Objectification of women in India
"You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women." Jawaharlal Nehru, Leader of India's Independence movement, and India's first Prime Minister. According to a global poll conducted by Thomson Reuters, India is the "fourth most dangerous country" in the world for women and the worst country for women among the G20 countries. Today's India offers a lot of opportunities to women, with women having a voice in everyday life, the business world as well as in political life. Nevertheless India is still a male dominated society, where women are often seen as subordinate and inferior to men.
In Ancient India, scholars believe that in ancient India, women enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period. Rigvedic verses suggest that women married at a mature age and were probably free to select their own husbands. So, what happened in the middle age/Medieval Period of Indian civilization? Indian women's position in society further deteriorated during the medieval period, when Sati, child marriages and a ban on remarriage by widows became part of social life in some communities in India.
India's Patriarchal Traditions
Much of the discrimination against women arises from India's dowry tradition, where the bride's family gives the groom's family money and/or gifts. Dowries were made illegal in India in 1961, however the law is almost impossible to enforce, and the practice persists for most marriages. Women as a Liability:
The Indian constitution grants women equal rights to men, but strong patriarchal traditions persist in many different societal parts, with women's lives shaped by customs that are centuries old. Hence, in
these strata daughters are often regarded as a liability, and conditioned to believe that they are inferior and subordinate to men,...
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