4.Education and development
5.Crimes against women
7.Notable Indian women
The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over
the past few millennia.
In modern India, women have held high offices in India including that of
the president, prime minister, speaker of look Sabah and Leader of
According to a global poll conducted by Thomson Reuters, India is the
“ fourth most dangerous country " in the world for women, and the worst
country for women among the G20 countries.
-according to scholars, women in ancient India enjoyed equal status with men
in all aspects of life.
-According to studies, women enjoyed equal status and rights during the early
-Indian women's position in society further deteriorated during the medieval
Period, when child marriages and a ban on remarriage by widows became
part of social life in some communities in India.
-In spite of these conditions, women often became prominent in the fields of
politics, literature, education and religion.
-Traditions such as Sati, Jauhar, and Devadasi among some communities
have been banned and are largely defunct in modern India. However,
some instances of these practices are still found in remote parts of
-The purdah is still practiced by Indian women in some communities.
Child marriage remains common in rural areas, although it is illegal
under current Indian law.
Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports,
politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology,
etc. Indira Gandhi, who served as Prime minister of India for an aggregate
period of fifteen years, is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister.
The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women
- no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)),
-equality of opportunity (Article 16), and
-equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)).
Since alcoholism is often associated with violence against women in India,
many women groups launched Anti-liquor campaigns.
The steady change in their position can be highlighted by looking at what has
been achieved by women in the country:
1848: Jyotirao phule along with his wife savitribhai phule opened a school for
girls in Pune, India. Savitribai Phule became the first woman teacher in
1905: Suzanne RD Tata becomes the first Indian woman to drive a car.
1917: Annie Besant became the first female president of the Indian national
1925: Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian born female president of the Indian
1927: The All India Women's Conference was founded.
1953: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman (and first Indian) president
of the United Nations General Assembly.
1953: Vijaya laxmi Pandit became the first woman (and first Indian) president of
the United nations Assembly.
1959: Anna Chandy becomes the first Indian woman judge of a High Court
(Kerala High Court).
1966: Captain Durga Banerjee becomes the first Indian woman pilot of the state
airline, Indian Airlines.
1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first woman Prime Minister of India.
1972: Kiran Bedi becomes the first female recruit to join the Indian Police Service
1979: Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Indian
female citizen to do so.
1984: On 23 May, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to climb Mount
1989: Justice M. Fathima Beev becomes the first woman judge of the Supreme
Court of India.
1997: Kalpana Chawla becomes the first India-born woman to go into space.
Malleaswari became the first
Indian woman to win an Olympic
medal (bronze medal in the 2000
Summer Olympics at Sydney).
2007: Pratibha Patil becomes the
first woman President.
2009: Meira Kumar became the
first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha,
the lower house in Indian
Republic of India
to hold the
A sari (a long piece of fabric wound around the body) and salwar kameez are
worn by women all over India. A bindi is part of a woman's make-up.
Despite common belief, the bindi on the forehead does not signify marital
status; however, the Sindoor does.
Rangoli (or Kolam) is a traditional art very popular among Indian women.
Change in Culture
According to 1992-93 figures, only 9.2% of the households in India were headed
by females. However, approximately 35% of the households below the poverty
line were found to be headed by females.
Though it is gradually increasing, the female literacy rate in India is less than
the male literacy rate. Far fewer girls than boys are enrolled in school, and
many girls drop out.
According to scholars, the major factor behind improvements in the social
and economic status of women in Kerala is literacy.
Contrary to common perception, a large
percentage of women in India work. National data
collection agencies accept that statistics seriously
understate women's contribution as
workers. However, there are far fewer women than
men in the paid workforce. In urban India, women
participate in the workforce in impressive numbers.
For example, in the software industry 30% of the
workforce is female. In the workplace women enjoy
parity with their male counterparts in terms of wages
WOMEN ATWORK CARRYING
Police records in India show a high incidence of crimes against women. The
National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that by 2010 growth in the rate of
crimes against women would exceed the population growth rate. Earlier, many
crimes against women were not reported to police due to the social stigma
attached to rape and molestation. Official statistics show a dramatic increase in
the number of reported crimes against women.
Female-infanticide and sex-selective abortion
In the wake of several brutal rape attacks in the capital city of Delhi, debates
held in other cities revealed that men believed women who dressed
provocatively deserved to get raped;
In many families, especially rural ones, girls and women face nutritional
discrimination within the family, and are anaemic and malnourished.
The maternal mortality in India is the 56th highest in the world.42% of births in the
country are supervised in Medical Institution.
The average woman living in a rural area in India has little or no control over
becoming pregnant. Women, particularly women in rural areas, do not have
access to safe and self-controlled methods of contraception.
India has a highly skewed sex ratio, which is attributed to sex-selective abortion
and female infanticide affecting approximately one million female babies per
year. In, 2011, government stated India was missing three million girls and there
are now 48 less girls per 1,000 boys. Despite this, the government has taken
further steps to improve the ratio, and the ratio is reported to have been
improved in recent years.
In 2011 a "Right to Pee" (as called by the media) campaign began in Mumbai,
India's largest city. Women, but not men, have to pay to urinate in Mumbai,
despite regulations against this practice. Women have also been sexually
assaulted while urinating in fields. Thus, activists have collected more than 50,000
signatures supporting their. In response, city officials have agreed to build
hundreds of public toilets for women in Mumbai, and some local legislators are
now promising to build toilets for women in every one of their districts.
Savitribai Phule was a social reformer.
Along with her husband, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, she played an important
role in improving women's rights in India during British Rule.
Savitribai was the first female teacher of the first women's school in India and
also considered to be the pioneer of modern Marathi poetry.
In 1852 she opened a school for Untouchable caste girls.
Some famous female sportspersons in Indian include
P. T. Usha (athletics),
J. J. Shobha (athletics),
Kunjarani Devi (weightlifting),
Diana Edulji (cricket),
Saina Nehwal (badminton),
Koneru Hampi (chess)
NOTABLE INDIANWOMEN :continued…
Sania Mirza (tennis).
Female Olympic medalists from India include weightlifter
Karnam Malleswari (weight lifting)(bronze, 2000),
Saina Nehwal (badminton)(bronze, 2012),
Mary Kom (boxing)(bronze, 2012).
Karnam Malleswari Mary Kom Saina Nehwal
2. "Status of Women in India" by Shobana Nelasco.
3. Reuters, Thomas (2011-08-13).
"The World's 5 Most Dangerous Countries For Women
Thomson Reuters Foundation Survey".
Retrieved June 2011.