmriti were used as a model for the framing of the Dharmashastra, which later became the local laws. Thus we can see the position of women in India today is because of century old traditions and customs.

Even though the Constitution of India promotes gender equality through the notion of Equality and secularism providing a framework to treat all its citizens equal and commands that no discrimination should be made on the bases of one’s gender , gender discrimination still exists due to the presence of various personal laws. In recent years, India has witnessed many

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