Women Movement In India

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FEMINISM MOVEMENT IN INDIA PRE-INDEPENDENCE

The women’s movement in India is a rich and vibrant movement which has taken in different parts of the country in different forms. The nineteenth century social reformers were primarily concerning with the issues that affected the urban, upper caste, middle class women such as purdah, sati, education, age of marriage and widow remarriage. They had argued that the uplift of women was necessary in the country because women are the mothers of future generations. In which the women were urged to come out from their house and work for the betterment of the nation. And there was no questioning of the traditional role of mother and wife. In fact it was stressed that if they were educated they would become
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Their participation in the public arena and in politics had also legitimized their claim to a place in the governance of India. In the early 1918, moving the resolution at the Indian National Congress, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani had told the delegates that women also had as much rights as men did for this was the age of human rights, justice, freedom and self-determination. The women in the movement were educated and mentored by men but it doesn’t mean that they were mere puppets of the anglophile elite or even of nationalists. Some had been educated in the English medium convent schools and while some others were in pathshalas. Some were from princely families, others from ordinary middle class homes. Some of them were strong personalities who have their strong views of their…show more content…
The reality, when it began to sink in was, however, somewhat different from the dreams and promises. For all that had happened was that, despite there are some improvements in the status of women, patriarchy had still simply taken on new and different forms as Indian society is a Patriarchal system. It was thus that the 1960s and 1970s saw a spate of movements in which women had took part: campaigns against rising prices, movements for land rights, peasant movements. Everywhere, their participation had resulted in transforming the movements from within. One of the first issues that had received the countrywide attention from women’s groups was violence against women, specifically in the form of rapes, and what came to be known in India as ‘dowry deaths’ – the killing of young married women for the ‘dowry’ or money/goods they brought with them at the time of marriage. Because women were able to mobilise support, the State responded, seemingly positively, by changing the law on rape and dowry, making both more stringent. This seemed, at the time, like a great victory. It was only later that the knowledge began to sink in that mere changes in the law meant little, unless there was a will and a machinery to implement these. And that the root of the problem of discrimination against women lay not only in the

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