(The writer teaches Geography in Biswanath College, Biswanath Chariali Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
In early times, the status of women in India was inferior to man in the practical life. However, they had a higher status in scriptures. They are considered as the perfect homemaker in the world. With their incomparable quality of calmness of mind, they can easily handle the toughest situation. Indian women are completely devoted to their families. They are preached in the name of Saraswati, Durga, Parvati and Kali.
As per the last Census carried out by the Government of India, there are 933 females for every 1000 males in our country. We can find superiority of men in every phase of our lives.
Traditionally, women were considered to be caretakers of home. They had to look after the running of the family smoothly, they had to manage the expenses in the most economical way possible, they had to look after aged in-laws, nurture the child, etc. They were expected to obey orders of their husband , the elders of the family, but kept in isolation when it came to major decision related to the family. The women were not too educated in the past eras. They would be married off one day to their n-laws place and hence would not need too much knowledge was the previous thinking. There were women in older days too, who were well educated and led paths of success in many sphere of life, because of support from their families. It is these women who lead paths of change and brought about a transformation in the way people viewed women in the society.
The scenario of women is slowly changing in recent years. We can see a slow and steady rise of women in all fields of importance. Women of today are not just restricted to cooking and taking care of their households, they have to step out their comfort zones to create their own images in the outside world as well. This is in short, can be termed as women empowerment. Society has now changed its stand and the way it looks at women, due to the progress achieved by women in all spheres of life. Men today are more understanding towards the women in their lives, yet we here many cases of harassment against women.
The women have completely transformed in the modern day, the urban women specially has changed from being a mere homemaker to the modern day multitasking women, handling responsibility without fear. She had taken on the world with confidence. Women of today handle their duties and chores at home, manage a career outside their home, nurture their children and balance their family lives with their professions. This is the scene in most of the urban households today. Modern day women are independent, takes right decisions boldly, stands up for their rights and walks the path of success. Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, Susma Swaraj, Aishwarya Rai, Susmita Sen and many more women achievers are a prime example.
This is the scene in the developing economy today. Women are well educated, they have crossed horizons, and their presence can be felt in male dominated areas. Women have been sent on many space missions. We see women rise as journalists, politicians, doctors, engineers, lawyers, actors and in many other professional spheres. Women of today, choose the right career paths that determine their future and thus we see them excelling in every walk of life.
The women in rural backgrounds have still to complete a lot in terms of their urban counterparts. Not that the rural women are backward in any aspects, but the change and transformation that the urban women sees is definitely a little slower to the rural women.
During the modern period of time, there was a steady development in the women status. There were many women reformers in India, who worked for uplift and betterment of their female counterparts. Women education was elevated and English was introduced during this period. Various female writers emerged in the society. In the modern time, women in India were given freedom and right such as freedom of expression and equality as well as right to be educated. Various prestigious positions at this period were held by women. They are enjoying the 'Ladies first' facility in the different fields. However, some problems such as dowry, domestic violence, sex detective abortion, female infanticide are still prevalent in our society.
Now a days, women are educated about the social benefits including awareness about the existing social problems in the society, good recognition and image in the family community, plan and promote better education for their children, taking care of health of aged and children. At present, most of the women are given a chance of finishing their education to the degree level. They are discouraged from getting married and raising a family when they are young. There are numbers of women education grants from the government, that offer help to the women from poor background in order to give them a chance to be educated.
There are various scholarships, that benefit women in India to achieve their carrier by going back to school on various training institutions, where they can further their education. Many NGO's in India also, offer support to women in order to benefit them in education. The government of India as well as state governments are setting aside funds that are used to empower women and other initiatives that will empower them. The women who have desire to improve their lives are allowed to take grants from the government and NGO's to empower themselves with higher education.
The government of India set aside some reasonable amount of money , for those women who have business ideas can borrow in order to start their business. The women are encourage to small business in order to have their own source of income, thus they became independent. Various non governmental agencies also offer financial support to the women in India and encourage and teach them in various business activities.
Now a days, the status of women in India has greatly improved and there are many women who are holding high and prestigious position in the government offices and private companies. The activities of women are in all sides of present day economy in India. This has proved that, women can be even better than man if they are given an opportunity. The women should be given equal opportunity like their male counterparts by the central and state governments of India.
Women's day is celebrated, not to glorify the beauty and grace of women, but to bring about awareness among the public regarding women's safety. Women need to be strengthen themselves by building up their inner strengths. They should work on increasing their moral strength and face the world without fear. Women are taught to be bold and out going in these days of modernism. We should empower the women in our lives to lead independent lives. They should be taught to be self reliant and should not depend on anyone to meet their goal.
Also Read: Women Empowerment: A Distant Dream in India