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Women in India

Women in India

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Published by kiranjuneja

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Published by: kiranjuneja on Feb 05, 2010
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Women in India
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation, search Aishwarya Rai Bachchanis often cited by the media as the most beautiful woman in theworld.
Women in...
...the arts & humanities
...cultural works
The status of 
women in India
has been subject to many great changes over the past fewmillennia. From a largely unknown status in ancient times through the low points of themedieval period, to the promotion of equal rightsby many reformers, the history of women inIndia has been eventful.
There are very few texts specifically dealing with the role of women; an importantexception is the
of Tryambakayajvan, an official atThanjavur  around c.1730. The text compiles strictures on womenly behaviour dating back to theApastambasutra (c. 4th c. BCE).
The opening verse goes:
mukhyo dharmaH smr^tiShu vihito bhartr^shushruShANam hi
:the primary duty of women is enjoined to be service to one's husband.where the term
(lit. "desire to hear") covers a range of meanings from thedevotee's homage to god, or the obsequieous service of a slave.
Ancient India
Scholars believe that in ancient India, the women enjoyed equal statuswith men in all fields of life.
However, some others hold contrasting views.
 Works by ancient Indiangrammarians such asPatanjaliandKatyayana suggest that women were educated in the earlyVedic period
 Rigvedic verses suggest that the women married at a mature ageand were probably free to select their husband.
 Scriptures such asRig Vedaand Upanishadsmention several women sages and seers, notablyGargi and Maitreyi.
Some kingdoms in the ancient India had traditions such as 
("bride of thecity"). Women competed to win the coveted title of the
.Amrapaliis the mostfamous example of a nagarvadhu.According to studies, women enjoyed equal status and rights during the early Vedic period.
 However, later (approximately 500 B.C.), the status of women began to declinewith theSmritis(esp.Manusmriti
) and with theIslamic invasion of Babur  and the Mughalempire and later Christianity curtailing women's freedom and rights.
Although reformatory movements such as Jainism allowed women to be admitted to thereligious order, by and large, the women in India faced confinement and restrictions.
The practice of child marriagesis believed to have started from around sixth century.
Medieval period

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