STATUS OF WOMEN IN INDIA
Women exploring everywhere! Yeah, we are living in the 21st century where women are treated equally as men. Women have proved themselves in each and every field. But believe or not, they are still treated inferior to men in many cases.
Though in urban areas progress can be seen in the mindset of people, in rural areas, women have to think twice to go out of their homes. They still have to cover their faces and use that ‘pallu’ kind of thing before facing any man. Equal wages are not provided to women as compared to men. Why?
History and culture play a vital role in defining the present status of women in India. The scenario changed from ancient to modern period through many ups and downs.
“It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing.” – Swami Vivekananda
Statistics – What Numbers have to Say?
- As per census 2011, India’s population was 121.06 Cr and the females constituted 48.5% of it. This shows that women contribute to almost half of the population
- As per census 2011, the literacy rate at all India level is 72.98% and the literacy rate for females and males are 64.63% and 80.9% respectively
- As reported in 2015, among the State/UTs, the highest share of crime against women is in Uttar Pradesh (11%) followed by West Bengal and Maharashtra (both around 10%)
- In 2011, the workforce participation rate at all India level is 25.51% for females and 53.26% for males. While there is no rural-urban gap for males (53%), there is a considerable rural-urban gap for females (rural-30%, urban – 15.4%)
Description – Let’s take a Deep Dive
Ancient period (16th-18th century):
The status of women in ancient India was equal to men. Women enjoyed all the rights and facilities. They were well educated in the Vedic period.
They were allowed to marry at a mature age with their choice of partner. Polygamy and polyandry were also permitted. Women enjoyed equal rights to property and were treated with due respect and freedom.
Medieval period (18th-19th century):
The status of women started declining as time passed by. The mentality of people started changing as Mughals entered in India. Due to Islamic invasion and Christianity, the rights and emancipation enjoyed by women over ages started deteriorating.
Various rules and regulations like Satipratha and Pardah system came into being. Women were treated as a plaything by men. Mughals brought Jauhar system with them. So, the Rajputs also started practicing Jauhar system. The devadasis were sexually exploited by the upper-class people. Women were treated as slaves of men. To stop these practices, several women reformers came into pictures like Rani Laxmi Bai, Jyoti Rao Phule, and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy started a movement against inequality and subjugation. Mahatma Gandhi involved women in the independence movement of India as half of the population in India were women. So, they contributed effectively to the independence movement.
Modern period (19th–21st century):
After independence, various laws and rights were made to provide equal rights and freedom to women. Satipratha, child marriages, and pardah systems are banned. Women are now given the proper right to education and treated equally as men.
Perks of being a girl
- Women are not pressurized to succeed in a career. Getting a good job is enough. Otherwise, society will still accept them as housewives
- Reserved seats for women in public transport
- Many scholarships and free education laws are provided to women
- Women are more trusted than men. for ex: if a woman reports any domestic violence, the authorities would trust her more as compared to men
- Last but not least, women can wear absolutely gorgeous dresses and accessories and look beautiful
Disadvantages of being a girl
- Always treated weaker than men.
- Can’t go out of home at night no matter how urgent it is because of security issues
- Have to wear dresses according to the surroundings and not their comfort
- Low wages and income as compared to men at the same amount of work
- Being a girl, you should know household works
- The expectation of getting married after a certain age
Now, India is an independent country where everyone is given equal rights and opportunities in any field whether it be armed forces, IT companies, railways, etc. But still, in many parts of the country partiality can be seen. Though laws and rights are made, the mentality of some men of being superior to women is the same.
That’s why every passing day we can hear news of rapes and molestation cases. So, the implementation of only laws and rules is not enough. The mindset of people must be changed. Soch Badlo, Desh Badlega!
Aap Kya Sochte Ho?
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Author – Riya Chandra