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Feminism and Equality in India

by Sonalika Singh
(Singrauli, India)

All genders in the Indian society are a part of social collectivism. Differences lie between the nature of gender. This difference got a raise when society was predominantly revolving around patriarchal hierarchies in pre-colonial period. The emphasis on feminism was called for when people started realizing the importance of women.


The struggle for feminism was in transit from west to the Indian society. West feminists spoke out against the practice of sati and inheritance structure of giving rights to women. In the pre-independence period in India, there was seen the involvement of women in the Quit India Movement(1942). Post-Independence, the fair treatment of women was a key factor in country's progress. The most fair example could be the appointment of Indira Gandhi as the first lady Prime Minister of India.

Feminism stands for women. The rights of women of which women were derived for ages is constantly happening to form a discourse among some feminists. When we talk of feminism and equality, it is mainly about the equal rights that are warranted for women as same as of men. Many issues such as equal wages for women, educational rights, social security, qualitative well-being in families, employment, political rights are put up for contention and contemplation. In contemporary world, women have grown out of the barriers of gender selectivity in families and they are ready to stand out against the constraints of society. Feminism does not mean to "demean" the rights of men. Social selectivity was glued not in the minds but in the pre-generations. This influenced the forth generations to practice the established norm. In mythological belief, the Sita of Ramayana took her own stand, the Draupadi of Mahabharata fought for her own dignity when a group of men kept straying at the molestation done by the devil. It was completely different from the current practices.

The status of women was a silty thought in itself. Playing from many roles right from the daughter to becoming a daughter-in-law to mother to a grandmother, the females lost their significance. The feminine energy is placed in the essence of women who create all matter and consciousness. This is the supreme quality, a woman has got to tow the world. She becomes the direction of the running world. It is believed that where women are honored, adorned and where they are revered, the gods rejoice and blesses the house with health, wealth and prosperity. These are the texts found in some Hindu Upanishads. But some assimilators also questioned the authenticity of the script.

The duality of masculinity and feminism got itself knocked out over time because it was men who took stand for the atrocities against women. We celebrate 'International women day' every year. The story of this day does not hail to any single feminist but to the group of men and women who collectively rendered efforts for "human rights". Early in the year March 2017, there was a large shaking protests by women in the U.S after the appointment of a new president in the white house. Allegedly it was for the women standing with banners. She apparently stood for self and others.

The supremacy of women is not acknowledged at birth. It is a daily dose that needs to be injected since the beginning of childhood. The lesson of mutual respect and recognition should be taught in schools. Not only schools, the basic education begins from home. Parents need to teach their children their phenomenal change between a boy and a girl. Social structures and practices are a threat to the growth of human societies. In religion like Islam, it can be clued well. Still women are fighting for their equal rights. The recent judgement on Instant Triple Talaq have shown the light to patriarchal men who think women beneath their feet. It is the glorifying era that any woman can give voice to their rights in a court of law. Law and legislatures retain the qualitative well-being of women of any religion, caste or sub-caste. Feminism is predominantly recognized for equality.

To the elite class, it has become a basis public puff. Simple uttering abuses against the male section can not be a basis for outrage in favor of females. The scope of talking about feminism has increased. People do not only talk about women's rights but also kind of lifestyle they possess today. People do object to the attire of women. They object to the skimpy dresses, their style of walking,sitting,talking and even standing. They can not go late at night because they are not safe. Parents keep nagging behind girls and form their boundaries. There are still many cases in India of sex-selective abortion. Mother-in-laws keep expecting son at first chance. They emphasize on conceiving till the daughter-in-law is blessed with a son.

Feminism often seen as a tactic for gaining political points. Some female politicians keep raising the issue regarding the safety of women but at the same time put down when it comes to defending their political party. Today the understanding of feminism due to diverse aspects and views.
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