India is a large country that makes up most of South Asia, and has been inhabited by settlers for many millennia, even before Aryan tribes from the northwest infiltrated the Indian subcontinent around 1500 B.C. . Throughout this enormous time period, many changes have occurred in their way of life, with the roots of discrimination against women lie in the religious and cultural practices of India . Additionally, the status of Indian women has varied back and forth for that time period as well, depending on the time period and the religion that said woman is in.
In ancient times, women were treated fairly in most cases. In fact, men and women were considered as equals in all aspects of life. This fact is best demonstrated by the fact that some of the writings in the Vedas, the Hindu holy book, were written by women . This means, of course, that they were educated and schooled equally. In addition to being religious writers, women could be priests or fortune-tellers, and could perform some of the many rituals dedicated to women . All of these jobs were vital to the community and important to their culture. However, this would not last for too long. As Indians came into contact with other people, like Aryans and Muslims, they were introduced to new ideas about the status of women . These ideas were harmful to women's rights and abilities.
Oddly enough, during the medieval period of India, the women of India took two steps back in their power, ability, and influence, due to several important changes. Thanks to Muslim invaders from the Northeast, Indians were introduced to a new view of women, where women were thought of as weak and inferior, and that they needed to be protected like minors. The Muslims had a heavy hand in India for around 1000 years . Previously honorable positions, like priests and fortune-tellers, lost their prestige, and they were treated badly. Despite their formerly high position, they were abused and neglected. Gradually, the way of life...
Cited: hargava, Ashok. India, a Country Study. Washington: Library of Congress, 1996. 249-251.
Drèze, Jean Drèze. India, Economic Development and Social Opportunity. Delhi: Oxford UP, 1995. 1-292.
"India." CIA World Factbook. 15 Apr. 2008. Governent of United States. 20 Apr. 2008 .
Kamat, Dr. Jyotsna J. "Status of Women in Medieval Karnataka." http://www.kamat.com/jyotsna/women.htm. 20 Dec. 2007. 20 Apr. 2008 .
Lee, Rose J. Democracy and the Status of Women in East Asia. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2000. 1-213.
Madhok, Sujata. "Women : Background & Perspective." Infochange 3 (2008): 1.
Srinivasan, Shobha Srinivasan. "Journal Article by Shobha Srinivasan; Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Vol. 28, 1997." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 28 (1997): 1. Questia. 20 Apr. 2008.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document