Women's Place in India

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Women's Place in India

Break Silence

They want to break our success

Time demands that we break this silence

If we are raising our voice

Why should They get angry?

We are fighting so that we have equality

We are fighting so that we have dignity

We are fighting so that we have happiness

We are fighting so that we have peace

We are fighting so that we have justice

We are fighting for Women's liberation

Break Silence. . . . . . . . . . .

They are scared of our strength

They are scared of our struggles

They are scared of our unity

They are scared of our organisation

They are scared of our emancipation

Hence, they are trying to break us by creating barriers of religion, caste, ethnicity, and tradition.

Break Silence. (Women's Rights song, Desai & Patel pg 86)

Women have long been fighting for equal rights in every sphere of society. Those in the Western world have been luckier, they can go to school, vote, and work, whereas there are still Women in developing countries which cannot. The Song above is an example of Women in a developing country, fighting for their own rights. It's origin is from India. Indian Women have had an extremely difficult time developing under the oppression of a male-dominated society, class and caste systems, and religion. Women's place in society has been extremely fixed in nature, and has kept Women at a low rung on the ‘status-ladder'. Traditional beliefs on whether women should be educated or whether they should work outside the home have also aided in their suppression. Still, although the Indian Women's workforce is still relatively new, it has had some real successes (as well as failures) along the way, and some of the organizations involve are beginning to make a true difference in Women's lifestyles.

Women's place in India

"It is not the characteristic of the true Hindu or Mohammedan Woman to desire to be independent of a Man" (Billington pg 22).

Women's status in India has generally been poor since colonial times. Prithvi Nath Tikoo identifies that, "the treatment of Woman in ancient Indian culture was, however, different. Here the concept of male chauvinism did not start as early as it did in other countries. This sort of mentality took roots in this country (India) years after the Aryans came and settled here" (Tikoo, pg 5). Here it is identified that the maltreatment of...

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...ity. If the general population of India agreed that it is alright for Women to work, their conditions would improve a thousand-fold.

Kaur found that it is the younger generations which believe that Women should be allowed to work outside the home, so perhaps in the future we will see a great change in Indian Women's lives. Perhaps they will one day have the tools to head towards independence.


Tikoo, Prithvi Nath. Indian Women: a Brief Socio-Cultural Survey. BR Publishing Corperation, Delhi: 1985

Desai, Neera & Vibhuti Patel. Indian Women. Sangam Books, London: 1985

Kaur, Inderjeet. Status of Hindu Women in India. Chugh Publications, Allahabad (India): 1983

Billington, M.F. Woman in India. Amarko Book Agency, New Delhi: 1973

Forbes, Geraldine. The New Cambridge History of India: Woman in Modern India. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 1996

Yasas, F.M. & Vera Mehta. Exploring Feminist Visions. Good Impressions, Bombay: 1990

Desai, Neera. Woman in Modern India. Vora & Co. Publishers, Bombay:1977

Leslie, I.J. The Perfect Wife. Oxford University Press, Delhi: 1989

The Working Women's Forum
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