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Essay on “Status of Women in India” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Status of Women in India

Essay No. 01

There has been a marked change for the better in our existing, over – all approach towards the women. Gone are the days when their place was considered to be behind the four walls of the house and their only job was confined to looking after the house hold affairs. But now they can be seen  working shoulder to shoulder with men in every share of life.

We had a highly successful and efficient woman prime Minister, late Mrs. Indira Gandhi , in addition to having many women governors and Chief Ministers. And even in  our own time, there is no dearth of women judges, lawyers, doctors, administrators, police officers and engineers.

This , undoubtedly, a good sign and an indication of their emancipation. This has, however, increased the workload of working women manifold. They attend to their official juries and after eight hours of testing and nerve – breaking office duty, return home to a different kind of job.

It is a common sight to see them hurrying back from their offices in the evening only ot enter the kitchen at home and cook for the family and attend to other domestic chores. It is the same picture in rural areas. After toiling on the farms, they go back home to do all the house hold chores.

The men, whether in the urban or in the rural areas, seldom help in the household tasks. This situation exists because men regard themselves as superior in mental and physical power to  women. Similarly, women too have been made to accept their subordinate position. However, it is rather suppressing that this type of wrong thinking  has not changed with the  changing times.

This attitude of superiority on the part of men has caused many problems for working women. In offices, though they are selected to important positions, they often have to prove themselves doubly competent in order to get a promotion. Again their absence from duty or late arrival is frowned upon whereas the same lapse in a male colleague is , generally ignored and over-looked.

Even in day –to-day routine- life , women have to face a host of problems because the basic attitude towards them still remains unchanged. Customs which downgrade the position of women have yet to be overcome. The dowry system is one such custom. If the girl’s parents are unable to arrange for it the girl is harassed or sent back to her parental home or sometimes even burnt to death.

Another area where women have yet to get equality is in property matters. The law has been changed to provide equal property rights to the son and daughter in a family. But this only on paper, and the daughter gracefully relinquishes her share in the property. If she insists on getting it, she is forced to go to court, for it is seldom given  as a matter of right.

The very birth of a female member in a family is still an occasion to mourn, whereas the birth of a son  is celebrated with great pomp and show. The present ‘uplifted’ status of women ahs put them between the devil and the deep sea.

Or, one hand, they seem to have been liberated to the extent that they are working outside, side by side men, but, on the other hand , they have to face a number of problems because of this very fact. What are the solution to these problems?

The law has, however, been amended in favour of women in many cases. Thus eave- teasing in public places, harassment in office, the dowry problem, property rights etc. can be dealt with in the court, yet the basic problem would remain unsolved. This is related to the attitude of the people, and unless this is changed , women , on the whole, would remain deprived of their rights as well as justice.

Educational institutions can help by teaching equality of the sexes through the lessons. Further, the family too should not be biased and give the same kind of upbringing to the sons and daughter. Boys should be made to help as much as the girls in domestic chores.

The mass media should also project the picture of the women as an equal with man, having the same desired ambitions and intelligence. True liberation of women possible only when our over- all attitude Is changed.

 

Essay No. 02

 

Status of Women in India

 

Women in India have much better status than their counter-parts in many other developing countries of the world. But still there is no room for complacency and much is needed to be done to improve the lot of women in India. No doubt the middle class women in India are now conscious of their rights and privileges, they have undergone a vocational and economical transformation. Many of them are gainfully employed in various fields of life. A few of them occupy very high ranks and positions in business, politics, law and administration.   There is a marked change in their social and economic status. Yet they are doubly burdened as they have to work hard both as a housewife and as an employed woman. In this respect Indian woman are still slaves.

India is still a male dominated society. A woman has to depend on a male for protection and help at every stage of life. As a daughter she needs protection from father, as a married woman she has to depend on her husband and in advanced old age again she has to depend upon her husband or son, etc. Men are still regarded superior to women. The birth of a son in a family is always honoured while that of a girl-child never liked. Daughters are considered a curse and liability. The parents here are always worried to have a daughter because then they have to arrange for her dowry, etc.

In Vedic India women enjoyed -a very high social, and family status. They were held in high respect as Mother, Devi & Shakti. Then it was said, where women are adored and respected, there the gods abide. And yet they were exploited and ill-treated as a weaker sex, as a mere means of producing children and as an object of sex. Thus, it was underlined in no uncertain terms that they were basically weak and helpless. This marks the hypocrisy of Indian thought and vision as far as women are concerned. Lipservice is of no use, the vast gap between theory and practice is too obvious not to be noticed. The widows were then treated worse than the dumb animals. The system of “sari” was a blot on the fair name of Indian society. The women were forced to die on the pyre of their husbands in the name of religion and fidelity. Thank God, it has now been abolished by law. The Indian Constitution guarantees equal status to women and men. There cannot be any discrimination on the basis of sex.

The women in India are fully protected by law, but still there is a lot of exploitation of womenfolk. In rural India, their situation is far worse. There cannot be any appreciable and permanent improvement in women’s lot unless they organise themselves to fight for their rights and emancipation. They should never think in terms of weaker sex. They should rise as a one body and fight the menace of dowry; they should reject outright the dowry system. They should fight tooth and nail wherever there is exploitation, social and economic injustice. Why should they be regarded as weak and tender and exploited, raped and humiliated as such? They should raise their voice against all these social evils and fight it out

Women should stand on their feet and be economically independent. They should not depend for money,. etc., on their husbands, inlaws or sons, etc. But it is a matter of pity that even very highly educated and profitably employed women in India cannot spend their earnings as they like. The strings of their purse are controlled still by menfolk. Why should they suffer all sorts of restrictions, inhibitions and social taboos? They should assert their equality in every field.

More and more Indian women are getting educated and employed. They are employed as judges, lawyers, lecturers, doctors, nurses, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, etc. In fact, we have ladies now in so many leading positions in almost all respectable walks of life. We have produced such a powerful woman Prime Minister as Indira Gandhi. We are really proud of her and her political achievements. An Indian woman is no more a mere ornament of the household. Her activities are no more confined to home and hearth. But her present status has to be further consolidated and improved. Such powerful social movements as the Arya Samaj, BrahmoSamaj, etc., have contributed a lot in improving their position. The women of India are also greatly indebted to Mahatma Gandhi, Mrs. Annie Besant, Sarojini Naidu, etc., for their present desirable status in the society. Since independence there has been a greater awakening among Indian women. Beauty, love, strength, tolerance, sacrifice, creativity, etc., are their infallible weapons and virtues. With their intelligent use they can do wonders for themselves and for others. In the present day world the status of Indian women seem, to be well secured, but they should always remain alert, vigilant and gainfully active.

 

Essay No. 03

 

Status of Women in India

 

 

The  status  of  women  in  ancient  India,  according  to  our  scriptures, was higher than  that  of  men.  She was regarded as the embodiment of “Shakti.  She was  equated  with  goddess  in  our  religious  pantheon  of deities,  and worshipped  as  the  symbol  of  fertility.  No  Yajna  was  complete  in  which the  woman,  as  the  spouse  of  the  man  performing  the  Yajna,  did  not participate.  Then came Manu and  his  derogatory statements  about   women. He  said  that  a  woman  has  to  be  dependent  before  marriage  on  her   parent and  after  marriage  on  her  husband.  This  did  a  great  damage  to  the  position of  women  in  Indian  society.  Women began to be regarded as inferior. They  were  not  considered  worthy  of  respect  and  were excluded  from various  fields  of  activity.

During  the  Mogul  rule  in  India  which  spanned  roughly  over  four  hundred years,  the  position  of  women  became  worse.  They confined the women folk to the four-walls of the houses.  The purdah system made them further lost their identity.  The  Moghuls attitude towards  their  womenfolk  obviously lowered  the status  of Indian  women  whose  sole  reason  of existence  became the slavery  of their men folk.  The sati system, prevailing at that time speaks volumes of how women were treated  in  society.  The  wife,  even against  her  wish,  was  forced  to  burn  herself  on  the  funeral  pyre  of  her dead  husband.  The sati system continued well during the  British  rule India.  It  was  Raja  Ram  Mohun  Roy  of  Bengal  who  vigorously  campaign against  this barbarism.  He succeeded  in  getting  a  law  passed  declaring this practice as illegal.

In the beginning  of  the  twentieth  century,  particularly during  Indias national struggle  for  independence,  the  position  of  women  took  a  turn  for  the  better. Mahatma Gandhi  gave  an  ardent  call  for  women’s participation  in  the freedom  movement.  Sarojini  Naidu,  Mira  Ben,  Such  Kripalani,  Vijaya iiaxmi  Pandit,  Mrs.  Aruna  Asaf  Ali  were  some  of  the  leading  women freedom  fighters.

In  the  present  times.;  there  are  a  large  number  of  women  who  have  attained the  pinnacle  of  glory  in  their  respective  fields.  Mrs. Indira  Gandhi,  our Plate  Prime  Minister,  was  held  in  high  esteem  the  world  over. In  a  public poll  conducted  in  France  she  came  out  to  be  the  most  popular woman  in  the  world.  There  is  no  doubt  that  in  the  last  two  decades,  women have  really  Come  into  their  own.  Increasingly  more  and  more  women specially  in  urban  areas,  are  looking  for  self-fulfilment  outside  hearth  and borne.  No wonder, we find  women  in  every  field.  The  myth  that  certain fields  were  only  Meant  for  men  has  been  shattered  by  women.  Women have  proved  to  be  more    responsible,  vibrant,  dynamic,  tough  and compassionate.  They  have  the  capacity  to  immerse  themselves  wholly  in any task  they  undertake.  Hence today, women occupy top ranks in almost all the  fields—be it  sports,  politics,  performing  arts, police, administration, medicine  or  communication.  P.T.  Usha,  Mohsina  Kidwai,  Margaret  Alva, Subbulaxmi,  Kiran  Bedi,  Dr. Padmavati,  Mother  Teresa,  Medha  Patkar and  Proniilla  Kalhan  have  become  names  to  reckon  with  in  the  areas  of t  their  work.

The  statistics  reveal  that  girls  are  performing  better  than  boys  in  board and  competitive  examinations. Certainly  women  are  proving  to  be  more single-minded,  dedicated  and  persevering.  Women  have  clearly  proved  that given  an  opportunity  they  can  rise  up  to  any  occasion.  It goes to the credit of  Indian  women  that  despite  family  responsibilities,  where  the  Indian  male is still reluctant to  share  the  burden,  she  has  been  able  to  withstand  pressures work  and  home  remarkably  well.

The  Government of India has  been  conscious  of  the  need  to  improve the status  of  women  in  India.  It has,  therefore,  included  in the Constitution  of  India  equality  of  women  before  law.  The Constitution also allows the government to make special provisions for the protection and advancement of women. A series of act were passed in 1950. Through these Acts women were given right to matrimonial relief, right to succession and so on.

The development  of  women  in  India,  who  according  to  the  1991  census represent 48.1  per  cent  of  the  country’s population, has  been  the  centre stage        in  development  planning  since  Independence.  The Government set up a separate Department of Women and Child Development in 1985.  In the  Sixth  Plan  a  separate  chapter  viz. Women  and  Development  was included.  The  National  Commission  for  Women was  set  up  in  1992  which is  engaged  in  safeguarding  the  rights  of  women  besides  reviewing  the, existing  legislations  for  possible amendments.  In  addition  to  this,  major programmes implemented  by  the  government  in  the  area  of  women’s development  include  Support  to  Trining-cum-Employment  for Women (STEP),  Rashtriya  Mahila  Kosh,  Mahila  Samridhi  Yojana,  Women’s Development  Corporation,  some legislations/amendments,  etc.  The new United Front Government proposes to reserve 33% seats in legislatures also for women.  The government is, laying special emphasis on the education  of  girls.  The  female  literacy  on  the  whole  is  on  the  rise.  In 1901, there were 1466 male  literates  for  every 100 female  literates.  By 1931, the disparity had been brought down to 560  males  as  against 100 females.  Since 1950,  the  difference  has  steadily  whittled  down  bringing the  ratio  to 164  males  for  100  females  in 1991.

No  doubt,  there  are  particular  cases  of  women  who  have  achieved  eminence, in  different  fields.  The  Acts  passed  by  the  government  and  measures  taken, by  it  have  made  some  difference.  But.  the condition  of  a  large  majority  of women  in  India  remains  deplorable.

The  exploitation  of  women-  goes  on.  Women  are  considered  weaker  sex. They  are  harassed,  tortured,  ill-treated  and  raped.  Helpless  and  unhappy, even  today,  leave  aside  the  country  side  in  urban  areas  too,  women  are, unable  to  raise  their  voice  against  the  crimes  committed  against  them. Every  day  in  the  newspaper  headlines  one  comes  across  a  news  item  which reminds  one  of  the  glaring,  barbaric  customs  still  prevalent  in  our  society. Innocent  women  are  burnt  to  death  because  they  could  not  bring sufficient dowry.  The  worst  is  that  the  murderer  gets  away  With  it.  These  women become  victim of  greed  of other  people  and  opt  for  death  when  the  torture and  humiliation  crosses  limits  of  endurance.  If  this  is  the  scenario  it urban  areas,  one  can  imagine  what.  must  be  the  plight  of  women  in  rural areas,  where  women  are  illiterate,  uneducated  and slog from day to day slaves  of  men.  They are  not  even  aware  of  their  rights  and  privileges. They  simply  take  all  the  suffering,  humiliation  and  torture  inflicted  on them   in  a  spirit  of  resignation,  as  a  result  of  their  past  Karma.  Hence  they carry  on  with  their  daily  chores.  with  stoic silence.

Medical  science  has  made  tremendous  progress.  Today  it  is  possible  to determine  the  sex  of  the  child,  When  he/she  is  still  in  the  womb  of  the mother.  Because  of  a  strong  prejudice  in  India  against  female  children, many  people  persuade  doctors  to  kill  the  child  in  the  womb  if it is a female  child.  Such practices  only  prove  that  the  prejudice  against  female children  and  against  women  in  general  still  exists.  A  landmark  legislation on the  Pre-natal  Diagnostic  Technique (Regulation  and  Prevention of Misuse)  Act  was  passed  in  1994.

It  is  a  pity  that  despite  legislations  and  Acts  such  crimes  against  women are  still  committed.  Eve-teasing,  wife  beating,  bride  burning,  child  marriages are  still  prevalent  in  the  society.  Many  protective  homes  have  been  opened for  such  harassed  women  in  different  parts  of  the  country.  But  these malpractices  continue  even  there.  Miserable conditions prevail in the institutions like Nan Niketans.

Ms  Maitrayee  Mukhopadhyay,  in  her  book  Silver  Shackles-Women  and Development  in  India  published  by  Oxfam,  the  International  Humanitarian Organization,  has  maintained  that  the  status  of  women  is  deteriorating drastically.  She  says  that  since  Independence  in 1947,  female  mortality has  risen  so  sharply  that  men  now  outnumber  women   and  tend  to  live longer.  In most countries the reverse is true.  Also  in  addition  to  their back-breaking  domestic  chores,  women  constitute  a  vast  labour  force  often working  for  19  hours  a  day.

This,  however,  is  not  to  say.  that  the  future  of  women  in  India  is  altogether hopeless.  There are several Women’s Organisations working for the enlightenment  of  women.  The  Government,  too,  has  been  taking  measures to  help  them.  The  women  in  India  are  decidedly  heading  towards advancement  No  doubt,  it  will  take  some  time,  and  patient  and  dedicated work  is  needed.  Above all  a change  in  the  attitude  towards  women  is required.  Once  there  is  an  awakening  of  social  consciousness,  the  women will  get  their  rightful  place  in society.

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