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Women in India: Role and Status of Women in India:
An Indian woman had four fold status-role traditionally in our society. These were the role as a daughter, wife, housewife (homemaker), and mother. The status and role of the woman was traditionally well defined and fixed in the society but now it is experiencing far-reaching changes. The woman in modern times is entering into few new fields. They are actively participating in social, economic, and political activities. The women of today’s generation have generally received higher education than the women of their generation earlier. Women’s Role in Society: The modern women are more inclined towards the social issues, and are trying hard to improve the social status of themselves. The reason behind is increased awareness and education which has inspired women to come out of the four walls of the home. Many women are actively supported and participated in the nationalist movement. Traditionally Indian women exist because of the family and only for the family.
Just like their male counterpart now-a-days women are also fond of attending social functions and value her social life quite a lot. Previously, men-folk used to discourage women from leaving their households for attending social functions or getting higher education. Now because of the spread of education in women and with that the changing social attitudes of educated women have changed the order of their living. The modern woman has slowly but steadily started caring for her health, well-being, cultural needs, interests, academic pursuits, social intercourse, religious activities recreational needs, etc.
Woman as a wife enjoyed a status almost equally to that of her husband and performed both social as well as biological functions. Even today, the Indian girls are still brought up on the values of selflessness, self-denial, and sacrifice and even now they are not allow to chose their life partner after being educated and well aware. Education of women has helped them a lot to become aware of the political problems and they are gradually becoming active participants in the political life. Some are seen representing their community or enrolling themselves as members of political parties, attending political meetings and carrying out political programs. Some women are attaining influential political stature of their own. While some are seen working for the betterment of women conditions in the society. The woman in modern times is entering into certain new fields that were unknown to the woman in earlier times.
The women are participating in economic, political, and social life. The modern woman keenly desires to enter into a work career because of the pressing economic needs of the family and to fulfill her needs and interests. Marriage is yet another issue for woman. Even after being educated they have to fall prey in front of their parents and get marry forcefully. Women’s equality in terms of education, employment, and power is still an individual rather than a universal achievement. Some women are getting everything while some are deprived of everything. The majority of our women is still content to accept an inferior status and is exploited. Rural women: Gandhiji had a vision that women must play an equal and important role in national development. However, sadly, the movement for raising the socio-economic status of women had involved generally the middle-class educated women in major urban centers. While the great mass of rural women are yet to enjoy the rights and privileges as mentioned in the Constitution. -Status of
Working women in India: India is first among countries to give women equal rights and many laws to protect and promote the interest of women. But women are deprived and denied of economic, social and legal rights. Women being the integral part of the democratic nation still have always been looked down under the dictatorship and control of men. Women not only suffer in the rural India but the problem remains more or less the same in the urban sector of the society too. Greater part of working women often do a rope walk or balancing a hostile domestic environment and professional lives as husband and in-laws are yet to adopt or change to modern mind sets.
India’s economy has undergone a substantial transformation since the country’s independence in 1947 with its ups and downs and so the growth of women has also evolved accordingly. A section of Indian women, which are the elite and the upper middle class have gained by the exposure to the global network. Many of the working women manage their own expenses, do contribute towards the economic needs of their family. Unlike the earlier time they are seen often participating in discussions at workplace where their views are also given equal importance before any final decision.
After globalization, women are able to have more and more job opportunities. It has raised hopes of women to achieve their goals. But women are continued to be denied economic, social and legal rights and privileges. Women plough fields and harvest crops, women weave and make handicrafts and work in the household industries, they sell food and gather wood and other materials while working in the informal sector making money for them and their family.
The cultural restrictions were the primary obstacles to female employment, however, now, with the shortage of jobs in every sector even lead to more unemployed women in the country. Even if the women are employed they may not have control over the money she earns or spends. Although this money often plays an important role in the maintenance of the household. In Indian culture women are expected to devote majority all of their time, energy and money to their family. The basic infrastructure of society has hardly improved, though the role of women within the same structure is passing through a transitional phase. Naturally, she would remain vulnerable to exploitation even in her economically independent state.
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