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Essay on “Participation of women” Complete Essay, Paragraph, Speech in 500 Words for Class 9, 10, 12 and Graduation Students.

Participation of women

“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

Women are not born but made. What is better than India to exemplify this statement by Simone de Beauvoir? With the whole world celebrating International Women’s Day with great pomp and show, it would be only apt to analyze the position and space Indian women occupy today, and compare it to the times 60 years ago when the country had just gained independence. With the women participating in nationalist movements to being pushed into the domestic household space, to their resurgence as the super-women today, women in our country have seen it all.

There have been innumerable debates about gender in India over the years. Much of it includes women’s position in society, their education, health, economic position, gender equality, etc. What one can conclude from such discussions is that women have always held a certain paradoxical position in our developing country. On the one hand, the country has seen an increased percentage of literacy among women, and women are allowed to enter into professional fields, while on the other hand the practices of female infanticide, poor health conditions, and lack of education still persist. Even the patriarchal ideology of the home being women’s real domain and marriage being her ultimate destiny hasn’t changed much. The matrimonial advertisements, demanding girls of the same caste, with fair skin and slim figures, or the much-criticized fair and lovely ads, are indicators of the slow-changing social mores. If one looks at the status of women then and now, one has to look at two sides of the coin; one side which is promising, and one side which is bleak.

When our country got its independence, the participation of women nationalists was widely acknowledged. When the Indian Constitution was formulated, it granted equal rights to women, considering them legal citizens of the country and equal to men in terms of freedom and opportunity. The sex ratio of women at that time was slightly better than what it is today, standing at 945 females per 1000 males. Yet the conditions of women screamed a different reality.

They were relegated to their households and made to submit to the male-dominated society, as has always been prevalent in our country. Indian women, who fought as an equal to men in the nationalist struggle, were not given that free public space anymore. They became homemakers and were mainly meant to build a strong home to support their men who were to build the newly independent country. Women were reduced to being secondary citizens. The national female literacy rate was an alarmingly low 8.9 percent. The Cross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for girls was 24.8 percent primary level and 4.6 percent at the upper primary level (in the 11-14 years age group). There existed insoluble social and cultural barriers to the education of women and access to organized schooling.

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