Women's Rights and Gender Equality By: Tess Abraham

Main Question: Are Women in India Still Being Discriminated Against?

If so, what are people doing about it?

It is a well known fact that in India there is a preference to boys in most families because they inherit important things from the family (like family businesses). Women in India are still being discriminated by men and are excluded from doing some activities. They have the burden of having most responsibilities in the household, and keeping everyone happy. Women are not respected as they should be and do not have equal rights, especially in marriage. Violence has been carried out against women in the forms of honor killings, dowry violence, sexual violence, and physical and verbal abuse. Women stand up for their rights by holding peaceful protests, and some Men stand for women's rights in organizations that teach boys to respect women from a young age so that the mentality that women are only useful for marriage won't be in the next generation. Also, although the government does not protect them and their rights as much as men's rights, women are fighting until they receive the respect that they deserve.

My Opinion.

I think that I order for change to happen in India, men have to be involved as well. Sometimes people forget that men also feel the pressures of stereotypes, but in different ways and for different things than women. If both genders unite, they can make proper rights and laws for women for generations to come.

How are Women Treated?

Women in India are sometimes excluded from places that men are allowed to go to. For example, women were banned from worshipping in a temple in Mumbai. Some people's reasoning for the ban was that it was to protect women from being sexually harassed inside of the temple by men. But, others say that it is a sin for women to be in the presence of a male saint.

In some temples, if a woman is having her menstruation cycle she is not allowed inside because she is considered "unclean".

Luckily the ban was lifted, but there are still temples that exclude women from worshipping because of things that they cannot control.

Women in Marriage

http://www.gaust.com/india/goa.htm

In India many women marry at a young age, especially if there are in an arranged marriage. Old traditions make the bride leave her family and live with her new husband, and/or other relatives. Women in arranged marriages have few choices. Either they obey their parents and marry a stranger, or become disowned by their parents. Women also receive little rights in marriage because the Indian Supreme Court does not recognize marital rape as a crime. Because of this new wives sometimes feel trapped and thousands of them commit suicide a year. There is also a tradition in India that the bride's family has to pay a dowry to the groom's family. But, the groom's family does not have to pay anything. It is highly unfair and it can result to dowry violence (which can occur if not a lot of money is given).

Why I Chose This Topic...

I chose this question because I was curious about how women fit into the culture of India. I also wanted to know what influenced that role. Some questions that I wondered were What Roles Do Women Have in (Indian) Society? How Are People Discriminating Women? Why Are They Discriminating Women? What Can We Do To Fix Gender Inequality and Women's Rights?

The Legacy of Ancient India in Modern Life

In the Laws of Manu, the roles of women include being a happy wife, being dependent on the men in the house, and knowing how to manage the household. Another important rule is that women should be honored by the men in her family. Although Hinduism is a major religion in India, the rule about respected women in not enforced as well as the other rules. A lot of women in marriages are abused by their husband, verbally, and physically. They are the ones who shoulder the burden of caring for their household mostly alone. Keeping traditions from the past is okay, but both genders should not feel pressured to conform to stereotypes from centuries ago.

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