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“Women and their changing role in India”
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“Women and their changing role in India”

abhay-shahDuring India’s national struggle, the position of women took a turn for the better, writes Abhay Shah, 17, a Correspondent from Siliguri in India. Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and Dr. Rajendra Prasad began to think deeply about the urgent need for women’s emancipation.

Gandhi, Nehru and Prasad realised that so long as women of the country were not uplifted and granted equal status with men in all walks of life, India could neither progress nor make any significant advance in any field.

Women have occupied top ranks and attained immense success in all fields such as sports, politics, performing arts, police, administration, and medicine. Mother Teresa, P. T. Usha, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Kiran Bedi, Dr. Padmavathi, Sushma Swaraj, the great environmentalist and social activist Medha Patkar and Promilla Kalhan have become great names in their fields of their work.

Now, with the encouragement of co-education, women have cast off the imposed inferiority complex and are marching side by side with men in every walk of life. Women are proving to be academically better and socially more active. When we come across the results of competitive examinations in all India civil services and Indian universities, we are happily surprised to note that women capture most of the merit seats. They are also aware of the fast-changing social milieu and they are making sustained efforts to scale the ladders of social progress by dint of their zeal and dynamism. They are contributing extensively towards the social transformation and building of the nation.

Writers like Mahashweta Devi, Pratibha Roy, and Arundati Roy have established their credentials in the  literary world and contributed to the literacy excellence of the nation. It is heartening to know that educated women are very keen on taking up administration work, doing fantastic work as officers, typists, clerks and receptionists. It has been noticed that they are quick to understand every aspect of the work and have won applause from the bureaucracy.

Women are no longer considered to be physically unfit for military and police departments. In the whole length and breadth of India, everyone has read and heard of Kiran Bedi, an IPS officer with an iron hand and a soft heart craving for reformation in the state of prisons in India. India doesn’t lack in woman power,  the leadership taken by Ahluwalia means we shall soon have skilled women pilots to take up the realm of the sky.

In order to make optimum use of our woman power, we must liberate Indian women from many social taboos. However, mere legislation cannot emancipate the lot of our women. This needs a radical change in our mental make-up and our social structure. For this, we shall have to foster a social emancipating spirit in our everyday life.

To quote former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, “Women in India have now become more aware of their rights as individuals and they are now opting for higher positions at work, at the same time being a perfect housewife at home”. This is the stage that women have reached today.

Emotional, affectionate, caring and yet firm, a woman is the perennial source of inspiration for man in the odyssey of his life. At the same time, women like Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Margaret Thatcher, and Chandrika Kumaratunga have left their indelible mark at the international level.

Women have struggled hard to establish an identity of their own. In the present chaotic world, only women can handle any difficulty with patience and perseverance.

Victor Hugo once said, “Men have sight, women insight.” Women run to extremes, and can take advanced measures for the progress of the country with their power of mental strength and extraordinary talent.

Reach me on Twitter  https://twitter.com/Abhay_Shah03

Photo credit: ustung India (Udaipur) Indian women with traditional dress in the bazaar via photopin (license)

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About me: I am studying at Sacred Heart School, where I have been prefect for two years and am pursuing Human Resource and Management. I enjoy public speaking, and in collaboration with the Rotary Club have formed Interact Club, which sponsors projects health and education projects for underprivileged children. My purpose is not to create people in my own image, but to develop people who can create their own image and move on. I believe in “collaboration and not competition”.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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