“The fight is not for woman status but for human worth. The claim as not to end inequality of woman but to restore universal justice. The bid is not for leaves and fishes for the forsaken gender but for cosmic harmony, which never comes till woman comes.”
As we are very well aware of the fact that, all over the world 50 percent of the population is constituted by a woman. But in our country only, there is the decreasing ratio of a woman on the basis of sex-selection abortion. The situation of decreasing sex ratio of male to female is the reason of unequal social status of women with men. On the other hand, in Western countries, women are considered as equal to men. But in India the situation is not so, in fact, it is just on paper that we provide equal status to women in our country also. It is evident from our country also that at one side we treat our women as a goddess as Durga, Lakshmi and very next moment all the heinous and illegal offenses being committed against them like rape, sexual exploitation, kidnapping and most importantly nowadays ‘Female Foeticide’. We can also say that many people treat them like slaves who work without any wages.
Throughout the human history, there has been a transition in the status of women.
Position of Women in the Ancient Period
Historical studies indicate that Indian woman enjoyed a comparatively high status during the early Vedic period (2000 BC to 1000 BC) surpassing contemporary civilization in ancient Greece and Rome. The Aryans who were mostly busy fighting wars, Regarded women as useful and productive members of society. The condition of the Vedic woman was good. The woman also enjoyed religious status like men, especially in Vedic initiation and studies. The Rig Veda provides ample evidence to prove the concept of equality of woman with men as regards access and capacity to acquire the high knowledge, even the absolute knowledge.
The Rig Veda had rendered the highest social status to a qualified woman of those days. But the status of women fell in the later Vedic and epic period. They were not all treated equally with men or we can say that they were not enjoying equal status as compared to men.
Position of Woman in Mughal Period
Unlike in the ancient Indian period, the position and status of women in the Mughal period were not high. Purdah and child marriage had become common. Except those of the lower classes, women in Mughal period did not move out of their houses. The Muslim women observed Purdah more than the Hindus. The birth of a daughter was considered inauspicious, while that of a son was an occasion for celebration. On account of early messages, there were many widows in our society. Generally, a woman in Mughal Period was not allowed to marry.
Status of Women in Medieval Period
As by passages of time, the position of the woman became worse in the medieval period, rather develop some good changes in their status. During the medieval period only, the system of Purdah and Jauhar were being introduced by the Muslim and Rajput community against Woman. Firstly ‘Purdah’ means woman in Muslim community is fully covered with clothes with clothes, so as to cover their body from the male. Secondly ‘Jauhar’ means Woman with their own consent immolate themselves so as to save their body and properly from detention of enemy. If they are from defeated warriors family.
Status of Woman in Modern Period
In ancient and medieval period status of woman is practically lower than the male but also in scripture; theoretically, it has given higher status to the woman. They are awarded degree of the perfect homemaker by the society because Indian woman has dedicated their whole life to welfare and well being for their families. They are also praying by a human being in the form of the goddess. Still, no change is there in their status. But the status of today’s woman in India is considerably changed in modern Indian society because Indian woman has dedicated their whole life to their welfare and well-being of their families. They also play the role if human beings in the form of Goddess.