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Role of Women in Indian Society (Autosaved)

Role of Women in Indian Society (Autosaved)

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Published by: savitashrivastava123 on Jun 15, 2010
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11/20/2014

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Role of Women in Indian Society
India is a male-dominated society and here women have always been a part of harassment anddomination. Still after all the hurdles in their way, they have come up with a lighting and bright power in today¶s scenario. Women are the powerful entities and they are always being a bravefighter in the battle of life. Women have proved that they are no longer at loss in any of the fieldsand they are versatile.A woman is a blessing to this earth. She plays versatile role in one¶s life; she is a daughter, asister, a wife, a mother, a friend and above all a real motivator, an inspiration and strength. Awoman is a giver. In every role she plays she always ready to give. As a daughter, she is faithfulto her parents and tries to put her parent¶s faith on the top of her priorities. The most beautifulshade of a woman that everybody praises is the woman as a mother. A mother is a backbone for every family and every child. From childhood only I used to share all my problems with mymother and she always have the solution for my problems, whatever it be. From four years, I amaway from my family for my studies but still I share everything with my mother, she is my bestfriend. In every problem, we all unknowingly remember our mothers. Mother is a person, who pampers, solicitudes, loves, gives, corrects, motivates and helps us without any expectations.I want to mention here that women want just love, respect and care and they can shower thewhole life for our loved ones and for our society. It is not just women want it this way but anyhuman being needs love and respect. Women are indispensible for this earth and for each andevery society and family. If God has sent two entities on the world (man and women) then hemust have thought about their uniqueness. No one is complete without the other. Only men alonecannot run this world they need the women at every step of life. They both together make theworld happen.I do not believe that God have had sent the two entities (man and women) with having anydiscrimination into his mind, it is only the human beings who have created such big differencenot only on the basis of biological features but the list goes on including the factors like; color,gender, capability, behavior and so on. Sociologically, women have always been said to be weak and over emotional personality. In a male dominated Indian society, women always been keptunder the walls and tasks like child bearing, cooking and looking after the homes have beenlisted the best ever task for them.³A women is a burden on the family and she is not a worth penny´, these orthodox beliefs aredirectly related to the level and availability of education. In villages, numbers of people areilliterates and if somehow they go to schools the standard of education are very low. There is astrong need to raise the standard and the facilities of educational programmes in such areas andstates. Government is acting appropriately in this matter and no doubt people are now becomingaware of importance of women but still there are people who are living with their baseless old beliefs.I did some literature review for this paper from which I came to know about some interestingfacts about the status of women in Indian society.According to the article ³
Status of Women in Indian Society
´ by Dr. (Ms.) Rekha Singh, shementioned that, in ancient civilization women got an honorable position. According to ancient
 
H
indu scriptures, a man without the participation of his wife can perform no religious rite with perfection. Wife¶s participation was essential to any religious rite. Married men along with their wives allowed to perform sacred rites on various important festivals. They were given not onlyimportant but also equal position with men.
H
owever, things have changed in later period; thereal position of women went on deteriorating. She also talked about the Raja Ram Mohan Roy¶smovement against women¶s subjugation to men and British influence on Indian culture andcivilization, during that period the position of women once again undergone a change. Under theenlightened leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, they re-asserted their equality with men. In responseto the call of Gandhi, they discarded their veil and came out of the four walls of their house tofight the battle of freedom. The Indian constitution today has given to women the equal statuswith men. There is no discrimination between men and women, all professions are open to bothof them with merit as only criterion of selection. She also mentioned that how Indian womenhave distinguished themselves in various spheres of life as politicians, teachers, lawyers, doctors,administrators and diplomats. There is hardly any sphere of life in which Indian women have nottaken part and shown their worth. She argued that status of women in today¶s Indian society isimproving and women in India enjoy today more liberty and equality than before. They haveacquired more liberty to participate in the affairs of the country.
H
owever, despite of the fact thatIndian women have made a considerable progress in last fifty years yet they have to struggleagainst many handicaps and social evils in the male dominated society. Several laws and acts passed in favor of women but passing of law is one thing and its absorption in the society isdifferent matter.In one more paper ³
Status of Women in Indian society-Issues & Challenges
´ by Prof. Nirupama Prakash, she discussed the status of women in Vedic and Post Vedic era.
H
indumythology witnesses that the status of 
H
indu woman during the Vedic period was honorable andrespectable. Equal social and religious status was allowed to boys and girls in Vedic society.Boys and Girls had equal opportunity for advanced education. The girls also spent early years of their life in brahmcharya ashram after observing Upnayana Sanskara for study of Vedas. It wasthought necessary for girls otherwise automatically they would be reduced to status of Shudras.Marriage was an established Institution in the Vedic Age. It regarded as social & religious duty;it does not taken as a contract. The husband-wife stood on equal footing and prayed for longlasting love and friendship. There was no tradition of child marriage prevailing in Vedic society.Wishes and choices of girls in the settlement of their marriage are so a strong indication of their status in society. The bride had the right of selecting her own consort. Monogamy normally prevailed in Vedic age and this indicates high status of women in this period. Widows wereallowed to remarry if they so desired. In that era, women had sufficient freedom of going toattend fairs, festivals and assemblies. They were not confined to four walls of their house. Thereis no mention of Purdah system. Thus, the strong cultural background of Indian society and highstatus of women kept them healthy from all perspective ± social, physical and psychological.She also explained the situation of Post Vedic period. During the Post-Vedic period, womenstarted losing the status in society, which she attained in the Vedic age. She lost her independence. She became a subject of protection. Manu, the progenitor of 
H
indu race, statedthat a woman should be kept day & night in subordination by males of the family- woman has to be protected by her father in childhood, by her husband in young age and by the sons in old age.She lost her identity after her marriage.
 
She also talked about early marriage and childbirth that continued to be the social norm in India,these cultural compulsion are more pronounced in families of lower socio-economic statusthough sometimes middle class families reflect the same phenomena. Women derive their status primarily from their childbearing role and their value often measured by the number of sons theyhave.The poor health and lack of nutritious food among females in Indian society caused highmortality rates among young children and women of child bearing age and morbidity ratesthroughout the life cycle. A woman¶s health and nutritional status influence her newborn¶s birthchances of survival.In her Article ³
Selective Discrimination against Female Children in Rural Punjab, India
´Monica Das Gupta talked about the gender biasness in Rural Punjab.The region comprising the states of Punjab and
H
aryana evinces stronger son preference thanany other region in India. These two states, which until 1966 formed a single administrative unit,have a history of the most imbalanced sex ratios in India" and correspondingly adverse malefemale child mortality rates. British administrators in the nineteenth and early twentieth centurywrote of the widespread practice of female infanticide in this area and tried to abolish it.Punjab &
H
aryana is a state where sex discrimination is deeply rooted despite of the high overalllevel of life expectation. Life expectation in this region has been rising because living standardsand health care have been improving rapidly. Nonetheless, discrimination against femalechildren is resistant to change, resulting in continued excess mortality among this group. Thisindicates the strength of son preference in the region. It also suggests that different factors are atwork in generating discrimination against female children, as opposed to female adults. A varietyof explanations for this phenomenon can be set forth. Female children may be neglected becausetheir parents are poor and facing with difficult choices in allocating resources among their children; they give priority to children of the preferred sex.In this paper author also discussed, some of the cultural issues that is unnecessary exists in theIndian society, as her focus is only Punjab so she explained the facts of Punjab only but I think itis prevailing in all over India.She mentioned that the most important determinant of Punjabi parents' attitudes toward girls isthe fact that married women can do almost nothing for their natal kin. According to culturalnorms, they cannot alter the basic societal patterns of allocation to divert resources to their natalkin, even if the latter are in need. This rule is rarely broken. The flow of resources is alwayssupposed to be from the men of the woman's household of birth to her husband's household. Thedowry given at the time of marriage is only one part of this resource flow. Throughout awoman's life her father or brothers provide her with clothes and gifts for her in-laws on specifiedoccasions (at the time of marriage, childbirth, children's marriages, annual festivals, and whenshe visits her home). They are supposed to receive nothing in exchange. This lack of reciprocityis symbolized by the custom, widespread among many castes in North India, that a woman'sfather and brothers do not accept food or water in her husband's home. If they must accepthospitality, they pay generously for it before leaving, accounting for every glass of water.

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