Contrary to popular aggressive fronts of Feminism, I might wish to start on a really passive note. it is very likely that several a time we mistake feminism for being very hostile towards men, some even naming this the ‘anti-men’ movement. Well to interrupt this delusional concept of these few, we might should first address the essential general idea behind feminism. Feminism incorporates the concept of equality between sexes in terms of political equality, social equality, etc. The feminist moment was a awfully radical movement that gained momentum mainly within the west (as the texts might want you to believe) but contrary to popular belief, every a part of the planet was fighting a battle of its own concerning gender equality. Here it’s inevitable to denote what many such arguments have stated if feminism does indeed incorporate the concept of equality between sexes why does it still give more weightage to the upliftment of ladies and not men and girls equally. If we flip through the pages of history we’d find that the plight of ladies was such they were only seen as a childbearing commodity. during this sense, they didn’t have any social standing. to own your own opinion, a distinct state of mind than those of the bulk of men was seen as blasphemous, it absolutely was against god’s wish to administer women an inquisitive mind and a voice. Till this date these instances are inescapable. While being attentive to a particular ted discuss feminism, the speaker didn’t fail to say that what irks us the foremost is that the 19th-century thinking of some opinionated people. Using their critical thinking for the more severe these few people associate the term with the shortcoming to seek out a decent husband. Here the medieval century thinking comes into play where women are tied right down to being managed by men all their life. While many might think that feminism paints a really beautiful picture, but we could only attribute this to the pioneers who went through the gruesome battles, fighting for the rights of ladies and coming this far. The history of India especially had a really dark past. India may be a culturally diverse country that had many such infamous traditions that even the Britishers thought were worth interfering with. The custom of Sati which involved self-immolation of the widow on the pyre of her husband was one such inhuman practice. Sati wasn’t practiced to send the husband and wife into heaven, but because widows, entitled to a number of the family property after their husband’s death (through the Dayabhaga Law in Bengal), became a liability because of the fear that they may claim it. Thus, coercing them into the mound was a secure bet. So it had been one in all the landmark moments in history when an analogous case happened with a young boy who had to witness his sister in law being forced to partake during this practice. This gallant young boy who we all remember as Raja Rammohan Roy then grew up to become one in all the best polygot scholars of Bengal and helped abolish this barbaric practice. Another such stalwart leader of the 19th century was Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who was a prominent figure in advocating widow remarriage, helped accelerate this movement. However, we must always not be oblivious of the accomplishments of some of the lesser-known figures like Fatima Sheikh who is considered the primary Muslim woman teacher in India, Tarabai Shinde who defied the present patriarchy through her works in ‘Stri Purush Tulana’ in Marathi which translates to the comparison of ladies and men, etc. If this ongoing scenario will be described accurately, it’d not be wrong to mention that these great leaders have passed down the baton to us to hold on with the legacy in what looks as if an endless marathon. If we were to carefully assess the hindrances this movement faced, it’s hard to miss that beginning with misogyny, moving on with anti-feminist or misanthropic speeches, and so carrying on with the pseudo feminism, this vicious never-ending cycle has done but little to prevent its progression. Lastly, i’d put this time across that girls are subjugated, maligned, and mistreated throughout the ages but that failed to stop us from fighting for our rights. A bleak and unsure future didn’t deter us from our path.
In Indian history, where we find once upon a time women were not allowed to come in front of the males. They didn’t have the right to study, they didn’t have the freedom to talk. But some of the women who had broken the gender barriers worked hard for their rights and pioneers of woman empowerment, let’s see those women who are proved themselves in different fields and inspired millions.
1.Kadambini Ganguly was the first Indian and South Asian female physician and surgeon,1886 trained in western medicine, as well as one of the first female graduates in India, 1882
2.Chandramukhi Basu was one of the first two female graduates of the British Empire. In 1882, along with Kadambini Ganguly,
3.Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi became the first Indian female physician in the year 1887.
4.Kamini Roy was a Bengali poet, social worker, and feminist in British India. She was the first woman honors graduate in British India.
5.Rukhmabai was an Indian physician and feminist. She is best known for being one of the first practicing women doctors in colonial India
6. Sarla Chakra was the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft,she earned an aviation pilot license in 1936 at the age of 21 and flew a Gypsy Moth solo.
7.Durba Banerjee was the first pilot of Indian Airlines in 1956 and the first Indian woman commercial pilot.
8.Harita Kaur Deol was the first woman pilot to fly solo in Indian Air Force 1994
9.Arati Saha was an Indian long distance swimmer, best known for becoming the first Asian woman to swim across the English Channel in 29 September 1959.
10.Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest In 1984.
11. Arunima Sinha is the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. She is also the first Indian amputee to climb the Everest
12. Surekha Shankar Yadav is a female loco pilot of the Indian Railways in India. She became India’s first female train driver in 1988.
13.Shila Dawre became the country’s first woman auto-rickshaw driver when she first stepped into the ‘male-dominated’ zone in the year 1988.
14.Roshini Sharma recently became the first Indian woman to ride a motorbike from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.
Indira Gandhi became the first woman Prime Minister of India and served from 1966 to 1977.1971, she became the first woman to receive the Bharat Ratna award.
Mother Teresa became the first Indian woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979
Pratibha Patil, Indian lawyer, and politician who was the first woman to serve as president of India (2007–12).
Justice M. Fathima Beevi became the first female judge who was appointed to the Supreme Court of India in 1989.
Isha Basant Joshi She was the first woman ICS officer of British India
Kiran Bedi, joining Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972, Kiran Bedi became the first woman officer in India.
Sania Mirza,a professional tennis player, became the first ever Indian woman to win the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title in 2005.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, also known as Mary Kom is the only woman boxer who has won a medal in each of the six World Championships.
Mithali Raj was the first woman to score a double hundred in Test Cricket (214* against New Zealand at Wellington, 2004).
Kalpana Chawla was an American astronaut, engineer, and the first woman of Indian origin to go to space. She first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997
Bharataratna Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi was an Indian Carnatic singer from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
Homai Vyarawalla, commonly known by her pseudonym Dalda 13, was India’s first woman photojournalist.
The subject of empowerment of women has becoming a burning issue all over the world including India since last few decades. Many agencies of United Nations in their reports have emphasized that gender issue is to be given utmost priority. It is held that women now cannot be asked to wait for any more for equality.
Inequalities between men and women and discrimination against women have also been age-old issues all over the world. Thus, women’s quest for equality with man is a universal phenomenon. What exists for men is demanded by women?
They have demanded equality with men in matters of education, employment, inheritance, marriage, politics and recently in the field of religion also to serve as cleric (in Hinduism and Islam). Women want to have for themselves the same strategies of change which menfolk have had over the centuries such as equal pay for equal work. Their quest for equality has given birth to the formation of many women’s associations and launching of movements.
The position and status of women all over the world has risen incredibly in the 20th century. We find that it has been very low in 18th and 19th centuries in India and elsewhere when they were treated like ‘objects’ that can be bought and sold. For a long time women in India remained within the four walls of their household. Their dependence on menfolk was total.
A long struggle going back over a century has brought women the property rights, voting rights, an equality in civil rights before the law in matters of marriage and employment (in India women had not to struggle for voting rights as we find in other countries).
In addition to the above rights, in India, the customs of purdha (veil system), female infanticide, child marriage, sati system (self-immolation by the women with their husbands), dowry system and the state of permanent widowhood were either totally removed or checked to an appreciable extent after independence through legislative measures.
Two Acts have also been enacted to emancipate women in India. These are: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and the Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2006. The Domestic Violence Act recognizes that abuse be physical as well as mental.
Anything that makes a woman feel inferior and takes away her self-respect is abuse. Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act can be beneficial in preventing the abuse of institution of marriage and hindering social justice especially in relation to women.
It would help the innumerable women in the country who get abandoned by their husbands and have no means of proving their marital status. It would also help check child marriages, bigamy and polygamy, enable women to seek maintenance and custody of their children and widows can claim inheritance rights. The Act is applicable on all women irrespective of caste, creed or religion. It would truly empower Indian women to exercise their rights.
To what extent legislative measures have been able to raise the status of women in India? Are women now feel empowered in the sense that they are being equally treated by men in all spheres of life and are able to express one’s true feminine urges and energies? These are the important questions to be investigated with regard to women’s empowerment in India.