Definition Gender discrimination, or sex discrimination, may be characterized as the unequal treatment of a person based solely on that person

's sex. While females have historically laid claim to the cry of unequal treatment, modern civil rights laws banning sex discrimination have been construed to protect males as well, especially in the area of employment. Gender discrimination is any unequal treatment based on gender and may also be referred to as sexism. Characteristics of gender discrimination are any situation where a person shows a prejudice towards another that would not occur had they been the opposite sex. E.g. During the early years of this country, women were not entitled to the same rights and privileges as men. Women were not allowed to vote and were usually required to surrender control of their property to their husband upon marriage. Moreover, their educational and occupational opportunities were severely limited. It was commonly believed that a woman's place was in the home, raising children and tending to domestic affairs. Gender discrimination in India: Over the past century there has been much to rejoice about the positive development of women in India: increased visibility of women in the public sphere, closing of gender gaps in primary and secondary school enrolment, the presence of women in the labour force across international borders, and lower fertility rates. In addition, women’s organizations have been able to raise issues such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, violence against women, and inequality of power in gender relations, and make these the pivotal issues of debate in national and global arenas. Discrimination against Women in India: According to the 2001 census, female literacy in India is 54.16 % against male literacy of 75.85 %. Most of the working women remain outside the organized sector: A mere 2.3 % women are administrators and managers, and 20.5 % professional and technical workers. There are an estimated 40 million Hindu widows in India, the least fortunate of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married. It’s believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a Hindu holy city of about 55,000 populations in northern India. Many widows – at least 40per cent are said to be fewer than 50 – are dumped by their relatives in religious towns and left to live off charity or beg on the streets. Their plight was highlighted in Deepa Mehta’s award-winning film Water, which had to be shot mainly outside India because of Hindu extremist opposition to the production. Nearly 9 out of 10 pregnant women aged between 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition and about half of all children (47%) under-five suffer from underweight and 21 % of the populations are undernourished. India alone has more undernourished people (204 million) than all of sub-

Saharan Africa combined. Nearly 20 % of women dying in childbirth around the globe are Indians. Six out of every 10 births take place at home and untrained people attend more than half of them. 44 % of the Indian girls were married before they reached the age of 18. It added, 16 % of girls in the age group 15-19 years were already mothers or expecting their first child and that pregnancy is the leading cause of mortality in this age group. On an average one Indian woman commits suicide every four hours over a dowry dispute. During Indian marriage, women should bring jewellery, cash and even consumer durables as part of dowry to the in-laws. If they fail, the victims are burnt to death – they are doused in kerosene and set fire to. Routinely the in-laws claim that the death happened simply due to an accident. Rape is the fastest growing crime in India. Every hour Indian women face two rapes, two kidnappings, four molestations and seven incidents of cruelty from husbands and relatives. Unwanted Daughters: At first sight, the title tends to put you off. It may be argued “unwanted daughters” is still a stark reality in modern India. The gender muddle continues to make a mockery of all expectations. One often wonders why as a nation we continue to agonies over the sex ratio imbalance, instead of just acting upon what has generally been a perceived reality for long. A collection of 10 articles by knowledgeable people — among them sociologists, demographers, economists and gender specialists — the book provides a multi-disciplinary perspective to the increasing gender bias in contemporary India and the combination of economic, social, and cultural factors underlying the discrimination against daughters. It is by no means a wake-up call, but reiterates how advances in reproductive technologies have ushered in a silent consolidation of malpractices, and that sex ratio is not just a demographic index but reflects society's attitude towards women. Now, couples are far more aware and willing to achieve the preferred family size and the desired sex composition of children. Sadly, education has hardly impacted traditional mindsets. Rather, technology and affluence have aggravated the problem as evidenced by the declining sex ratio — from 955 in 1921 to 933 in 2001. More number of female foetuses get aborted and more number of baby-girls are victimized, in spite of the safeguards the Pre-conception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act are supposed to provide. The results of the 2001 Census of India focused on ‘missing girls'. A decade later, with the headcount now in progress, the beam still tilts in favor of the perceived preference for sons. Or is it a deliberate discrimination against daughters?

Case studies from across the country have been used to highlight how Indian girls are caught
between passion and independence, individual rationality and public good. The observations are not out of sync. Combining conservatism with a dose of liberal chuckle makes the book readable. Editors T.V. Sekher and Neelambar Hatti have introduced a structural innovation in the book, which is otherwise permeated with perspectives that are palpably rural. It takes a compelling and insightful look at how sniggers-arousing policies have failed to impact the highly skewed sex ratio and the agenda to eradicate gender discrimination has been subsumed.

Application Sexism has historically been enacted most often to the detriment of females, but it can apply to males as well. Gender discrimination can also extend to transgender people. Gender discrimination can apply most commonly to workplace scenarios, but can also apply to educational rights, in household gender roles and in community and organization roles. Most frequently, it involves being denied an opportunity such as a promotion, position, scholarship, credit or a loan. It can also be used to describe receiving or failing to receive a punishment on the basis of gender. Weblography http://www.ehow.com/facts_5471346_gender-discrimination-definition.html Dated 06/07/11 http://law.jrank.org/pages/12485/Gender-Discrimination.html06/07/11 http://knowledge.insead.edu/gender-discrimination-in-india-101213.cfm06/07/11 http://www.citehr.com/12027-sexual-harassment-workplace-india.html06/07/11 http://www.inclusiveplanet.com/en/channelpost/64458606/07/11 http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/freud.html06/07/11 http://psychology.about.com/od/sigmundfreud/p/freud_women.htm06/07/11 http://skeptic.skepticgeek.com/2009/06/24/religion-vs-gender-equality-feminism/06/07/11 http://www.bhagwanvalmiki.com/manu-smriti.htm06/07/11 http://indiafactbook.wordpress.com/discrimination-against-women/06/07/11 http://www.light-of-life.com/eng/reveal/06/07/11

The socio-economic inequalities get widened and social cohesion and solidarity are eroded. Discrimination by colleagues can happen to new employees. Discrimination leads to psychological and emotional disturbance. An employee who is being discriminated witnesses non cooperation from peers and negative feedbacks form subordinates. Type of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Quid-Pro-Quo Harassment "Quid-pro-quo" is Latin for "this for that." It is a trade. If you have a problem with sexual harassment in the workplace. This is the when the employer makes sex a prerequisite to getting something in the workplace. a drastic difference in qualifications has almost always been upheld by the courts as a sure sign of gender discrimination. Below is a basic guide to sexual harassment in the workplace. it is illegal. and fuels more discrimination.org/women.hinduwisdom. resulting in demoralization and descend in performance standards. It brings down the overall performance. you should think about what else might be going on as well. .tripod. like gender discrimination. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the most complicated areas of employment law. However. it can affect not only the employee but also the employer.htm06/0711 http://www.info/Women_in_Hinduism. Discrimination at workplace also affects the society. Please note that sexual harassment in the workplace often goes hand-in-hand with other illegal acts. which in turn increases the number of gaps in one's work further. They may face sarcastic stares or constant digs made at them by their colleagues during initial weeks.jewfaq. It results in wastage of human talent and resources. if it persists for a long time.http://sanatana-dharma. When the trade is on the basis of sex.htm06/07/11 Gender Discrimination at work place in India: Discrimination at work can come from either the employee of from the colleague side. that is). The effect on the employee can be huge or meager but the impact on organization remains for a longer time. While a slight difference in qualifications between a female and a male candidate does not automatically indicate gender bias (if a lesser qualified male candidate is hired instead of a female candidate. It is also one of the areas that has recently received the most press.htm06/07/11 http://www. The main indicator which indicates that gender discrimination has occurred in the hiring process involves the qualifications of the job applicants.com/women_in_hinduism.

For example: sleep with me and you'll get the job. which granted a stay. 26. following the Shehnaz Mudbhatkal case. For example. This type of sexual harassment in the workplace is the "casting couch" cliché. Doordarshan (Hyderabad) producer Sailaja Suman took director P L Chawla to court on charges of defamation. a steno in the Union Ministry of Railways. Malik filed a Rs. this is not the only case of its kind. following her complaint that R P Sharma. In 1997. work. demanding Rs. as an issue. secretary to the Chief Operating Manager. molested her. Her services with Saudi Arabian airlines were terminated because she refused to surrender to the sexual demands made by her superior. was transferred. Now awareness is slowly rising that no woman should meekly accept sexual harassment as part of her lot. For years. 2 crore defamation suit. Quid-pro-quo can also include negatives. Gill was convicted and sentenced to three months RI. Alisha Chinai's suit against music composer Anu Malik. Filing suit. the onus is on the employer to make . For every woman who raises an outcry. "sleep with me or you're fired" is also illegal. This gutsy woman worked as a hostess for Saudi Arabian airlines. the airlines appealed to Bombay High Court. leisure and hygiene. Bajaj fought an 8-year legal battle. she fought for 11 years. But the most well-known instance of a sexually harassed woman taking the help of the law to teach the harasser a lesson is that of Rupan Deol Bajaj. In 1994. captured the collective consciousness of working women. Suman was transferred to Lucknow. She filed two separate cases in the metropolitan magistrate's court. K P S Gill. In another case. When the victim complains to the employer. there are hundreds of others who suffer in silence. What is the employer's responsibility? The employer is responsible for creating appropriate working conditions for health. they face an increasing risk of being subjected to some sort of sexual harassment. However. Accusing him of indecent behaviour. criminal intimidation and trying to outrage her modesty. sexual harassment was considered an inescapable part of a working woman's life. Unfortunately. quit their jobs or get transfers. she was awarded full wages and continuity of services with effect from 1985. As more and more women are going out to work. met with a similar fate. Sixty per cent of working women have faced sexual harassment at some point of time in their working lives.60." That's illegal.000 as damages for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment at the workplace. The hard work paid off. Bajaj was slapped on the bottom by the then DGP of Punjab. But Shehnaz would not give in. This article will shed some light on what exactly sexual harassment means and what recourses does a victim have? Sexual harassment at the workplace is not a new thing. Sadly. Nutan Sharma.

we spend a little less than two-thirds of our lives working.We must shed our mentality of tolerance. the law must ensure that women are able to enjoy the rights promised to them by the Constitution. The employer must set up a complaint mechanism in each department of the company." Freud suggested (1933).In case someone behaves with you in a manner that makes you feel uncomfortable. Keep safe distance from the offending party. "Girls hold their mother responsible for their lack of a penis and do not forgive her for their being thus put at a disadvantage. Let others know that such conduct has been meted out to you. We must ensure that they are treated with dignity and assured of gender equality and that they are not discriminated against on account of their sex. Considering that until retirement.appropriate investigations. we can make it easier for ourselves. While Freud believed that his discovery of the Oedipal complex and related theories such as castration anxiety and penis envy were his greatest accomplishments. we must take pains to ensure that we spend it in a dignified and productive manner. . Freud suggested that during the phallic stage (around ages 3-5) young girls distance themselves from their mothers and instead devote their affections to their fathers. The Supreme Court's guidelines are binding on Central and State governments and the private and public sector. What can women do? As women. Don't encourage males to behave unbecomingly with you or try to attract their undue attention. the offender will assume that he has your consent.Express strong resistance the first time it occurs. he has to face a writ petition for contempt of court. In his theory of psychosexual development. We have to stop telling ourselves that this kind ofbehaviour on the part of men is inevitable and unavoidable. As more and more women join the workforce. If you allow the action to take place without expressing your strongest disapproval. this occurs when a girl realizes that she has no penis. At all times. these theories are perhaps his most criticized. If the employer does not comply. Sigmund Freud perspective on women:  Penis Envy Penis envy is the female counterpart to Freud’s concept of castration anxiety. If the employer does not pay heed to the complaint. protest loudly and at once. Female psychoanalysts such as Karen Horney and other feminist thinkers have described his ideas as distorted and condescending. he can be held responsible. maintain your own self-respect. According to Freud. Dress in a manner that befits a work environment.

. "I have found that people who know that they are preferred or favored by their mothers give evidence in their lives of a peculiar self-reliance and an unshakable optimism which often bring actual success to their possessors. Suffering from what was then referred to as hysteria." Pappenheim went on to become a social worker and made significant contributions to the women’s movement in Germany. This process seemed to alleviate her symptoms. which led her to dub the method the "talking cure. much less to say that the repression of their sexual desire could make them hysterical. and add nothing of their own. Freud was his mother’s eldest child (his father had two older sons from a previous marriage) and has often been described as her special favorite. Hysteria Freud’s revolutionary talk therapy evolved in part from his work with Bertha Pappenheim. During sessions with one of Freud’s colleagues." explained historian Peter Gay (Grubin. "Freud was a man of his times. "Women oppose change. Freud's Perspective on Women: Sigmund Freud’s views on women stirred controversy during his own lifetime and continue to evoke considerable debate today. explained. M. several women played important roles in his personal life. she experienced a variety of symptoms that included hallucinations. but he did make great steps beyond what was understood about women when he came on the scene." Freud once commented (Grubin. 2002). Initially. Joseph Bruer. who is known as Anna O. Freud suggested that the causes of hysteria were rooted in childhood sexual abuse. He later abandoned this theory and instead emphasized the role of sexual fantasies in the development of a variety of neuroses and illnesses. He was opposed to the women’s emancipation movement and believed that women’s lives were dominated by their sexual reproductive functions" Women in Freud’s Life: While Freud often claimed that he had little understanding of women. receive passively.D. Pappenheim described her feelings and experiences. a professor and chair of women’s health at the University Health Network. It was very unusual in Freud's time even to acknowledge that women had sexual desire.." he wrote in a 1925 paper entitled "The Psychical Consequences of the Anatomic Distinction Between the Sexes." Donna Stewart. "His understanding of women was notoriously inadequate. 2002). amnesia and partial paralysis.

Like I always do. and thinking some more. One. and strived to include Hinduism related articles. I responded to my unquiet mind by thinking. a group of Islamic and Christian leaders have released new manuscripts in an effort to use religion to achieve gender equality. unlike Hinduism A Hindu perspective explains how Abortion is Bad Karma genocide of Women in Hinduism by Sita Agarwal Did the burqa bring about the ghunghat or the other way around? Read this. .Muslim-dominated Indonesia is a religious country where atheism is banned by law. And my father would say that his mother would rather poison the whole household than throw food away" RELIGION VS GENDER EQUALITY How do religions treat women? How do emancipated women treat religion? A sequence of events recently has made my mind unquiet over this subject. which also protects the right to freedom of religion? The Star looks at the conflict of interests. as it was more a sign of women’s subservience rather than religion. And Sarkozy said that women wearing burqas were not welcome in France. "She was a very good hausfrau (housewife). One example of a response to this debate is by Sally. Alarmed at the extent of oppression of women in their country. Here is a sampling of what I found An American convert to Islam urges Muslims to fight against brutality of woman to preserve Islam’s image in the eyes of others. who says that faith is an integral part of her.Freud’s relationship with his wife. How does Canadian society achieve gender equality rights enshrined in their Charter. scouring the net. Martha. "She was very thrifty.A Hindu woman converted to Islam says Islam is not oppressive. The extensive comments represent myriad opinions and differing perspectives on this issue. Nita asked if Hinduism was coming of age. and the English-speaking Internet population is largely Christian. while Tina disagrees in her blog post." explained his granddaughter. the global discussion has centered on Islam. TheRational Fool hailed Sarkozy’s statement. was very traditional. I have not listed any pro-atheist source. In the above list. The BJP found itself trapped in the maze of confusion surrounding Hindutva. A Globe and Mail opinion piece discusses the reduction in church attendance among Canadian women and whether oppression of women by religious institutions is the main cause. with people performing the sacred ‘thread ceremony’ on their daughters. while I and Etlamatey pondered about individual women’s rights in the comments. Referencing articles on Hinduism and gender equality or feminism is difficult for three reasons. Did women have ‘fewer’ rights than men or ‘different’ in the context of Hinduism’s history? A heated debate ensued after Hindus started a campaign to change the content of sixth-grade school history textbooks in California. and suggests womenwork within their faiths for change.BBC had an open debate on air on whether religion is an obstacle to gender equality. Sophie Freud.

though they can trample over such women. What I find perplexing is how even emancipated women prefer to remain within their religious faiths and struggle against oppression. hence religion as such is not an obstacle. Third. and is said to be flexible and evolving. there still exists a strong correlation between the extent of ‘organic atheism’ (as opposed to ‘coerced atheism’ like in communist countries) in a country and its overall gender equation. It is impossible to argue against faith and belief. let them be. Hinduism is unique in its flexible and diverse interpretations. as Phil Zuckerman points out in the The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. many factors contribute to gender inequality. if . it is impossible to differentiate religious practices from social customs and traditions. I think I differ from Sarkozy: if women choose to be subservient. as this chart shows. Devout religious folks from other religions do argue (as seen in the above examples) that the oppression of women is a misinterpretation and misuse of their ‘true’ religion. Men should not trample over that right. I prefer not challenging other people’s beliefs as long as they do not interfere with my life. People would not call me a mathematician if I did not follow mathematics. It is their right. But. show that the top ten nations with the highest gender equality are all strongly organic atheistic nations. which is part of the theUNDP’s Human Development Report.Two. However. but they will call me a Hindu even if I did not follow it. while the bottom ten are all highly religious countries with insignificant number of atheists. While all religions are intentionally scripted so as to offer multiple contradictory interpretations. why are other forms of theism not popular? In the end. in the oppression of women. specifically. as Austin argues. the causal relationship is in reverse: overall societal healthcauses widespread atheism. Do Hindu women wear the mangalsutra or bangles because of religion or tradition? Widow burning or sati is widely described in the world as a Hindu practice. one of them being economic prosperity. for a religion that has existed for centuries. a contradictory principle can be found within Hinduism. men will find other ways to oppress women. Indeed. Religion has been used as an instrument of gender inequality. so I do not venture much into such debates. not the other way around. there are arguments and differing opinions about it. Removing religion from the picture removes religious and theological justifications for patriarchy. even these contradictions can be claimed to be embraced by it. But Hindus can’t be surpassed in this respect: not only are there multiple contradictory interpretations of Hinduism. but naturally. the issue is very simple. rather than choosing to discard religion? If faith and belief are important. For atheists like me. I think it would be a safe bet to say that for every principle supposedly propounded by Hinduism. Both the 2004 and 2006 rankings of the Gender Empowerment Measure. and hence atheism and agnosticism are rejected. Hinduism wins this ambiguity race by claiming to be ‘all-inclusive’. Sally says that in the absence of religion.

they wish. An excellent piece in The Observer that asks the exact same questions I did. and Bahvici. are said . and upadhyaya (a woman preceptor) and upadhyayani ( a preceptor's wife) indicates that women at that time could not only be students but also teachers of sacred lore.) mentions heavily armed women guards protecting Chandragupta's palace. Some Vedic hymns. Literary evidence suggests that kings and towns were destroyed because a single woman was wronged by the state. It is a culture whose only words for strength and power are feminine -"Shakti'' means "power'' and "strength. who challenged Yajnavalkya. called rishis. the wife of Indra. One queen Bispala is mentioned. Elango Adigal's Sillapathigaram teaches us Madurai. the daughter of Atri.'' All male power comes from the feminine. This point is critical since Hinduism has a large number of scriptures and lack of right understanding as to their content and hierarchy can result in distortion of the Hindu religious tradition. who disputed with their male colleagues such as Vacaknavi. For example. Hindu scriptures re generally classified into two categories: Sruti (primary scriptures) and Smriti (secondary scriptures). The Haritasmrti mentions a class of women called brahmavadinis who remained unmarried and spent their lives in study and ritual. the daughter of Kaksivant or Indrani. To understand the position of women in Hinduism. Valmiki's Ramayana teaches us that Ravana and his entire clan was wiped out because he abducted Sita. Women participated in the public sacrifices alongside men. Panini's distinction between arcarya (a lady teacher) and acaryani (a teacher's wife). but the religious ideals do not. and even as late a witness as Megasthenes (fifth century B. and offers the exact same answer Rational Fool did in the comments Stockholm Syndrome. one must understand the true essence of Hindu scriptures and be able to discriminate between what is religious philosophy versus what was merely social philosophy in the ancient times. in fact a superior position to. In Vedic times women and men were equal as far as education and religion was concerned.God is merciful. He mentions the names of several noteworthy women scholars of the past such as Kathi.” Thus the Sruti scriptures are the eternal truths that the Vedic seers.Wherever religion and its patriarchs rule. women occupied a very important position. Ghosa. women’s lives are in danger. Apparently in early Vedic times women also received the sacred thread and could study the Vedas. Women in Hinduism: In ancient India. The Upanishads refer to several women philosophers. are attributed to women such as Apala. but only if you’re a man. the capital of the Pandyas was burnt because Pandyan Nedunchezhiyan mistakenly killed her husband on theft charges. The Rig Veda also refers to women engaged in warfare. E. Sruti in Sanskrit means “that which is heard. Veda Vyasa's Mahabharatha teaches us that all the Kauravas were killed because they humiliated Draupadi in public.C. The social philosophy varies with time. Kalapi. men. One text mentions a female rishi Visvara.

atman). These are: aham Brahmasmi (I am the spirit. As long as the . gender. i. Upanishads. These scriptures are not considered the works of the human mind. color. many sects wrote more Smriti scriptures to promote their religious views. revengeful. fables. such as Ramayana. they only address the goal of human life (Self-Realization) and how to attain this goal with the spiritual code of conduct known asYama and Niyama.to have heard in their deep meditations. prajnanam Brahma (Brahman is pure consciousness) and ayam atma Brahma (this self is Brahman). Sruti scriptures are not concerned with the social philosophy that varies from time to time. What is the view of Hinduism’s highest scriptures (Sruti) on the position of women? Religious scholars agree that Upanishads are the highest among even the Sruti scriptures. They are the two manifestations of the same atman. as such. Hindu religious philosophy views marriage like a triangle where God is at the apex and the husband and wife are at the other two corners that farm the base of the triangle. The husband and wife are the two sides of the same coin. dictatorial.” Smriti scriptures are considered to be of human origin and include a large number of religious writings. The differences between individuals exist only at physical level. but an expression of what has been realized through intuitive perception. creed or geographic location is atman clothed in a physical body. This category includes Vedas. Some sampradayas (religious traditions) consider their Agamas also as Sruti scriptures. tat tvam asi (That thou art). Smriti scriptures are the secondary scriptures of Hinduism and are subordinate to the Sruti scriptures. Swami Vivekananda says. What we are now is the result of our past practice and again practice makes us what we shall be. What is the purpose of the Smriti scriptures? The primary scriptures of Hinduism (Sruti) are difficult to understand by the general masses. Smriti scriptures use real life stories. The philosophy of all the Upanishads is summarized in four verses. when the sectarian fever rose in India. The Smriti scriptures were written later to explain and elaborate the Sruti scriptures. which are called Mahavakyas (great utterances). Smriti scriptures were also written to delineate the social philosophy for the Hindu society in the ancient times. “The husband and wife are the two wings of a bird. There are no spiritual differences between man and woman. Puranas. In different ways and by different words. Smriti in Sanskrit means “that which is remembered. The Sruti scriptures are the primary scriptures of Hinduism and. Later. For this very reason. The physical body we get is the result of our past karma. Furthermore.e. Brahmasutra and the Bhagavad Gita. narratives. making them understandable and more meaningful to the general population. Manu Smriti. hold the highest authority. There are stories (such as Satyanarayana Katha) which even depict deities as being sometimes angry. culture. Mahabharatta. all these four Mahavakyas simply confirm the fact that an individual regardless of religion. Some of these sects wrote their own scriptures in which they even compared deities and declared their own deities to be superior to others. and power-thirsty. myths and folklore to expound the highest truths contained in the Sruti scriptures. race. and Dharma Shastras. cast.” This is the highest teaching of Hinduism and comes from its highest scriptures.

Here is what Mahatma Gandhi tells us about women in general and husband-wife relationship in particular: “To call women the weaker sex is libel. Both are “perfect halves to make perfect hole. the sixth step to be together forever. O Lord. the first step to nourish each other. moksha. Both are the soul in bondage and their prayers and worship should be alike for their spiritual freedom. this couple like a pair of lovebirds. the fifth step to care for our children. The distance between then decreases to zero when they reach God and unite in Him forever in joy. Thus Hinduism provides same religious rights and privileges to women as it does to men. the bird will fail to fly. What the above scriptures tell us is this: The marriage in Hindu religion is a life-long partnership between two lovebirds. the fourth step to share our joys and sorrows.” Mahatma Gandhi “The wife is not the husband’s bond-slave but his companion and his help-mate and an equal partner in all his joys and sorrows---as free as the husband to choose her own path. Neither is woman superior to man. nor is the wife goddess. the second step to grow together in strength. nor is man superior to woman. and the seventh step to remain lifelong friends. let us take.” Mahatma Gandhi . May they be surrounded by children living both long and happy ” Atharva Veda Samhita “Let there be faithfulness to each other until death.couple is at the base. The most important rite of the Vedic wedding ceremony is Sapatpadi. weak or damaged. If any one of its wings is inferior.” The words “perfect halves to make perfect hole” is the final word of Hinduism on the relationship between husband and wife. called husband and wife. the third step to preserve our wealth. the distance between them decreases. Here the bride and bridegroom take seven steps together around the nuptial fire (Agni) and make the following seven wedding vows to each other: “With God as guide. it is man’s injustice to women. Neither is the husband god. there is great separation between them. and may our devotional offerings be one and the same.” Rig Veda Samhita. when they begin moving towards God together. The highest religion for these lovebirds is to be faithful to each other.” “May our prayers and worship be alike. However. perfect halves to make a perfect whole.” The following are quotes from other scriptures that further confirm the equality between men and women in all religious and spiritual aspects: “Unite. This may be considered as the summary of the highest law for husband and wife.

if they are opposed the Sacred Law.Baba Hari Dass. This is why the above verse says that we must avoid even the lawful acts (i. we find that women held top religious and social positions in the Vedic period.. The greatness of Hinduism is that it teaches us to cling to wisdom and not to dogma. the husband became the sole protector (like god) of his wife. including those writings which expound the superiority of man over woman or vice versa. If two parts are separated and planted in the earth. We know that Bhagvan Krishna narrated entire Bhagavad Gita to provide Hinduism’s highest spiritual knowledge to Arjuna. Krishna advises Arjuna to use his (Aarjuna’s) own wisdom and conscience to make his decision. even scriptures) if they cause pain or are offensive. which makes them one. a well-known modern living saint reminds us that:“Wife and Husband are like two equal halves of a soybean. it should be ignored. still they will not grow. If the social philosophy delineated by the Sacred Law of the ancient times is not suitable now. which declares: “Let him avoid the acquisition of wealth and the gratification of his desires. the caste system (an ancient social philosophy) became rigid. which caused conflict within the society. worship him. The critical need to protect the women during the ancient period is clearly reflected in the following verse of the Manusmriti: “Father protects (her) in childhood. .. A Hindu is taught to advance the spirit of harmlessness by maintaining harmony in his own life.”Manu Smriti. or one deity over another. husband protects (her) in youth. But in the end. and sons protect (her) in old age..e. The times have changed and the ancient social philosophy is irrelevant now.” Thus. The protection of women thus became a pressing issue for the society and the men had to shoulder this responsibility. Scriptures are a means to this end. This is why Ramayana says that the highest dharma of the woman is to worship her husband. A woman cannot be left unprotected.” If we study the ancient history. but not the end in themselves. Hindus are permitted to exercise this choice by one of the Hinduism’s most dominant Smriti scripture. and even lawful acts which may cause pain in future or are offensive. The bean will growonly when both parts are covered by one skin. This led to a social structure in which a wife was expected to cling to her husband for protection--in other words. Manu Smriti. There are references to women sages and saints in Vedas and Upanishads who were greatly revered for their religious and spiritual wisdom. meditation and yoga. Harmlessness is considered the highest morality in Hinduism (Mahabharatta Shantiparva. husband over wife or vice versa. in the family and society. with the ultimate goal spiritual perfection through selfless work. During and following the epic period. One half-alone will not grow. The women often became the victims of this internal social conflict as well as the violence caused by the foreign invaders.

We must always discriminate between what is right and what is wrong. For the welfare of humanity the supreme creator Brahma. complete and total equality of women is a goal that Hindu society (and other societies) is still striving for. we must realize that man and woman are two wings of the same bird.” “In freedom do thy will” is what Hindu religious thought is all about.“I have given you the words of vision and wisdom more secret than hidden mysteries. a Kshatriya’s be connected with power. They worship God in the form of Divine Mother. the status of women in Hindu society has also been affected by factors other than the ideals set forth in the Vedas and Upanishads. Let the first part of a Brahman’s name denote something auspicious. . on an individual and social level. the Kshatriyas from his shoulders. . As Swami Vivekananda says. she is the soul in bondage and the goal of her life is the same as that of man.e. Manu says: 3.casteism. Therefore. and then in freedom do thy will. He wants this servile status of the Shudras to be expressed in the names and surnames of persons belonging to that community. Hindus have elevated women to the level of divinity. In conclusion. meditation and yoga. (Manu 1-91) Manu is not satisfied with this. Ponder over them in the silence of thy soul. 2. Besides prescribing rank and occupation Manu grants privilege to swarnas and imposes penalties on the shudras. spiritual perfection or moksha through selfless work. a man and woman must work in unison in order to achieve greater harmony in life. Like a man. that in order to truly soar to great heights.The status of the Shudras in the Hindu society as prescribed by Manu the Law-giver and the Architect of Hindu society. There are so many Codes of the Manu Smriti against the Shudras and Women which are below: 1. the Vaishyas from his thighs and Shudras from his feet.  Manusmriti By Manuvaadis Manu divides Hindus into four varnas i. The beauty of Hinduism is that it encourages the freedom of thought that no other religion in the world even comes close to. and a Vaishyas with wealth but a Shudra’s express something contemptible. and not follow the rules blindly. He not only divide Hindus into four varnas. he also grades them. However. gave birth to the Brahmins from his mouth. such as cultural mores and the exploitation of the biological and psychological differences between men and women. woman has the same religious and spiritual freedom in Hinduism as man. God said the duty of a Shudra is to serve the upper varnas faithfully with devotion and without grumbling.

A hundred year old Kshatriya must treat a ten year old Brahmin boy as his father.. Any country. 8. the king shall have poured burning oil in his mouth and ears. an iron nail. Any Brahmin. act as the judge. ten fingers long.. The upper varnas should not impart education or give advice to a Shudra. Violators will go to as amrita hell. 16. 17. 11. of a Kshatriya’s (a word) implying protection. of a Vaishya’s a term expressive of thriving and of a Shudra’s an expression denoting service.It is not necessary that the Shudra should know the laws and codes and hence need not be taught. shall be thrust red hot into his mouth.4. He must never read the Vedas in the presence of the Shudras. 14. interpret the law to him i. will sink low like a cow in the morass. A Brahmin can order a Shudra to serve him without any remuneration because the Shudra is created by Brahma to serve the Brahmins. where there are no Brahmins. . The second part of a Brahmin’s name shall be a word implying happiness. the Brahmin may give them some left-over. Nobody has the right to free him. He who instructs Shudra pupils and he whose teacher is a Shudra shall become disqualified for being invited to a shradha. one who has neither studied nor performed any other act required by the Vedas may.e. 5. In case. 6. A Brahmana who is only a Brahman by decent i. A Shudra is unfit of receive education.e." 10. 13. the latter begs the Brahmin for food. Even these left-over must be served not by the Brahmin but by his servants outside the house. who looks on while a Shudra settles the law. The Brahmin should never invite persons of other varnas for food. If a Shudra arrogantly presumes to preach religion to Brahmins. "Let him not dwell in a country where the rulers are Shudras. Even if a Brahmin frees a Shudra from slavery the Shudra continues to be a slave as he is created for slavery. A Shudra who insults a twice born man with gross invectives shall have his tongue cut out. 9. of where they are not happy will get devastated and destroyed. at the king’s pleasure. but never a Shudra (however learned he may be). for he is of low origin. The Kingdom of that monarch. 7. If he mentions the names and castes of the (twice born) with contumely. 15. 12. is liable for a penalty of no less than 600 PANAS. who enslaves or tries to enslave a Brahmin.

after considering his ability. 29. If he wants a permanent means of living he can serve a Kshatriya. The existence of a wealthy Shudra is bad for the Brahmins. 28. This is one of the inexorable laws of Manu. 27. Brahmins to give Shudras food leftovers. A Shudra who wants to just fill his stomach may serve a Vaishya. The service of Brahmans alone is declared (to be) an excellent occupation for a Shudra for whatever else besides this he may perform will bear him no fruit. even though he has power to make it. 22. All marriages with the Shudra were prescribed. if he be in distress for his subsistence.. A Brahman may compel a Shudra. Marriage with a woman belonging to any of three other classes was forbidden. if she was guarded then he should be put to death and his property confiscated. and the number of those whom he is bound to support. A Brahman may seize without hesitation. old torn clothes. A Shudra was not to have a connection with a woman of the higher classes and an act of adultery committed by a Shudra with her was considered by Manu to be an offence involving capital punishment. 25. his industry. Such a Shudra will get salvation. But if he wants to go to heaven or wants higher or superior birth in the next generation he must serve a Brahmin. by his insolence or neglect. if she was unguarded. and. No superfluous collection of wealth must be made by a Shudra. A Brahmin shall never beg from a Shudra. But let a (Shudra) serve Brahmans. A Shudra who has an intercourse with a woman of the higher caste guarded or unguarded shall be punished n the following manner. the goods of his Shudra. always.18. The Shudra can have only one occupation. says Manu. Otherwise he will die a worst death and will go to the worst hell." 19. 23. In the matter of acquiring learning and knowledge Manu’s successors went much . becomes proud.e. 20. He should have nothing of his own. 24. he loses the offending part. 26. property for (performing) a sacrifice i. spoiled grain and old utensils. No Shudra should have property of his own. whether bought or unbought. or with a view to both (this life and the next) for he who is called the servant of a Brahman thereby gains all his ends. reciting the words "Brahman" with utmost devotion. They must allot to him out of their own family (property) a suitable maintenance. 21. either for the sake of heaven. for religious purposes. since a servile man. gives pain to Brahmins. The most sacred duty of a Shudra is to serve the Brahmins. to do servile work for he is created by the creator to be the slave of a Brahmana. who has amassed riches. A Brahman may take possession of the goods of a Shudra.

Katyayana lays down that if a Shudra over heard the Veda or ventured to utter a word of the Veda. 5. the king shall cut his tongue in twain and pour hot molten lead in his ear. (Padma Purana) 2. if an individual is suffering in a class. There is no room for individual merit and no consideration of individual justice. If he laughs she should laugh. She is called 'DARIKA' because she is source of sorrow to all. Women are fickle minded. Women are liers. dumb. If he is beating she should not react. she should cry. If the husband is unhappy.’ which in turn dishes out ‘social injustice’ to the underprivileged. 6. relatives and Varna. Even for a woman. At birth she makes her mother weep. openly advocate slavery. obedient honorable to her husband even if he is blind. and if it is his/her good luck to enjoy it. physically handicapped. For instance. and kiss his hands and pacify him. but since Varnashram (a creation of caste system by the Manu) was critical and deviously interwoven into religion. debauchel or. If the husband dies she should burn herself to death on his funeral pyre and go along with him to the other world and serve him there in this manner. The privilege goes with class. it may be summarized that men and women are not born equal.beyond him in the cruelty of their punishment of the Shudra for studying the Veda. Never believe them. But they should be performed without uttering the Veda Mantras. faithful. deaf. Manu’s ‘social order’ breeds 'social out-caste. Narda’s ‘Smriti’ (law book). 4.Casteism and Degration of Women 1. old. On the other hand. and unvirtuous. She should not on her own put any question. corrupt. the performance of the sanskaras are necessary and they should be performed. She can only answer humbly to his question. greedy. but fall on his feet and beg him to pardon her. . Thereby. If the individual has the privilege. At the time of the marriage she makes all her family members and relatives weep. Friendship with a women is just like friendship with a wolf. In youth she commits lot of blunders and brings bad name to the entire family. At the time of the puberty she makes her parents weep. logically speaking from Manusmriti’s point of view. Black Laws against the Women . it is because he belongs to that class. Manu’s law book and its strict compliance by the Brahmans. it is not because it is due to his/her personally. it would be the fault of his wife. Every woman must be loyal. She tortures the hearts of her parents. She should eat only after her husband eats. A virtuous woman is one who dies on the funeral pyre of her dead husband and avails the privilege of serving her husband in the other world. 3. husband and other family members. Woman is the source of sorrow. If he cries. the suffering of Shudras and women is because of their being part of their caste and sex respectively. he/she is destined to be born in the privileged class. gambler and neglects his wife and lives with his concubine(s).

they give themselves to the handsome and to the ugly. By a girl. in youth under the care of the husband and in old age under the care of her sons." 10. for the senses are powerful. she shall obey as long as he lives and when he is dead. she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven. 8. nor is their attention fied on age. She must always be cheerful. when her lord is dead to her sons. A Brahman must never eat food given at a sacrifice performed by a woman. 18. no fast must be performed by women. 17." 9. by leaving them. 22. Him to whom her father may give her. 15. 12. (it is though that) he is a man. They should therefore be avoided. yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as a god by a faithful wife. 21. Women not care for beauty. But she should never be free and independent. 16. must not insult his memory. in this world and in the next. 14.7. or her brother with the father's permission. both in season and out of season. in youth to her husband. In childhood a female must be subject to her father. but even a learned man. 19. No sacrifice. or even by an aged one." 13. sister or daughter. (thinking). even in her own house. A Brahmin male by virtue of his birth becomes the first husband of all women in the universe. a woman must never be independent. and master even a learned man. or devoid of good qualities. nothing must be done independently. no vow. clever in management of her household affairs. . . or seeking pleasure elsewhere. 20. The husband who wedded her with sacred mantras is always a source of happiness to his wife. by a young woman. She must not seek to separate herself from her father. Sacrifices performed by women are inauspicious and not acceptable to god. One should not sit in a lonely place with one's mother. A girl must be under the care of her father . the wise are never unguarded in the company of males. husband or son. . apart from their husbands. careful in cleaning her utensils and economical in expenditure. For women are able to lead astray in this world not only a fool. If a wife obeys her husband. She would make them both (her own and her husband's) family incompatible. 11. and (to make) him a slave of desire and anger. It is the nature of women to seduce men in this (world). Though destitute or virtuous.

To a distinguished. malice. 30. impure desires. jealousy and bad character. Women have no right to study the Vedas. deceit. to be such. 31. Responsibly the father who gives not (his daughter) in marriage at the proper time. wrath. Women should never be given freedom. 35. a Shudra or an atheist is not sinful. 36.23. they are as unclean as untruth is.e. which the Lord of Creatures laid in them at the creation. Killing of a woman. dishonesty. brings disgrace on herself here below. slights her deceased husband by marrying again. 27. handsome suitor of equal caste should she have not attained (the proper age) (i. roots and fruits. Manu allotted to women (a love of their) bed. through their natural heartlessness. which means there could be no separation once a woman is married. and shall be excluded from the seat of her lord (in heaven). Knowing their disposition. The husband is declared to be one with the wife.e. however." 32. 29. widow) enunciate her body. 24. All women are born of sinful wombs. a son and a slave. carefully they may be guarded in this world. they three are declared to have no property: the wealth which they earn is (acquired)for him to whom they belong. 25. Neither by sale nor by repudiation is a wife released from her husband. When creating them. A woman must always maintain her virtue and surrender her body to her husband only. (every) man should most strenuously exert himself to guard them. ever if she is married off to an ugly person or even a leper. (of heart) seat and (of) ornament. by living voluntarily on pure flowers. 37. 33. None of the acts of women can be taken as good and reasonable. women have no knowledge of religion because they have no right to know the Vedas. but let her not when her lord is deceased. Woman is an embodiment of the worst desires. . That is why their Sanskars are performed without Veda Mantras. although she may not have reached puberty). who from a wish to bear children. Through their passion for men. they become disloyal towards their husbands. through their mutable temper. and bad conduct. 28. The uttering of Veda Mantras. At her pleasure let her (i. even pronounce the name of another man. hatred. 34. But a widow. A wife. 26.

We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience's sake. As one Chasidic rabbi explained it to me. Women's obligations and responsibilities are different from men's. 1:27 with dual gender. intelligence) than men. however trifling (they may appear). Her father protects (her) in childhood. Women did not . the position of women in halakhah (Jewish Law) that dates back to the biblical period is in many ways better than the position of women under American civil law as recently as a century ago. a woman is never fit for independence. in some ways. In traditional Judaism. The position of women is not nearly as lowly as many modern people think. they must be kept under one's control. therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. for example. Women In Judaism: Women in traditional Judaism has been grossly misrepresented and misunderstood. 42. and Betty Friedan) are Jewish women. women's responsibilities are considered more important. "man" was created in Gen. Isaac and Jacob) in prophecy. as we shall see). 2:22) rather than "formed"and the Hebrew root of "build" has the same consonants as the word "binah. Women must particularly be guarded against evil inclinations. The equality of men and women begins at the highest possible level: G-d. According to traditional Judaism. Considering that the highest duty of all castes even weak husbands (must) scribe to guard their wives. Both man and woman were created in the image of G-d. they will bring sorrow on to families. and some commentators have suggested that this is no coincidence: the respect accorded to women in Jewish tradition was a part of their ethnic culture. and. if they are not guarded. G-d is no more male than a table is. In Judaism. G-d has no body. and her sons protect (her) in old age. Judaism has always maintained that G-d has both masculine and feminine qualities. but no less important (in fact. women are endowed with a greater degree of "binah" (intuition. Many of the important feminist leaders of the 20th century (Gloria Steinem." 40." It has been said that the matriarchs (Sarah. and was later separated into male and female. unlike traditional Christianity. no genitalia. if they attach themselves to sexual enjoyments. Rachel and Leah) were superior to the patriarchs (Abraham. women are for the most part seen as separate but equal. 39. for. G-d has never been viewed as exclusively male or masculine. According to most Jewish scholars. in fact." 41. because Hebrew has no neutral gender. Rebecca.38. Day and night women must be kept in dependence by males (of their families). understanding. A woman shall not perform the daily sacrifices prescribed by the Vedas. her husband protects (her) in youth. The rabbis inferred this from the fact that woman was "built" (Gen.

jealous. Proverbs 31:10-31. which should give some idea of her significance in Jewish life. The rabbis are not concerned that women are not spiritual enough. speaks repeatedly of business acumen as a trait to be prized in women. The Talmud and later rabbinical writings speak of the wisdom of Berurya. The rights of women in traditional Judaism are much greater than they were in the rest of Western civilization until the 20th century. and not the man's. Women had the right to buy. and many traditional sources point out that this reversal is intended to show that both parents are equally entitled to honor and reverence.participate in the idolatry regarding the Golden Calf. such as laws of kashrut and women's cycles. the wife of Rabbi Meir. Men are repeatedly advised against associating with women. prone to gossip and particularly prone to the occult and witchcraft. In several instances. Women have held positions of respect in Judaism since biblical times. however. There can be no doubt. One of the Judges (Deborah) was a woman. but the mother comes first in Lev. The wife of a rabbi is referred to as a rebbetzin. Women are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits. vain and gluttonous. practically a title of her own. a . rights which women in Western countries (including America) did not have until about 100 years ago. along with her brothers Moses and Aaron. sell. In the ketubah (marriage contract) of Rabbi Akiba's son. There were many learned women of note. Men do not have the right to beat or mistreat their wives. See Rosh Chodeshbelow. The Ten Commandments require respect for both mother and father. Some traditional sources suggest that women are closer to G-d's ideal than men. the wife is obligated to teach the husband Torah! Many rabbis over the centuries have been known to consult their wives on matters of Jewish law relating to the woman's role. that the Talmud also has many negative things to say about women. frequently describing men as particularly prone to lust and forbidden sexual desires. Seven of the 55 prophets of the Bible were women (they are included in the list of biblical prophets). they are concerned that women might become too spiritually devoted. and own property. although this is usually because of man's lust rather than because of any shortcoming in women. Miriam is considered one of the liberators of the Children of Israel. but this seems to be primarily because women who engage in such pursuits might neglect their primary duties as wives and mothers. 20:12. rather. which is traditionally read at Jewish weddings. It is worth noting that the Talmud also has negative things to say about men. 19:3. her opinions on halakah (Jewish Law) were accepted over those of her male contemporaries. In fact. Women have the right to be consulted with regard to their marriage. Note that the father comes first in Ex. Marital sex is regarded as the woman's right. and make their own contracts. Various rabbis at various times describe women as lazy.

It is this exemption from certain mitzvot that has led to the greatest misunderstanding of the role of women in Judaism. . it revolves around the home. but also among fundamentalist Muslims. The Talmud says that when a pious man marries a wicked woman." Traditional Judaism recognizes that forced sexual relations within the context of marriage are rape and are not permitted. rape within marriage is still not a crime. The child of a Jewish woman and a gentile man is Jewish because of the mother's spiritual influence. On the contrary. In cases of rape. for the most part. the man becomes wicked. in many states in America today. even if she consented after the sexual act began and declined a rescue! This is in sharp contrast to American society. the child of a Jewish man and a gentile woman is not. See Who Is a Jew? Women are exempted from all positive mitzvot ("thou shalts" as opposed to "thou shalt nots") that are time-related (that is. many people make the mistake of thinking that this exemption is a prohibition. prestigious optional mitzvot while they ignore mundane mandatory ones). the man becomes pious. maintaining that it was Islam that gave the woman her rights and honour while others blame all the disadvantages in the position of Muslim women on Islam. keeper of the household. Some cover Islam's achievements for the woman. There is no question that in traditional Judaism. many people perceive that women have no role in Jewish religious life. even if she enjoyed it. She cannot leave dinner unattended on the stove while she davens ma'arivs (evening prayer services). because the woman's duties as wife and mother are so important that they cannot be postponed to fulfill a mitzvah. Islamic Prespective on women: Woman's status in Islam is one of the most controversial and serious issues of our time. where even today rape victims often have to overcome public suspicion that they "asked for it" or "wanted it. the primary role of a woman is as wife and mother. a woman cannot be expected to just drop a crying baby when the time comes to perform a mitzvah. However. not only among Muslim women and those who represent them in the area of women's rights in the Islamic world. First. After all. Second. Judaism has great respect for the importance of that role and the spiritual influence that the woman has over her family. The reader may find himself confused owing to the large number of books that treat this subject. a woman is generally presumed not to have consented to the intercourse. because this exemption diminishes the role of women in the synagogue. superficially and partially. they are generally permitted to observe such mitzvot if they choose (though some are frustrated with women who insist on performing visible. but when a wicked man marries a pious woman. It does not.right that was recognized by law in many Western countries until a few hundred years ago. where the woman's role is every bit as important as the man's. although women are not required to perform time-based positive mitzvot. mitzvot that must be performed at a specific time of the day or year). This misconception derives from the mistaken assumption that Jewish religious life revolves around the synagogue.

as the Bible also says. What rights has Islam given to the woman. Apart from the wife of Muhammad's uncle Abu Lahab. Among them are: Eve. According to Islam. As concerns creation. Second: as a believer. The other women whose stories are narrated in the Qur´an are never mentioned by name. a female. As will be made clear in the following chapters. and "O mankind. that you may know one another" (Sura al-Hujurat 49:13). it will not be possible to cite the Qur´anic references when treating the woman's position in the Sharia (Islamic law). The Qur´anic verses .Since in this book we mean by Islam what the Qur´an and Hadith say. The nineteenth sura of the Qur´an is named after her. Abraham's wife (Sura Hud 11:71). and appointed you races and tribes. and for that they have expended of their property" (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:34). rather they were called the wives of their respective husbands. "He has created the two kinds. Third: as a character in the biblical salvation narrative. though the prevailing theme in this respect is "Men are the managers of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another.the Virgin Mary is the most important female character in the Qur ´an. even if the topics have to do with the heart of the Sharia. and what disadvantages has it brought her? Some commentaries of consequence will also be reviewed. the only female name the Qur´an mentions. After this brief treatment of the woman as a biological social being and as a character in the Qur ´anic stories. There are also matters that the Qur´an touches upon without describing them in detail. God addresses His commands. Lot's wife (Sura al-Tahrim 66:10). I have given birth to her. The Qur´an pictures Mary's mother as being disappointed over the fact that she gave birth to a "female": "Lord. What the Qur´an says about the woman as a biological social being can be considered objective. Adam was the first man. the wife of Imran (Sura Al Imran 3:35). Pharaoh's wife (Sura al-Qasas 28:9). not diminishing any of her rights. and the comments of the contemporary fundamentalists and their attitudes toward the western and eastern critics who uphold the issue of women's rights. interdictions and statutes to both sexes. the wife of the governor (Sura Yusuf 12:30). We have created you a male and female. Women in the Qur´an: First: As a biological and social being.(And God knew very well what she had given birth to. the male is not as the female)-" (Sura Al Imran 3:36). We will also cite the opinions of older theologians and jurists (experts on Sharia). and Zainab. we want to treat the woman's position primarily in these two sources. no distinction in rank is found between man and woman. and Noah's wife (Sura al-Tahrim 66:10). one of Muhammad's wives to whom the Qur´an alluded. we would like to study woman as a believer in the Qur´an. male and female" (Sura al-Najm 53:45). The Qur´an often remains silent when it comes to certain topics. We find in such Qur´anic verses Muhammad's attempt to project the Bedouin concept of the woman onto a biblical episode.

Those concerned with the Qur´an and those who read it know well that the judgments mentioned in it concerning women form a good part of it. women are mentioned in the same section as imbeciles."As to the counsel of women. this subject can be grasped by studying woman's status in comparison with man's in marriage. As we shall see in the following chapters. the most evil thing about her is that she is indispensable. But before looking into the legislative position of women. As it is known. They are also more stingy than women. and is one of the longer suras. and children. nor should you provoke her ambition by asking for the mediation of another [woman]. inheritance. we would like to touch once again on the status of women in relation to men. divorce. it is a sign of the hour of doom. and concubinage. in spite of the attempts of zealous Muslims and European orientalists to explain the texts away. They are amiable with their husbands when they withdraw when they go out. In fact. the opinions of the theologians and jurists who soften the meaning of both the Qur´an and the Hadith. These attempts have often lead to the opposite of what the Qur´an means and what the ordinary Muslim understands. We will cite. whenever there are grounds. Women's Image in Arabic Literature: The conceptions of Muhammad and the experts of Islamic fiqhhave influenced Arabic literature and shared in the formation of an "imaginative" picture of woman in literature. and women are the weaker in mind in comparison with men. the fourth sura is called "Women". considered to be the one who knew the most about women: .dealing with woman as a believer constitute the basic element and foundation for her legislative and social position. mentally handicapped. He says." Al-Jahiz (d. they are like snakes. because they have not lost any of their popularity. the worst gossip. "We have seen women." "Woman is not in charge of anything that goes beyond herself."The Ummayad poet al-Farazdaq compares women to serpents. Never be jealous where jealousy is not proper. especially those that have been compiled during the Abbasid era and after. veiledness. The reader may possibly ask if this topic is necessary. "Woman is all evil. There is no escaping the study of such literature if one wants to present a realistic picture of women in Islam. She should not promise by her own honour. the most evil of mankind. We do not know of anyone who is more wicked than a child: he is the worst liar. for woman is a sweet basil not a governess. stands out clearly in these chapters. they are weaker in mind than men.Ibn `Abd Rabbih quotes the following verses from `Ubada. at the expense of the woman. Attributed to `Ali Ibn Abi Talib is the saying. the least in doing good and the most cruel of all. witnessing. In al-Bayan wa al-tabyin. Inequality between man and woman. while children are weaker in mind than they are. we are forced to quote what has been written about women in the writings of the Arab men of letters. 868) holds the same view as Muhammad regarding the deficiency of women's intelligence as he says.

In describing the ideal concubine. and he quotes Christian Ehrenfels' apology for polygamy: "Polygamy is necessary for the preservation of the Aryan stock. "If you want one for pleasure. proud among her own folk and humble with her husband.Ask me about women for I am knowledgeable and a doctor of the maladies that women cause. or if his money decreases. is worse than its beginning. it is said. unless she has a defect or for fear that her peers and companions should compete with her. "They said that the end of man's life is better than its beginning." "When someone wants to have a strong child. The woman does not cover herself in the [public] bath. Abbas Mahmud al-Aqqad. he will have no part in their love. his flame dies down. Then they care for nothing that they would usually observe while they are still in the presence of men. It is natural to assume that Muslim scholars and writers nowadays hold other standards and conceptions about the "gentle sex". a Byzantine woman]."As to her beauty.) said. take a Berber woman. unfaithfulness. and his trade is made perfect. but the reality is disappointing. If women gather together far away from the eyes of men. is considered an extremist in attacking and despising women." So far we have examined the contents of old books that deal with women. and her morals deteriorate. but I found none among all women. he should make her angry. her womb grows barren. 'I found among men one in a thousand." Now if we overlook the romances included in classical Arabic literature in which women appear perfectly equal to their lovers or husbands. it is said. This discreditable and troubling issue has been criticised by the Islamic thinker Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897 A. his patience increases. are a property that man cannot do without. as Qasim Amin viewed it. exists in women in proportion to how she feels about her husband and how he sees her. he also quotes from the proverbs of the prophets: "In the wisdom of David. she must also be smiling and patient. but for now we will give al-Aqqad's "philosophical" analysis of the phenomenon of immodesty amongst women: "This modesty. They desire wealth wherever it is found.D. and the prime of youth is irresistible for them. The issue of women. and other reproachful qualities. they forget about modesty. was an issue of civilisation and a social problem . Ibn `Abd Rabbih is not satisfied with quoting the poems and tales of the Arabs. and fruitful. agreed. in forenoon she is pale. The Egyptian writer Qasim Amin. who cannot be relegated to the fundamentalist circles. The end of women's life. her beauty vanishes. his resistance [to temptation] becomes stronger. and then have sex with her. If a man's hair grows gray.). which is enjoined on woman by morals. women "and especially concubines".' "Yet. we find that both classical and modern writers have a very negative picture of women. despite her deceit. "A fair handmaid is coloured by the colour of the sun." "Yet. if you need one for service take a Christian woman ["rumiyya": also. though. and in the evening she is yellow. peace be on him.D. who dedicated the better part of his life to the struggle against the wrong done to women.We know also from the proverbs of literary writers that woman increases in evil in her old age." Al-Aqqad's opinion about women will be quoted in the coming chapters. AlAqqad claims that his warped opinions of women are backed up by modern sciences. Caliph `Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan (685-705 A. mere beauty is not enough. for bearing children take a Persian woman.

He said. Men are not allowed the luxury of being the master of their own destiny. There is no concept of MEN’s RIGHTS. He is expected to subordinate his preferences to the needs of others in the family. 7. 2007: 57593 married men committed suicide vis-à-vis 30064 married women in India. No schemes are being furthered either by the Government or eminent social celebrities for boys the way they are happening for girls. "It is so strange that scholars have outstripped one another in binding and fettering women through all the inhuman laws and ordinances they could imagine." Discrimination against Men: Men are discriminated against in the following points: 1. That is because he is always the provider to others at the cost of his own personality. 8. He is forced to don the mantle of the breadwinner for the whole family (including the extended family upon marriage) or else face a social death. If fact. Men are provided no protection against sexual harassment at workplace and against rape and seduction. . "Women are equal to men.that needed to be solved. He lives and dies for others." The root of this injustice is the ignorance of Muslim scholars of the nature of women. Men pay more taxes than women at the same income level. 2. Men are not provided with a free and un-choked communication channel – a channel that listens to them without invalidating their feelings or ignoring or trivializing their problems. Tax provisions are not gender neutral. only RESPONSIBILITIES and DUTIES enshrined for them! 9. Men are not accepted by the society the way they are – just normal human beings. but rather forced absolute ignorance upon them by all sorts of means. Shunned by the society. 3. 5. This has led to more boys dropping out of school resulting in in crease of juvenile delinquency. who never gave them the chance to act in freedom and in the spirit of responsibility. 4. He has to just slog. He is reduced to the role of a robot – the eternal protector and provider with no desires of his own! 6. they were shamefully ignorant of her circumstances. such boys grow up with gross inadequacy and ultimately turn criminals. otherwise any progress in the Egyptian society would only be an unattainable dream. their miserable conditions are due to the injustice of men. Men do not have the choice of vocation. as though she were a devil to be locked up.

10. 11. There's not a National Commission for Men nor Men’s Welfare Ministry. 18. Lack of government urge on the private sector to come up with Health Products specifically targeted to diseases affecting men in large numbers. On the other hand men are always discriminated against in the guise of women empowerment. in the last 62 years of independent India not a single rupee has ever been allocated for men’s welfare from the Union Budget. 13. diabetes etc. 14. Not a Single scheme ever been envisaged for Men’s Welfare. Prostitutes & Hetairas: . 15. Not a single constitutional or quasi-constitutional body has ever been formed to identify redress problems peculiar to men. 20. 12. cardiac problems. short life expectancy. Negligence of health issues of men like prostate cancer. The numerous Anti-male and gender biased laws which are not gender-neutral. The World Economic Forum does not recognize men as human beings. because it doesn't conduct a study and publish Gender Index of Men similar to that of women. television and films against men. Not a Single Attempt has ever been made to Recognize that Men Too Have Problems 17. If we look back. 19. Anti-male slant and negative stereotyping indulged in by media. 16. high suicide rates.

Neither wife nor hetaera succeeds in exploiting a man unless the legal wife oppressed as a married woman is respected as a human being this respect is beginning definitely to check the oppression So long as prostitutes is denied the rights of a person she sums up all the forms of feminine slavery at once. In prostitution male desire can be satisfied on no matter what body such desire being specific but not individualized as to object.Marriage as we have seen is directly correlated with prostitution which it has been said follows humanity from ancient to modern times like a dark shadow over the family. Viewed from the standpoint of economics her position corresponds with the of the married woman. In La puberte Marro says: The only difference between woman who sell themselves in prostitution and those who sell themselves in marriage is in the price of the length of time the contract runs. The truth is that in a world . The prostitute is a scapegoat man vents his turpitude upon her and he rejects her. no physiological defect weighs upon them. Man for reasons of prudence vows his wife to chastity but he is not himself satisfied with the regime imposed upon her. That they might not take them partake of their immoderate lust and caused other women to come in their stead toward whom they did not feel such an obligation of respect. It is nai’ve to wonder what motives drive woman to prostitution today we no longer accept Lombroso’s theory that lumps prostitutes and criminals together and sees degenerates in both it may be as statistics show. And it has often been remarked that the necessity exists of sacrificing one part of the female sex in order to save the other and prevent worse troubles. Sewers are necessary to guarantee the wholesomeness of palaces according to the fathers of the church. For both the sexual act is a service the one is hired for life by one man the other has several clients who pay her by the piece. it is the fulfilling of a contract. Whether she is put legally under police supervision or works illegally in secret she is in any caste treated as pariah. The kings of Persia were wont invite their wives to join them in their banquets but when the wine began to excite them in good earnest and they felt impelled to give the reins to sensuality they sent them away to their private apartments. One of the arguments in support of slavery advanced by the American supporters of the institution was the southern whites being all freed from servile duties could maintain the most democratic and refined relations among themselves in the same way a caste of ‘shameless women’ allows the honest women to be treated with the most chivalrous respect. No fatal hereditary factor. The one is protected by one male against all others the other is defended by all against the exclusive tyranny of each. Montaigne tells us with approval. that the mental level of prostitutes is slightly below the average and that some are definitely feeble minded for mentally retarded women would be likely to choose a profession that demands no special training but the majority are normal some highly intelligent. In any case the benefits received in return for the giving their bodies are limited by existing competition the husband knows that he could have secured a different wife the performing of ‘conjugal duties’ is not a personal favor.

. Wrote ParentDuchatelet in his report of 1857 none is more important than unemployment and the poverty inevitably resulting.where misery and unemployment prevail there will be to enter any profession that is open as especially as there occupations pay better than many others. It is pure hypocrisy to wonder at the supply that masculine demand stimulates that is simply the action of an elementary and all economic process of all the causes of prostitution.

INDEX .

• Introduction • Gender Discrimination In India • Gender Discrimination at work place • Discrimination against women in India • Religion Vs Gender Equality  Women In Hinduism  Women In Judaism  Islamic Prespective on Women • Sigmund Freud’s Prespective on Women • .

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