Home » The Position of Women in India

The Position of Women in India

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 9 minutes read

By: Moichingmayum Mustaque Alish Aijaja

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West.
Literally half of the seven billion people on the planet are female. If 50% of global population suffers daily discrimination, increased risk of assault, and all kinds of other delightful problems just by virtue of being female, we can say that empowerment should be a top priority. Financial empowerment of women spurs economic growth within a country…which can lead to the country becoming more stable, reducing poverty and becoming a bigger player in the global market. Having more bargaining chips on the table can help a country’s leader make better deals with other governing bodies, as well as receive aid and support more effectively. More empowered women mean more safety and security. November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Karin Nordmeyer works with the UN to raise awareness about violence against women and girls across the globe.
Violence toward women affects the lives of people from all backgrounds and communities around the world. It can be inflicted by a stranger, but in most cases abuse starts with someone close, such as a spouse or family member. Karin Nordmeyer is a civil rights activist and president of the UN’s National Women’s Committee. She is fighting to stop gender-based violence.
The status of Indian women has seen many ups and downs from the ancient time to the present day. With the dawn of freedom, particularly during India’s national struggle, position of women took a turn for the better. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. Rajendra Prasad began to think deeply about the urgent needs of women emancipation. They realised that as long as women of the country were not uplifted and granted equal status with men in all walks of life-political, economic, domestic, educational, India could neither progress nor make any significant advance in any field. Gandhiji gave a clarion call for women’s participation in the freedom movement. Sarojini Naidu, Mira Ben, Sucheta Kriplani, Vijayalaxmi Pandit, Aruna Asaf Ali were some of the leading women freedom fighters.
In the present time, a larger number of women have attained dignity, individuality and respect in their respective fields. They are free to join any services. In the post-Independent India, women have played a significant role as doctors, engineers, judges, pilots, scientists, diplomats, legislators and even as a Prime Minister. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, our late Prime Minister, was held in high esteem the world over. Vijayalaxmi Pandit created a record by becoming the first women President of the United Nations General Assembly.
In the last two decades, women have really come into their own. In the modern age, we find the role of women in every field. Women have proved to be more vibrant, dynamic, sincere and perfect in every field. They have the ability to immerse themselves wholly in any task they undertake. Modern women in the present age occupy top rank and immense success in all the fields such as sports, politics, performing arts, police, administration, medicine etc. Mother Terasa, P.T. Usha, Mrs. Mohsina Kidwai, Mrs. Margaret Alva, M.S. Subbulaxmi, Ms. Kiran Bedi, Dr. Padmabati, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Boxer Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte, Saina Newal, Sania Mirza, PV Sindhu, Kunjarani Devi, Kalpana Chawla, the great environmentalist and a social activist Medha Patkar and Promilla Kalhan have become great names in different fields of their work.
Sonali Banerjee of Calcutta became first Indian woman Marine Engineer and Bula Chaudhuri brought fame to our country for crossing the English twice. Now with the encouragement of coeducation, women have cast off the age-old inferiority complex and they are marching side by side with men in every walk of life. When we come across the results of the Competitive Examinations in All India Service, Civil and Police and Indian Universities we are happily surprised to note that women capture most of merit seats. They are also aware of the fast changing social milieu and they are making sustained effort to scale ladders of social progress by dint of their zeal and dynamism. They are significantly contributing towards the building of the nation.
It is heartening to note that today we have in India, the educated women who are very keen and efficient on taking up administrative work. We are amazed to see the wonderful work women are doing as officers, typists, clerks, receptionists. It has been noticed that they are quick to understand every work and have won the applause from the bureaucracy. Moreover, they cheer up others with a sweet smile and they can win over others to their point of view.
They are competing for Indian Administrative and Foreign Service and many other Services too. We have women as lawyers, judges and revenue officers. They are cool headed, dispassionate, objective and impartial. There are certain profession and careers which the women should choose because mentally, physically and culturally they are suitable to these professions than men. Today, women are proving their worth in the field of teaching, one of the noble professions. As children’s minds are delicate and very sensitive, women can teach them with more affection and sincerity than men. The Kindergarten and Montessori System of education are being implemented mostly by women in India.
In the field of healthcare also women as doctors and nurses can give a healing touch to patients. It has been found that women on account of their tender hearts are better nurses and due to their naturally delicate and soft hands they are better doctors. Florence Nightingale, the “Lady with a Lamp,” made history and showed the way to womankind how officially and nobly women can mitigate the sufferings of humanity in war and epidemic.
Women have come out of their homes and brushed shoulders with men as co-workers as managers, officers, TV and radio newsreaders, anchors, musicians, clerks and stenographers and what not. We have also many talented and successful entrepreneurs who are doing commendable work by their excellent business management skills. Women are no longer physically unfit for military and police departments. In the whole length and breadth of India, everyone has read and heard of Ms. Kiran Bedi, an IPS officer with an iron hand and a soft heart craving for reformation in the state of prisons in India. Women should be encouraged to join these departments. India does not lack in women power. They are recruited in Police and Military, B.S.F., C.I.S.F., and other state police of India even including our state Manipur. It can be said with a sense of pride and confidence that the future of women in India is quite bright and confidence that our prosperity will be both with men and women. Napoleon was right when he declared that by educating the women, we educate and uplift the whole nation. In order to give them more scope of participation in the economic growth of the country, the government has implemented major programmes like Mahila Samridhi Yojana, Women’s Development Corporation etc. The female literacy on the whole is on the rise. She adds beauty and charm to every aspect of life. To quote former Miss Universe, Susmita Sen, “Woman in India have become more aware of their right as individuals and are now opting for higher position at work, at the same time being a perfect housewife at home.” This is the stage at which women have reached today. Emotional, affectionate, caring and yet firm, a woman is the perennial source of inspiration for man in the odyssey of life.
Women like Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Srimavo Bandaranaike, Margaret Thatcher have left an indelible mark not only on their nations but also on the international level. In the past women like Joan of Arc and Rani Laksmi Bai of Jhansi did prove the strength of their convictions. First women agitation, 1904 and 2nd women agitation, 1939 shook the British rule in Manipur. Women take important role in our Manipur society. Even today there are many organisation like Meirapaibi who works to prevent drugs using in the society. Modern women have risen far above the domestic drudgery. They are educated and aware enough to deal with any situation competently. In the present times, they are no longer inanimate objects. They have struggled hard to establish the identity of their own. They possess enough strength and self confidence in a brave new world. They are fully capable of articulating their hopes and aspirations-whether it is ruling a country, scaling Mount Everest, flying in space or displaying effective managerial skill. For Mahatma Gandhi, “without the emancipation of women, independence was meaningless”. Education according to him, can enable women to assert their rights. His advice to the educated women to conserve the best tradition of Indian culture. He wanted them to participate in the governance of the country. Gandhiji effort resulted in the participation of Indian women in the State Governments in 1937 and in the Central Government in 1947.
Indeed, it was Gandhiji who succeeded in raising the position of women in India by making them conscious of their rights. As a result of the effort of the Gandhiji, the position of women has changed and they are gradually emerging as a force in social, cultural as well as political fields of our country. The talent, patience, inner strength power of tolerance, insight, efficiency of a responsible and good women help in governance of the country and its overall progress. Women have occupied a pivotal position today and have achieved eminence in different fields. Some organisation such as Women’s India Association, National Commission for women, National Council of women in India are working for the enlightenment and protection of women in India. Despite the hurdles like male chauvinism and indifference towards them women have proved their worth as teachers, administrators, officers, intrapreneurs, doctors and engineers, nurses, computer scientists, and almost in all the spheres of activity and every walk of life contributing immensely to nation building. The government too has been taking measures to help them. Now the women in India are heading towards advancement. By dint of their devotion, dedication and determination, women like mother Teresa, Indira Gandhi and many others played a vital role in the building of the nation.
(Moichingmayum Mustaque Alish Aijaja hails from Manipur, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Advance Study, Department of History, AMU, Aligarh. His area of research includes environmental history of Manipur during colonial period. He can be reached at [email protected].)

You may also like

Leave a Comment


Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


©2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Hosted by eManipur!

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.