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  • Suhani Manchanda

Women Empowerment in India

A mother, a wife, a sister, a homemaker, and an employee. These are the roles of a female in a modern Indian household. Dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, what we see is something very different. A woman slaved all day long in the house and at the end of the day, her reward was just the smile or satisfaction of her husband’s demands. Needless to say, the status of women has changed drastically during the past few years.


Long back a girl child was considered a burden, simply because of the social evils. Earlier when a girl was born to a family the relatives instead of congratulating the parents would start advising them to start collecting money for the dowry during her marriage. Throughout her life, a woman never had her own identity or her say in matters. She had to follow what society decided for her. When boys her age would be planning their career paths and dreaming of their property, a girl would be sitting in the house praying for a good husband, someone who would keep her happy. A girl was never allowed to make her own decisions.


Right from her childhood, she had to learn all the household chores and prepare herself for her married life. Her marriage was done according to her father’s choice and all she had to do was keep her husband happy and hope and pray for his good health because once he passes away either she would also have to jump into the fire (Sati) or she would be leading a life of torture. Parents were partial to their sons and wanted to give them the best of everything while the girl was reminded time and again of the kind of burden she was to the family. Whenever a girl tried to rebel from the chains of society she was called names and her rebellions were suppressed. Despite all of this the women continued, and they continued for a very long time. This life which now seems torture to us was a norm back then. Slowly but steadily things did change.


With the efforts of Non-Governmental Organisations, the government, and the modernization which connects us to the outside world, the status of Indian women has changed so vastly. Now Indian women are allowed to do what they want. They are not considered any less than men. One of the most important reasons that this has happened is because of education. An educated woman would only realize that what was happening to her was wrong. Visionaries like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda never stood back to support women's empowerment and believed that a woman was equal to a man. A lot of changes took place like the Abolishment of Dowry, and Sati and the changes are so well reflected now that it is pretty normal to see a 50% workforce of women in organizations.


SEWA is an association of self-employed women in India who run their businesses. This organization supports female entrepreneurs and provides them with all the privileges of a big organization including health care, child care, banking assistance, etc. Snehalaya is a community helping children, women, and LGBTQ+ members. It helps a lot of women who have struggled because of believing or getting stuck with the wrong people. Many more organizations have been a great help in raising the status of women in India.


A lot has changed but a lot still needs to be done. With the growing modernization, people have managed to change their houses, dressing style, and standard of living but a lot of them have forgotten to adopt the modern mindset. While foreign countries, foreign dishes, and foreign people attract them they do not try to change their mindset. The orthodox Indians still think that a woman's life circles around her husband and children need to change. Many women are still struggling under the shackles of the old Indian society.


As responsible citizens, we have to encourage a woman trying to break apart from these shackles. We need to educate our house help and people of the backward sections and empower them to not be afraid just because of their gender. It is high time that these ancient social evils fade away and a new mindset is adopted by the orthodox Indians.



Bibliography:

  1. Borgen Project. "5 Organizations Fighting for Women’s Empowerment in India - The Borgen Project." The Borgen Project. 1 Apr. 2019. Web. 28 Dec. 2022. <https://borgenproject.org/5-organizations-fighting-for-womens-empowerment-in-india/>

  2. Your Article Library. "Changing Status of Women in India (2095 Words)." Your Article Library. 1 May 2014. Web. 28 Dec. 2022. <https://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/essay/changing-status-of-women-in-india-2095-words/39180>

  3. Hindrise. "Women empowerment in India and its Importance - Hindrise." Hindrise. 7 Oct. 2020. Web. 28 Dec. 2022. <https://hindrise.org/resources/women-empowerment-in-india-and-its-importance/>


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