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Gender Equality

  • Date Submitted: 12/16/2013 06:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.7 
  • Words: 1416
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Women in ancient India had enjoyed a remarkable and better state than their descendents in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. History tells us that in those times, women used to possess dynamic powers and personalities and there are several examples of their undaunted courage and mental faculties under most trying times and circumstances. They have ruled over vast empires ably and effectively. Ahilyabai Hooker’s administration of her state was once considered model for India. Besides capable administrators, they were notable poets, scholars, artists and regional leaders.
In the 18th and the 19th centuries, however, the condition of Indian womanhood was perhaps at its nadir, i.e. the lowest point. They were subject to social and religious taboos, economic and corporal exploitation and oppressed due to social evils of purdah, sati, and child marriage, female infanticide of foeticide, maltreatment, hunger and malnutrition. It is rightly said that during that period when India was fighting to free herself from the clutches of British rule the women of India were fighting their own battle to emancipate themselves from wicked customs and social systems.
The movement for women’s upliftment was initiated by Brahma Samaj under eminent social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy. The isolating and secluding custom of purdah was broken by Brahma women in the 19th century when they moved freely in society. But perceptible changes did not come before the beginning of the twentieth century.
It was the genius and farsightedness of Gandhiji which realised the untapped potential in the womanhood of India which he wanted to utilise for the development of rural India. He gave a specific call to women to come forward and openly participate in the non-cooperation movement. Gandhiji himself was not certain about women’s response towards such a movement which demanded sacrifices and physical suffering. Moreover, after having been isolated behind the ‘purdah’ for centuries they could...

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