Essay on Status and Position of Women in India
Women have been at the forefront in many areas, but their status and position has not changed much. Even today, they face discrimination in the society. Instances of sati, where a woman commits suicide after her husband’s death, are heard of even today. In many families, the girl child is denied education and basic health facilities. It is a long struggle ahead for women of India before they are accepted as equals in society.
There are a few signs of change. Economic liberalization in the country had exposed it to many foreign influences. Satellite television brought about a sea-change in attitudes. Women started participating in many spheres. They are taking up employment in many areas both full-time and part-time. Women started participating in the economic life of the nation in a variety of ways. Slowly, families now are giving as much importance to girls as boys. Girls are frequently scoring better in school and competitive examinations. They have cast off traditional roles and have taken up new responsibilities. Both academically and socially, girls are scoring better.
In offices today, women are increasingly employed at senior positions. There are women secretaries, typists, officers, and executives. In fact, there are certain professions where women are better suited, because of their disposition. In the new millennium, there are going to be more women who will be contributing meaningfully. Some of these areas are education, healthcare and social work. As they understand children better, women make better teachers. Similarly, doctors and nurses are the human face of modern medicine, imparting a healing touch. They are also better able to communicate benefits of family planning to the multitudes. This is not to say that they cannot take up administrative work; women in high government positions have shown that they are more willing to take up challenges and reform the system.
But society has remained male dominated. Modern women face two challenges: they have to manage both the house and their jobs. The burden of traditional roles has not decreased, but the burden of bringing home a second income has been added. Modern women are expected to be superwomen. This has added a new dimension to their roles: they have become equal as far as earning is concerned but real liberty still eludes then.
There are also signs that attitudes towards dowry may be changing, at least in certain segments of society. As nuclear families become double-income and are increasing, dowry may be becoming less important. Male attitudes are also changing. No longer are men mere protectors, but they are contributing in matters of running the family and looking after the house.
Still, India has a long way to go before women get real equality. Independence for women has not come without a price.