Women have always played a vivid role in constructing our society. They are the creator and are a major part of social construct. They forge generations. Women are the essence of society. With expanding their dimensions to support the cooperative sphere of society, be it home, office, or some vacations, they are intended to take care of things with all of their heart.
It is believed that they are the most trustworthy in the anthropological pool. And with that, since from the ancient civilization women are not considered as equal to men hitherto this era itself. Women are considered subordinate to men. They are underprivileged.
They are not even enjoying the basic human rights which are guaranteed in our Constitution. As far as this issue is concerned, women themselves feel feared because if they raise their voice they would be expelled out from society and would be boycotted even from food and basic needs.
The condition of women in India has been alarming since decades. Earlier they were left destitute and now when these conditions has softened women still have to suffered a lot and have to face discrimination on some day or the other. Besides that they are now doing work, job and are getting paid, their status in the society is jeopardised and is objected as low.
Most of time, problem arises on the grounds of liberty and equality, when they are not allowed to do the chores which demands freedom and which specifically, according to society, are meant only for men. The ill intentioned and poor societal thoughts have restricted Indian women to step further and to rise out their personalities in a stronger manner.
When a woman does move out for work they are being questioned often. If any women is following her dreams, or stepping out from home for work, or crossing boundaries that are fixed by the hypocrites of society, her character gets assassinated. Why such miseries for women?
Well, to conquer such gender based disparities our Government is meticulously working on making plans and provisions for women with considering each dimension of negligence that women faces. Putting aside this move, in our Constitution special provisions for women, is already being mentioned with full allegiance.
Our constitution has considered women and her status years ago but it’s our society that is still the same. For our society it has been real hard to inculcate that women too are important so are their rights and liberty. The society that we live in is gender-biased. Biasness has done nothing but made women feel menial.
Even though, reservations and rights are put in the hands of women, they are being excluded from the political and religious participation because of the stereotypes that men are more deserving and that men should be put first when it comes to hold power and to be on high designation in the humankind.
There are articles under constitution which guarantees several religious and liberty rights. For instance,
Right to maintain Religious Institution
Article 26 of the Indian constitution gives freedom to manage religious affairs Subject to public order, morality and health, every religious denomination or any section thereof shall have the right-
- To establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes;
- To manage its own affairs in matters of religion;
- To own and acquire movable and immovable property; and
- To administer such property in accordance with law.
However, these guarantees are available to only citizens of India and not to aliens.
These, however are constitutional provisions and are generally perceived to be applicable for men. Women in India do not enjoy such freedom to participate, maintain and oversee religious institutions, even when guaranteed by Indian constitutions.
Right to Equality
Under Article 14 to Article 18, right to equality is guaranteed and is considered vivid in Indian constitution.
- Article 14 states that “the state shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
- Article 15 states that “the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.”
- Article 16 guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
- Article 17 states that “Untouchability is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden.
- Article 18 forbid titles except military or academic distinctions. Title from foreign governments such as knighthood is forbidden.
By article 15 and 16 government can make any special provision of reservations for education and employment for women.
Women are provided with ample opportunities to instil equality and to ensure a concrete profile in all parameters.
However, they are still way behind men and are victims of patriarchal male dominated society.
Religious conflicts over women
Women are always considered as second class citizens in all the religious practices, customs and rituals. The superstitions that were believed in the earlier times are even existing today. The ill conditions of Indian women had always been in turmoil.
Various reasons are cited for these restrictions and religious fundamentalism and illogical issues that stem from minds of orthodox elements of society.
It is prohibiting women to enjoy her religious rights and has debarred women in religious spheres. For instance in Sabrimala shrine, some tenets of the authorities managing the temple do not allow women to enter and worship deities because they believed that even 1500 years ago women were not allowed and that if they do so it will demolish the asceticism and celibacy of deity.
Women of the age criteria 10-50 years old are impure because they are in their reproductive phase. Woman who is menstruating is forbidden to enter the temple. These illogical fallacies have nothing to consider the true biological phenomenon behind menstruation that it helps women in becoming mother.
These irrational and radical pessimistic thoughts are portraying patriarchal society in which men are contemplating women as adjutant to themselves.
However with the efforts of Bhoomata brigade leader Tirupati Desai restrictions on women to enter the temple Shani Shingnapur and Haji Ali are now uplifted.
This is really a big milestone achieved with the help of women activists and has thrown a light on the inner strength of modern women which were in the dark earlier.
Grounds of conflict
Even in the contemporary times, women are kept away from political and religious affairs. There are many reasons behind such conflicts and issues pertaining women to not come front foot:
Patriarchalism, he male dominated society which believes that men are more deserving and should be given all privileges before women. Such notions are against women rights and liberty and are forbidding them to take part in religious affairs.
Superstitions, myths that were followed earlier are still in the conservative minds now. These myths are still appraised before women rights and respect. It is believed by the priests that if the customs are changed god may get angry and whole universe would fall apart as god would take revenge. These pathetic myths are restricting the boundaries of women and are forcing them to live a meaningless life.
Corruption, there’s a lot of corruption going on inside temples and religious institutions which are almost dominated by male. The authorities think that inclusion of women would affect their illegal money-making process and would take up the strict actions against them.
Political drama, many political parties do no support women and think that it would give women equal status to that of men and would totally be hostile to the particular culture. Some male political leaders molest women and would get feared that any women leader if come in power would open up their crimes and would affect their so-called reputation.
Ergo, to conquer such problematic issues prevailing in the society against women there’s a need for us to sensitize male members of the society and make them believe that women too should have equal status in each sphere and there should be no discrimination on the basis of gender. Even in our homes we must empower them and should inculcate the urge of women’s education, health, nutrition, participation in decision-making and in holding power. A society is nothing without women.
There is an important need to deconstruct stereotypes that are debarring women to enter temples, their membership in religious institutions and the biased rituals and customs.
With the efforts of government, NGOs, women activists and feminism such vulnerability and nuisances of women can be conquered.