According to the Laws of Manu, women must be honored and respected by her brothers and husbands, however, they also can't do anything independent of the male figures in her life.
The duties of a woman are also not few. They must take care of all the housework, always obey her father, her husband, and later on, her sons.
A woman who is a wife or will soon be a wife
In modern times, many women face domestic violence, sexual harassment, and human trafficking.
In a recent study conducted by the Times of India, they found that 41% of women had been harassed before the age of 19. They also found that 73% of women had been harassed and experienced violence in the past month, and 26% of women hareported to have been groped in the past month
One of the reasons for so much domestic violence is because of the dowry system.
The dowry system was established long ago when it was customary for the bride's family to give a gift in cash to the bride. When the British had its colony in India, it was the only legal way to get married.
However, even though dowries are illegal(because many husbands mentally, physically, and sexually abuse their wives for a higher dowry), it's nearly impossible to enforce that law. As a result, and amendment to the law in 1986 states that any death or violence in the first seven years of marriage would constitute as being dowry related. Not only that, but according to the Times of India, a woman is killed every hour due to dowry demands.
However, there have been steps to better the situation. The Prime Minister of India has created a campaign called "Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter". The "save" portion refers to the fact that many women have an abortion when they find out that their child is a girl. They do this because the burden of a dowry for the girls is too much and they have an abortion.
There were also two videos released that tackled the problems of dowry. In the second video, a woman is about to go for a ride with her husband, but her father-in-law orders her to go to housework. She replies by saying that since her husband accepted her dowry, she has bought him and closes the video by telling the father that if he wanted use her things, he should ask nicely and she may consider it. The point of the video, according to the makers, was to objectify the man and in turn, put him into a women's shoes for once.
The video previously mentioned. It tells the story of how the women says that since she paid for the scooter and paid for her husband, she owns her husband since he accepted the dowry and that the father could use her things if he asked nicely.
The problem is, marital rape is not considered a crime in India. And, divorced wives do not get to share any of their husbands' assets. Not only that, but in Indian society, it's a given that the man is the one with all the power in the relationship. The husband controls the money, and he in turn often gives the money to his mother. If he gives it to his wife, fights over the power in the house are to be expected. Not only that, but many wives in India live with their husband and his mother, sisters, brothers, and father. Indian women, by the Law of Manu, are supposed to be treated with great respect, but in reality, they are often worked like slaves. Not only that, but they are often not allowed do many things. From wearing certain types of clothing to getting a job. There is also much rivalry between the older and younger women of the house which often result in bitter disputes.
A woman, Maya Kapoor(alias), was married to her husband and moved in with her in-laws. There, she was no longer her husband's equal, but rather an object forced to do as he pleased. She had to do all the housework, and when she was sick, her husband never offered to help. He merely told her that she could do it tomorrow. When she finally managed to convince her husband that they would be better off living on their own, her mother-in-law and her sister-in-law complained that she was stealing her husband away from them. Kapoor was forced to stay in the household, and although she could go to the authorities, she fears that nothing would be done and the abuse would only get worse.
There have been attempts at improving the situation for women with the Domestic Violence Act in 2005, but many times the authorities will turn a blind eye to the abuse. In 2014, the court declared that the law was being wielded as a weapon by unhappy wives to hurt their husbands and that police shouldn't immediately arrest men accused of domestic abuse