Status of Women in India

Topics: India, Gender, Sex Pages: 4 (1115 words) Published: April 2, 2013
Ashwarya Subhluxmi

The Status of women in India
The lifestyle of Indian women has undergone colossal changes each millennium. In the Vedic period, roughly between 1700 and 1100 BCE, when the first Hindi scriptures also known as Vedas in Sanskrit were being composed, women enjoyed a very privileged life. Most of them were educated and considered to be intellectually competent with their male counterparts. However, in the medieval period lasting from 8th to 18th Century, their life became really tough. With the Islamic invasion in the 13th Century and introduction of social evils such as child marriages and Sati their position in society further deteriorated. In the 19th Century when India got its independence, women started to fight for their rights. After a few decades of independence, the Indian government has introduced numerous scholarships for girls in public schools and colleges to improve the sex ratio and remove gender bias.

In the Vedic period, Indian women were not as restricted as they were in the medieval period. Several religious texts by yoga guru’s Patanjali and the Katyayna suggest that women enjoyed equal rights as men. Indian women were very well educated, and enjoyed the right to voice their personal opinions. Furthermore, they could openly talk about political and religious issues with males and could even disagree with their husbands. Some ancient Hindu scriptures also suggest that women in that period had the right to choose their own husbands; this process was called swayamwar. Furthermore, The Rig Veda; an ancient Indian collection of sacred Sanskrit hymns suggests that women had equal rights on the family property and were responsible for making day -to- day decisions of the household. It also suggests that the condition of widows in the Vedic period was infinitesimally better than it was in the medieval period. They had the right to re-marry and could own their deceased husbands property. Even the condition of...
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