“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.”
This is a famous quote by Jawaharlal Nehru on women. The status of women depicts the social, economic and mental condition in a nation. Women have been regarded as a symbol of spirituality in our scriptures. Yet, they have been treated badly and unequally to men. Social evils such as dowry, sati-system, child marriage, and female infanticide were widely prevalent in the early ages. The spread of education and self-consciousness among women has led to their progress over the period. Women of today are empowered. Also, women are gaining advancements and success in each and every field.
Women in India in Ancient age
Women, in the early ages, were very educated but suffered from the evils of society. Some open-minded citizens like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, and others worked for the wellbeing of women. Thus, the practices of sati, child marriage, and others were abolished. Various acts such as the Child Marriage Restraint Act were passed in this direction. Mahatma Gandhi also emphasized on the abolition of child marriages.
Women were also provided training in martial arts. Moreover, women acquired a significant position in politics. Sarojini Naidu was a key figure in this context. She was the first Indian woman to become a President of Indian National Congress and the governor of a state in India.
Women today are eager to take up professions and work. Thus, they enjoy equal respect and dignity in the family. Women in free India also enjoy equal pay for equal work in comparison to men. Also, there are provisions of maternity leave for them. Furthermore, females are provided equality of opportunity under Article 16 of the Constitution of India.
The girls in urban areas are almost at par in education with the boys. But there is a less educated female population in rural areas. This has also affected the social and economic development of rural India. The poor (hygienic facilities) facilities at school and lack of female staff have affected education. Kerala and Mizoram have a universal literacy rate.
Women and Politics :
The maximum figure of female politicians in the world is from India. Women have occupied significant positions i.e. of President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and other high offices. “Indira Gandhi”, is the first female who held the office of the Prime Minister for 15 years.
Evils Against Women:
The violence against women in India includes kitchen fires for want of dowry, sexual assaults, cases of rape, prostitution, throwing of acid. Also, evils of child marriages are also widespread even today. Female infanticide, indecent behavior, and honor killings add to the misery of the women. Also, sex-selective abortion is a deep-rooted evil leading to inequality in sex ratio.
There has been a steady transformation in the status of the women in comparison to earlier periods. Women of today take part completely in areas such as politics, status, military sectors, economic, service, and technology sectors. Moreover, they have contributed wholly in sports too. Thus, they have occupied a dignified position in family and society.
However, ending crimes against women is still a challenge. We can prevent ills by ensuring women autonomy, also increased participation and decision making power in the family and public life both.
Courtesy : https://www.toppr.com/guides/essays/essay-on-status-of-women-in-india/