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The Place of women in Indian Society

Traditionally, there have always been two attitudes towards women, either it is that
women are weak, they must be protected, kept at home and looked after – the daughter, the
wife and the mother. The other is – she must be worshipped. We see them as goddesses –
Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati. The reality is that Indian women are neither. We are not stone
statues, not are we perfect women to be adored.
The place of women in Indian society today is an society today is an ambiguous one.
She has not totally stepped out of the past exploitative role that patriarchal society had
designed for her.
Today we have the constitutional guarantees, the legislation that makes a girl equal to a boy,
but social change is slow. We cannot brainwash the parents and gender conditioning still
treats women as the weaker sex. The New Education Policy, the dream child of our late Prime
Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, ushered in an age of equal rights. Yet the thousands of young women
who have passed the institutions of higher have not caused a major revolution. The question
still remains – after almost 45 years of planned development, in what way has the lives of
women really changed?
Millions of women are still illiterate. They face dowry problems, malnutrition,
discrimination, offences of rape, violence in the home and outside. There is a way to change
this. Each educated women to whom knowledge has been given, must now understand the
value of being a committed citizen. They must question the value of traditional practices.
Above all, there must be a generosity of vision, a caring spirit that would like to reach out and
help the less fortunate. All women must be prepared to be agents of change and instruments
of women’s liberation. Only then will Indian women find their true equal place in society.