September 21, By Gyan Women who were the most dormant segment of India population have now become active participants in all walks of life. Till now, they were only unit of the family organization. Now, women are becoming not only a significant unit of the society but also influencing the course of social change in society.
So, how is women's status in India?
Today's India offers a lot of opportunities to women, with women having a voice in everyday life, the business world as well as in political life. Nevertheless India is still a male dominated society, where women are often seen as subordinate and inferior to men.
This doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of positives to report on, and we will cover some of those in the " Indian women on the rise " section. However, even though India is moving away from the male dominated culture, discrimination is still highly visible in rural as well as in urban areas, throughout all strata of society.
While women are guaranteed equality under the constitution, legal protection has a limited effect, where patriarchal traditions prevail.
India's Patriarchal Traditions 1. Dowries were made illegal in India inhowever the law is almost impossible to enforce, and the practice persists for most marriages.
Unfortunately, the iniquitous dowry system has even spread to communities who traditionally have not practiced it, because dowry is sometimes used as a means to climb the social ladder, to achieve economic security, and to accumulate material wealth. The model used to calculate the dowry takes the bridegroom's education and future earning potential into account while the bride's education and earning potential are only relevant to her societal role of being a better wife and mother.
The bridegroom's demand for a dowry can easily exceed the annual salary of a typical Indian family, and consequently be economically disastrous especially in families with more than one or two daughters.
Women as a Liability The Indian constitution grants women equal rights to men, but strong patriarchal traditions persist in many different societal parts, with women's lives shaped by customs that are centuries old.
Hence, in these strata daughters are often regarded as a liability, and conditioned to believe that they are inferior and subordinate to men, whereas sons might be idolized and celebrated.
But why is that? There are a couple of reasons, why men might be regarded an asset for a family: Considered capable of earning money Carry on the family line Able to provide for their aging parents Bring a wife and with this a capable domestic helper into the family Play an important role in death rituals in Hindu religion, which ensure, that the soul is released from the body and can go to heaven.
On the other hand, there are a couple of reasons why women might be regarded more of a liability for a family: Not considered capable of earning money Seen as economically and emotionally dependent on men While they help with domestic duties during childhood and adolescence, they go to live with their husband's family after marriage, which means less help in the household of their originating family, and most importantly loss of money due to the dowry tradition.
Discrimination against Women It should be noted that in a vast country like India - spanning 3. There are even communities in India, such as the Nairs of Kerala, certain Maratha clans, and Bengali families, which exhibit matriarchal tendencies, with the head of the family being the oldest woman rather than the oldest man.
However, many Indian women face discrimination throughout all stages of their life, beginning at or even before birth, continuing as an infant, child, adolescent and adult.
The stages can be divided in following sections: Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, where sex ratios are around Hence, the preference for a male child persists, quite often out of mere practical, financial concerns, because the parents might not be able to afford the marriage dowry for another daughter.
This leads to some of the most gruesome and desperate acts when it comes to gender discrimination: Selective abortions Murdering of female babies Abandonment of female babies Prenatal tests to determine the sex of the fetus were criminalized by Indian law inbut the above mentioned imbalances in the sex ratio at birth, clearly point to gender selective abortions.
While abortion is officially illegal in India there are some exceptions to this rule such as the failure of contraceptive device used by a couple; if the woman was raped; or if the child would suffer from severe disabilities.
In total 11 million abortions take place annually and around 20, women die every year due to abortion related complications.
This imbalance results in insufficient care afforded to girls and women, and is the first major reason for the high levels of child malnutrition. This nutritional deprivation has two harmful consequences for women: They never reach their full growth potential 2.
Anaemia Both consequences are risk factors in pregnancy, complicating childbearing and resulting in maternal and infant deaths, as well as low birth weight infants. Education India's constitution guarantees free primary school education for both girls and boys up to age This has been repeatedly reconfirmed, but primary education in India is not universal, and often times not seen as really necessary for girls.
Their parents might consider it more important, that they learn domestic chores, as they will need to perform them for their future husbands and in-laws. Another disincentive for sending daughters to school is a concern for the protection of their virginity. When schools are located at a distance, when teachers are male, and when girls are expected to study along with boys, parents are often unwilling to expose their daughters to the potential assault on their virginity, that would ultimately result in an insult to the girl's family's honor.
This results in one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world. Literacy Rate for Women: Mothers' illiteracy and lack of schooling directly disadvantage their young children.
Low schooling translates into poor quality of care for children, consequently in higher infant and child mortality and malnutrition, because mothers with little education are less likely to adopt appropriate health-promoting behaviors, such as having young children immunized.
Social sector programmes e. Why does it happen? Financial Benefit As outlined above, due to the dowry tradition women are prone to be a financial burden for their families, thus seen as a liability.
If the match is made at an early age, the dowry is usually much lower, as the dowry is calculated on the future husband's societal status and education, which — obviously — would be much lower at an early age.Status of Women in Indian Society Essay Words | 9 Pages Status of Women in Indian Society The worth of a civilization can be judged by the place given to women in the society.
Importance of Women in our Society Category: Essays, Paragraphs and Articles On September 21, By Gyan Women who were the most dormant segment of India population have now become active participants in all walks of life.
Read this Essay on the “Place of Women in Indian Society” in Hindi language.
Role of women in India. There is the major role of women in India. She is playing a role of four-fold status-role sequences.
These were her role is daughter, wife, housewife (homemaker), and mother. Status of Women in India Essay 6 ( words) There has been a lot of improvement in the status of women in India after the independence.
Gradually women started enjoying equality with men in the society. Women have all the rights and privileges in every areas as possessed by the men. Position of women in 16 and 17 century: Women were challenged with expressing themselves in a patriarchal system that generally refused to grant merit to women's views.
Cultural and political events during these centuries increased attention to women's issues such as education reform.