Feminism: Women's Rights Movement In India

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The term “FEMINISM”, has been derived from the Latin word, “FEMINA” which means woman. It was first used to indicate the issues of women’s equality to men and the Women’s Rights Movement. Since antiquity women have been striving and fighting for freedom from male oppression and suppression. It is not a matter of style or an ingredient of civil rights movement. It is a protest against legal, economic and social restrictions imposed by man and the society on woman. Feminism in general can be seen as a collective and individual endeavour on the part of women at different times and in different countries to strive for equality of rights and opportunities in all walks of life. As a cultural ideology women’s movement may be traced back to the earliest…show more content…
A century and a half ago the Bengal social reformer and his successors and followers focused their attention on the social evils prevalent in the country. The social status of women is largely dependent on the culture and traditions of the community. In ancient times the Aryans gave the status of goddess to the woman. At that time the status of a woman in the house was considered to be that of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. A famous Sanskrit saying maintains that gods inhabit the place where women are worshipped. This shows that women were considered superior to men. Religious rituals needed the presence of women. In olden times women had the right to choose their own life partners. The prospective grooms assembled at the house of the bride and she used to choose the groom she liked. There are instances of this in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two Indian epics. This right was given to all levels of women. Even battles were fought for them. Women were not confined to their homes but participated in religious teachings as…show more content…
India was subject to many foreign invasions. They resulted in the decline of the status of women. The foreign invaders brought their own culture into the country. According to the foreign invaders, woman was the property of her father, brother or husband. She simply had no rights or privileges. This percolated into the Indian society and the Indian men started treating women as their property. Obviously they were influenced by the culture and traditions of the invaders. Originally Indian men wanted to shield their women folk from the barbarous invaders who picked up any woman they wanted and kept her in their
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