AUTHORED BY - APEKSHA GAUR
Women all over the India are victim of gender inequality and injustice. Today domestic violence, rape, economic abuse, dowry deaths, female foeticide, malnutrition, illiteracy, lower salaries, poor reproductive health- Devious traditions, child marriage, trafficiking of girls and women are justice a few of the problems women face today. To combat such widespread social problems, social workers, quark to promote gender equality where women are empowered to defend their rights.
"Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but its has enormous socio economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth. The muslim influence on India caused deterioration in the status of women. They were deprived of their rights of equality with men. They were compelled to keep themselves within the four walls of their houses with a long veil on their faces. This was due to Islamic influence. Even today in some islamic countries women are not allowed to go out freely. Even in India the muslim women are far more backward than their hindu, christian and sikh counterparts.
Overcoming gender disparity is a major challenge in the developmental cycle of any emerging economy. These disparities have various facets which get manifested across the lifecycle of a woman. Disparities start from gaps in the sex ratio, infant and child mortality, malnourishment, educational attainments and go on till the level of fanancial freedom, say in decision making in the family and participation in the labour force. India aims to achieve united nations- mandated sustainable development goal-5 which focuses on women empowerment and gender equality by 2030.
Rights of equality with men. They were compelled to keep themselves within the four walls of their houses with a long veil on their faces. This was due to Islamic influence. Even today in some islamic countries women are not allowed to go out freely. Even in India the muslim women are far more backward than their hindu, christian and sikh counterparts.
Overcoming gender disparity is a major challenge in the developmental cycle of any emerging economy. These disparities have various facets which get manifested across the lifecycle of a woman. Disparities start from gaps in the sex ratio, infant and child mortality, malnourishment, educational attainments and go on till the level of fanancial freedom, say in decision making in the family and participation in the labour force.
India aims to achieve united nations-mandated sustainable development goal-5 which focuses on women empowerment and gender equality by 2030. The paper focus on violation of women rights in India, women identity in India, women rights perspectives, patriarchal shadow on questions of equality and law and the status of women and also discuss the constitution. Provision women rights and gender discrimination in male dominated society- Paper is developed on the basis of secondary data and adopted descriptive research methodology for this purpose.
This paper seeks to analyze the status of women in India and sheds light on its problems and challenges.
The medievel age is considered to be ''Dark age" for the women, when many foreign conquests, which resulted in the decline in women status. The society was patriarchal which gives autonomy to male domiance. The status of women start falling with the arrival of muslims when various customs were imposed on women like sati pratha, child marriage etc. Women were considered inferior to the men in this period not physical but mentally too. There was a tradition of polygny as muslims followed that practice where were women considered an object to satisfy the sexual desires of male. Pardah pratha also came into existence and girls and women were supposed to hide themselves from the eyes of male members, even if they are their family members.
The custom of Devdasi was took place in medieval Indian history in which a woman was considered the brides of god. Actually this was the example of sexual exploitation of women in the name of religion.
In which one male is married to multiple wives. During the rule of mughals, polygny was quite abundant among the kings. Most of the time, it was used for the consolidation, as marrying another king's daughter would also lead to that place being given to the husband.
During the medieval period, this was also very prominent among the hindu rulers and stood as a symbol of their richness because it was only the affluent who sustain multiple wives.
At the time of muslim invasions (1000 years ago), they used to rape unmarried girls which lead the hindu community to marry off their daughters at an early age to protect them. During the period of sultans, child marriage was practiced.
FEMALE INFANTICIDE or FEMALE FOETICIDE
The custom of female infanticide came into existence in India for ages. One such motive was to escape from a economic burden. The liability relied on parents of the female baby because of the existence of dowry system whereby the parents of the girl's were required to pay a gift to the son's family at the time of marriage. The demand of dowry at the time was probably very high.
Female foeticide is an abortion process in which a female foetus is removed from the mother's womb before birth, following sex recognition tests such as an ultrasound scan. Female foeticide is primarily caused by a desire for a boy.
The term 'Devdasi' literally means "female slave to god". This is a kind of religious practice carried on basically in the some part of India. In which a girl in her pre puberty period was dedicated to worship and service of deity or a temple for the rest of her life. This religious practice was deteriorated during medieval period due to destruction of large number of temple's. This phenomena leads to degrade the status of Devadasi in society and because of their financial problem they became mistress of royal and rich man. Any girl child born from that union was also dedicated to temple and boy were trained as musicians. This led to the religious prostitution in temple's of India.
Sati pratha was a social evil in which the widow of the dead man immolated herself willingly by sitting on his funeral pyre. The practice of Sati in ancient times was voluntary, but during the medieval period, it might have been forced on some widows. There is no doubt that this custom was inhumane and barbaric.
Lord William Bentinck became the governor general of India in 1828 and he helped Raja Rammohan roy to suppress social evil like sati pratha.
In 4 December 1829 sati pratha was abolished by William Bentinck.
The Juhar was only carried out during a war, involved not only women but also children and was committed when both husband and wife still alive.
The Juhar would be performed when the Rajputs saw no hope of victory over their enemies. During the Juhar, which was said to take place during the night, brahmin priests would chant vedic mantras, and the Rajput women, wearing their wedding dresses, would commit suicide with their children via self-immolation.
In the 19th century, the king of Travancore introduced the payment of breast tax and it was to be paid by the lower caste women within in the community. The breast tax, also known as "Mulakkaram", became popular in Travancore kingdom. A lower caste woman were not allowed to wear upper clothes. A refusal to do meant they would be charged to pay for their defiance. The amount of tax to be paid was determined based on the breast size of each woman. The larger the breasts, the higher tax.
During the post-independence India, improvements were made in terms of various areas that led to well-being of women within in the society. There were formulation of many programs and schemes that had the main objectives of bringing about progressive among women.
After India gained independence, the constitution as well as national leaders recognized the unequal social Position of women and viewed that women would get equal rights with men. The concept of equality has been enriched in the constitution had been the greatest source of honour to the women. The Indian woman rouse against the cruelties of men with the spread of women's education in India. They opposed polygamy sought right to divorce, claimed equality in marital right and demanded restriction on dowry.
Hindu marriage act of 1955 classified hindu marriages, determined the age for marriage, stood for monogamy and guardianship of the mother and allowed the dissolution of marriage under special circumstances. The hindu succession act of 1957 provides equal rights for the daughter in the property of father.
The position of the hindu widow has improved drastically. The hindu marriage act also permitted women to remarry and she also may adopt either a son or a daughter. In 1961, the dowry prohibition act is came into force in the country.
The protection of women from Domestic violence act, 2005.
Indian young Lawyers Association vs. The State of Kerala & Ors. (2006)
In this Supreme Court of India passed a landmark judgment on 28 September, 2018 in which it allowed the entry of women inside the Sabarimala temple.
The post colonial period has seen a rise in incidents of sexual abuse against women in the form of rape, pre-marriages or marital news of voice against triple talaq shows how women are empowering against draconian traditional rules. Government of India initiated to make National commission for women and established it in 1992, and 73rd, 74th constitutional amendments gave reservation to women not less than 33% in local bodies. This shows "Equality" towards women. It's high time that women of our society feel safe and secure and the issues despite of evolving in nature are solved sooner.
Holistic development of women's social,economic, cultural, and political rights are critical to achieving economic growth and alleviating poverty. India aims to achieve united nations-mandated sustainable development goal-5, which focuses on women empowerment and gender equality by 2030. To measure the progress of women's rights in the country, we look at the findings of the recently released National family health survey (NFHS) fact sheets.
NFHS-5 provides data for 2019-21 and looks at the position of women on sex key indicators the percentage of currently married women who usually participate in household decisions; women who worked in the last 12 months and were paid in cash, women owning a house or land; Women having a bank or savings account that they use; and women aged 15-24 years who use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period.
If we talk about today's scenario, many women are still facing the issues like gender discrimination, sexual abuse and harassment, education, child marriage and so on. When it comes on gender inequality, many parents wish for a baby boy rather than girl since, in their so called "mentality", boys will carry on with their generation.
Women are still facing sexual abuse and harassment, according to the National Crime Record Bureau ( NCRB), ministry of home affairs, government of India most recent government report on crimes in the country, India logged 31,677 cases of rape in 2021, or 86 cases per day on average, while there were approximately 49 incidences of violence against women reported every single hour.
Vishakha & Ors vs. State of Rajasthan & Ors on 13 August 1997
In this case Bhanwari Devi is an Indian social worker from Bhateri, Rajasthan. She was gang-raped while working under the Rajasthan government's Women's development program.
Then in 1997, the supreme court formulated the Vishaka guidelines making it mandatory for organizations, whether working in a private or public sector to establish a mechanism for redressal of sexual harassement complaints.
In Delhi 22 year old woman was gang raped and mudered in 2012, which is known as "Nirbhaya case" (2012) after 7 years she got justice. Women are frequently compelled to keep quiet in these situations out of fear of society.
The committee was recommend amendments to the criminal law so as to provide for quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault against women. The committee submitted its report on 23 January 2013, it made recommendations on laws related to rape, sexual harassement, trafficiking, child sexual abuse, medical examination of victims etc.
In comparison to the colonial women, today's women are getting education, employing, earning very well, much better than previous decades. But In modern times women are also suffering from various kinds of crime against them.
with the increase in the rate of crime against women and innocent children, gives us an alarming contradiction on the status of women in our country. On the one hand we boost of women empowerment and on the other we have to confront the reality of women abuse like rape, dowry, female infanticide, child abuse, murder and cyber bullying. . This makes us retrospect whether modernization worked for the betterment and upliftment of women or has our democracy failed to make provisions in law to safeguard the dignity of women. The process of investigating and punishing the accused for crime against women in India is very slow, and there is no provision for strict punishment to those who are involved in justice system. As we are known that justice delayed is justice denied.
Only quick prosecution and severe punishments can restore the safety of women in the country. The best way is to educate our sons to respect women. It is not the fault of an innocent child who is abused sexually; It is improper upbringing of the boys that is pivotal to crime against women. A progressive society is one that respects women and understands her role in nation building.
Conceptualising men and society ncrb.gov.in
The modernity of tradition