UPSC IAS exam preparation - Post-Independence India - Lecture 1


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Women's organisations in India

[हिंदी में पढ़ें ]

1.0 Introduction

The roots of the Indian women's movement go back to the nineteenth century male social reformers who took up issues concerning women and started women's organizations. The two main issues taken up were political rights and reform of personal laws. Slowly, women also started participating in the freedom struggle, which further broadened the base of women's movement in India.

Some of the main problems confronting women in India today are:
  1. Illiteracy, and
  2. Violence
In post independent India, large number of women's autonomous groups have sprung up challenging patriarchy and taking up a variety of issues such as violence against women, greater share for women in political decision making, etc. both at the activist and academic level. Though there has been a rich and vibrant movement in for empowerment of women, we are still a long way from achieving gender equality and gender justice.

2.0 Womens' Organisations in Pre -Independece India 

The roots of the Indian women's movement go back to the early nineteenth century when social reformers, beginning with Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), began to focus on issues concerning women. Roy condemned sati, kulin polygamy and spoke in favour of women's property rights. He held the condition of Indian women as one of the factors responsible for the degraded state of Indian society. If Ram Mohan is remembered for his anti-sati movement, Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar is more often remembered for his widow remarriage campaign. 

Following them, improving the condition of women became the first tenet of the Indian social reforms movement. Women's inferior status, enforced seclusion, early marriage, condition of widows and lack of education were facts documented by reformers throughout the country.

2.1 Women's organizations started by men

Men who belonged to the socio-religious reform associations began the first organization for women. In Bengal, Keshub Chandra Sen, a prominent Brahmo Samaj leader, started a woman's journal, held prayer meetings for women and developed educational programmes for women. Members of the Brahmo Samaj formed associations for women of their own families and faith.

The Prarthana Samaj in Maharashtra and Gujarat did similar work. Narayan Ganesh Chandavarkar, Madhav Govind Ranade and R.G. Bhandarkar in Pune and Mahipatram Rupram Nilkanth and his associates in Ahmedabad started organizations for prohibition of child marriage, for widow remarriage and for women's education.The male-inspired and male-guided organizations for women did valuable work in educating women and giving them their first experience with public work. While the men wanted their women to be educated and take part in public activities, they regarded the home as the primary focus for women.

2.2 Women's organizations started by women

By the end of the nineteenth century, a few women emerged from within the reformed families who formed organizations of their own. One of the first to do so was Swarnakumari Devi, daughter of Devendranath Tagore, a Brahmo leader, and sister of the poet Rabindranath Tagore, who formed the Ladies Society in Calcutta in 1882 for educating and imparting skills to widows and other poor women to make them economically self reliant. She edited a women journal, Bharati, thus earning herself the distinction of being the first Indian woman editor. In the same year, Ramabai Saraswati formed the Arya Mahila Samaj in Pune and a few years later started the Sharda Sadan in Bombay.

The National Conference was formed at the third session of the Indian National Congress in 1887 to provide a forum for the discussion of social issues. The Bharat Mahila Parishad was the women's wing of this and was inaugurated in 1905. It focused on child marriage, condition of widows, dowry and other "evil" customs.The Parsis, the Muslims and the Sikhs all formed their own women's organizations. Women in Calcutta, Bombay, Madras and other smaller cities formed associations whose members were drawn from among a small group of urban educated families. They were useful in bringing women out of their homes, giving them an opportunity to meet other women, doing philanthropic work, encouraging them to take an interest in public affairs and thus broadening their horizon. It also gave them the experience of managing an organization.

2.3 National women's organizations

The early women's organizations had been confined to a locality or city. In 1910, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani, daughter of Swarnakumari Devi formed the Bharat Stree Mandal (Great Circle of Indian Women) with the object of bringing together "women of all castes, creeds, classes and parties... on the basis of their common interest in the moral and material progress of the women of India". It planned to open branches all over India to promote women's education. Branches were started in different cities such as Lahore, Amritsar, Allahabad, Hyderabad, Delhi, Karachi and other cities. Purdah was regarded by Sarala Devi as the main obstacle for women's education and teachers were sent round to women's homes to educate them. She wanted women to escape male domination and so only women were allowed to join her organization. The Bharat Stree Mahila Mandal however proved to be a short lived venture.

2.4 Issues in pre-independence India

In the inter-war years, between 1917 and 1945, there were two main issues that the women's movement took up - political rights for women and reform of personal laws.

2.4.1 Voting rights for women

When Lord Edwin Montague, Secretary of State for India, came to India to join the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford to survey the political scene with a view to introduce constitutional reforms, Indian women saw an opportunity to demand political rights. This led to the foundation of the Women's Indian Association (WIA) in 1917 by Annie Besant, Margaret Cousins and Dorothy Jinarajadasa, all three Irish women theosophists, who had been suffragettes in their own country. They were joined by Malati Patwardhan, Ammu Swaminathan, Mrs. Dadabhoy and Mrs. Ambujammal. WIA was in a sense the first all India women's association with the clear objective of securing voting rights for women.

A memorandum signed by 23 women from different parts of the country, demanding votes for women on the same terms as men which would enable them to have a say in political matters was submitted to Montague and Chelmsford. It also stated other demands such as for education, training in skills, local self- government, social welfare, etc. The Indian National Congress at its session in Calcutta in 1917, over which Annie Besant presided, supported the demand of votes for women and so did the Muslim League.

A women's delegation led by Sarojini Naidu met the Secretary of State and the Viceroy to plead their case personally. The women leaders argued that the absence of women in the legislative assemblies was deplorable and that their presence would be extremely helpful as they could ensure that "children grow up to be splendid, healthy, educated efficient and noble sons and daughters of India...".

Women's organizations held meetings all over India to express support for women's franchise. Behind the scene, Margaret Cousins and a few other women worked hard to make their case. At this time petition politics was the main way of making an impression on the government.

The Southborough Franchise Committee toured India in 1918 to gather information. It accepted women's petitions but was initially reluctant to grant the franchise to women as it felt that Indian women were not yet ready for it. WIA and other women's groups were furious and continued their agitation. Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant went to England to present evidence before the joint Parliamentary Committee while local branches of WIA held meetings, passed resolutions and forwarded them to London. A delegation was sent to England to plead their case.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee of Parliament finally agreed to remove the sex disqualification but left it to the provincial legislatures to decide how and when to do so. Travancore-Cochin, a princely state, was the first to give voting rights to women in 1920, followed by Madras and Bombay in 1921. Other states followed. Franchise was of course extremely limited. Women could vote only if they possessed qualifications of wifehood, property and education.

In the elections held in 1926, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya stood for the Madras Legislative Council elections from Mangalore but was defeated by a narrow margin. The Madras Government nominated Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy, a noted social worker and medical doctor, to the Legislative Council where she took up the women's cause.

Ten years after the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms, the Simon Commission was appointed in 1927 as the first step towards the formulation of a new India Act. This led to the second round in the battle for female enfranchisement. When the Commission visited India, the Indian National Congress boycotted it on the ground that there were no Indian members on the Commission. The WIA joined the boycott, while the All India Women's Conference was divided and some of its members met the Commission. AIWC prepared a Memorandum to be submitted to the Franchise Committee of the Second Round Table Conference demanding universal adult franchise, mixed general electorate and no reservation of seats for women. The Franchise Committee under the chairmanship of Lord Lothian rejected universal adult franchise but recommended that 2 to 5 per cent of seats in the provincial legislatures be reserved for women. AIWC rejected the demand for reserved seats. The Government of India Act of 1935 increased the number of enfranchised women and removed some of the previous qualifications. All women over 21 could vote provided they fulfilled the qualification of property and education. Women had to wait till after independence to get universal adult franchise.
2.4.2 Reform of personal laws

The All India Women's Conference was established in 1927 at the initiative of Margaret Cousins to take up the problem of women's education. Women from different parts of India belonging to different religions, castes and communities attended the first session in Pune that was a great success. AIWC's initial concern was with education but it realized that girls did not go to school because of purdah, child marriage, and other social customs. It therefore took up these issues. It waged a vigorous campaign for raising the age of marriage which led to the passing of the Child Marriage Restraint Act or the Sarda (Sharda) Act, in 1929. AIWC took up the cause of reform of personal law. As there was some opposition to a common civil law, it demanded reform of Hindu laws to prohibit bigamy, provide the right to divorce and for women to inherit property. The women's movement carried on a sustained campaign for these reforms that were finally obtained with the passing of the Hindu Code Bills in the 1950s.

3.0 The Women's movement in independent India 

In independent India, the women's movement was divided, as the common enemy, foreign rule, was no longer there. Many of the Muslim members went over to Pakistan. Some of the women leaders now formally joined the Indian National Congress and held positions of power as Ministers, Governors and Ambassadors. Free India's constitution gave universal adult franchise and by the  mid-fifties, India had fairly liberal laws concerning women. Most of the demands of the women's movement had been met and there seemed few issues left to organize around. Women's organizations now saw the problem as one of implementation and consequently there was a lull in the women's movement.

Women dissatisfied with the status quo joined struggles for the rural poor and industrial working class such as the Tebhaga movement in Bengal, the Telangana movement in Andhra Pradesh or the Naxalite movement. Shahada, which acquired its name from the area in which it occurred, in Dhulia district in Maharashtra, was a tribal landless labourers' movement against landlords. Women played a prominent role and led demonstrations, invented and shouted militant slogans and mobilized the masses. As women's militancy developed, gender based issues were raised. There was an anti alcohol agitation as men used to get drunk and beat their wives. Women went round villages breaking pots in liquor dens. 

The 1970s and 1980s witnessed the growth of numerous women's groups that took up issues such as dowry deaths, bride burning, rape, sati and focused on violence against women. They stressed the sexual oppression of women in a way previous reform or feminist groups had never done. They questioned the patriarchal assumptions underlying women's role in the family and society based on the biological sex differences implying a "natural" separation of human activities by gender differentials, the public political sphere being the male domain and the private familial sphere as that of the female which eventually translates into a domination of male over female. It was held that based on such a dichotomous perception of male and female roles, women find themselves in a secondary role which may sometimes lead to humiliation, torture and violence even within the family. Such a questioning of the patriarchal character of the family and society was not evident in the earlier phase of the women's movement. Thus they held that the first step towards women's liberation was to become aware of such patriarchal assumptions based on biological sex differences and roles.

3.1 Sewa 

The Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA) was founded in 1972 by the noted Gandhian and civil rights leader Dr Ela Bhatt. This was probably the first attempt at a women's trade union. The objective of SEWA was to improve the condition of poor women who worked in the unorganized sector by providing training, technical aids and collective bargaining. Based on Gandhian ideals, SEWA has been a remarkable success.

3.1.1 SEWA sister organizations

SEWA Bank: In order to address the problem of lack of access to timely and efficient savings and credit facilities and to free themselves from the vicious cycle of eternal debt, SEWA members devised their own solution: "a bank of their own, where they would be accepted in their own right and not be made to feel inferior". 4,000 women members of SEWA contributed share capital of Rs.10 each to establish the Mahila SEWA Co-operative Bank in May 1974. Currently, SEWA Bank has 125,000 self-employed women depositors and has disbursed loans without the need for traditional collateral, of over Rs.350 million.

SEWA Academy: SEWA Academy was created in 1991. It is the organizational wing responsible for basic membership education and for capacity building, leadership training, communications and research.

SEWA Communication: SEWA has also explored several channels to support members in their communication efforts. These include "Anasooya" - SEWA's fortnightly news letter in Gujarati, "Akashganga" - monthly magazine for adolescent girls, "We the Self Employed" - SEWA's electronic newsletter published in English and aims to reach policy makers, programme planners and a wider national and international audience. Video SEWA was established in 1984 as a means to provide training to the members of SEWA and to motivate, mobilize and strengthen the existing membership of SEWA through the use of video recordings and tapes.

Shri Mahila SEWA Anasooya Trust: "Anasooya" was started in 1982 to provide a forum for presentation of experiences, ideas and viewpoints emerging from SEWA's work. It has completed fourteen years successfully and regular - not missing a single issue. It is published on 6th and 22nd of every month.

SEWA Research: Credible, scientific based research has been a critical tool in SEWA's advocacy efforts. Through research, SEWA strives to bring its members, the self-employed women, into the mainstream of the world of knowledge. 'Action oriented research' is the corner stone of this intervention and SEWA Academy is the organizational wing responsible for this task.

Gujarat State Women's SEWA Co-operative Federation Ltd.: From the time of its inception the Federation has concentrated in providing comprehensive training in cooperative education, marketing, management, record keeping, leadership and technical training. It also provides assistance in various areas of cooperative development.

Vimo SEWA: Is an integrated insurance program aiming to provide social protection for SEWA members to cover their life cycle needs and the various risks they face in their lives, through an insurance organization in which they themselves are users, owners and managers of all services.

SEWA Housing: In 1994, the Gujarat Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT) was officially registered with the overall objectives of improving the housing and infrastructure conditions of poor women in the informal sector.

SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre: In response to the demand for creating sustainable livelihood strategies for the poorest of the poor women producers, The SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre (STFC) was established in May 2003 as the commercial arm of SEWA by more than 15000 women artisans in the textiles and handicrafts sector.

SEWA Manager Ni School: The SEWA Manager's School began in 2005 as a capacity building institution within SEWA with the goal of facilitating economic self-sustainability through building a cadre of grassroots managers.

SEWA Sanskar Kendra: SEWA Sanskar Kendra (SSK) envisaged as the 'hub' or centre of activity for a cluster of ten to fifteen villages. SSKs were established keeping in mind that the women in the rural communities had requirements of diverse information while they had the least access to information and communication technologies.

SEWA ICT: ICT revolution has driven numerous initiatives by using new technologies for poverty alleviation and socioeconomic development. SEWA realized the potential of new information technologies in facilitating capacity development, supporting cooperative efforts and reducing vulnerability by increasing access to information, particularly about entitlements and programs. SEWA ICT has enabled poor people, particularly women, living in remote areas to access vital information related to their trade, livelihoods, government schemes including Panchayati Raj (local self-government), seeking and sharing expert opinions on disaster management, management of enterprise, marketing of produce and products. SEWA ICT represented a powerful strategy for overcoming various notions of a 'digital divide' and making the information available to the powerless.

SEWA Nirman Construction Workers Company Ltd.: SEWA NIRMAN generates sustainable livelihood for its members (i.e. the construction workers) by organizing & training semi-skilled workers and free them from exploitation. SEWA NIRMAN works for infrastructure development across the country, focusing on rural development benefiting the construction industry and the entire nation at large.

SEWA Ecotourism: Vanlaxmi Women Tree Grower's Cooperative initiated by SEWA depicts one of its many achievements in the field of women empowerment and poverty alleviation through sustainable self-employment. This is a case of poor and working landless women's struggle to form and run their eco regenerative activity in the water starved area of Gujarat.

SEWA Kharaghoda: SEWA has organized around 10,000 salt workers and farmers in Surendranagar and Patan districts of Gujarat. Kharaghoda is situated in Surendranagar, Gujarat.

SEWA Mahila Shahkari Mandli Ltd.: The cooperative completed 22 years of its journey with the support of women. It was started to help paper-picker women. In 1986 the first ever cleaning cooperative was formed with the support of SEWA Federation.

SEWA Kalakruti: The marketing outlet for member artisans from craft co-operatives is promoted by SEWA. It provides regular employment and helps to preserve traditional skills through cooperative efforts for self-reliance eliminating the middleman. The federation assist the artisans in marketing, helps them in conservation and development of their products. Similarly the federation facilitates vendors and farmers to buy and sell at the Agriculture Producers Marketing Committee eliminating the middle agencies.

SEWA Bharat: SEWA Bharat is a federation of SEWA member organizations, with the mandate to highlight issues concerning women working in the informal sector, and to strengthen the capacity of the organizations that serve the interests of these women. Presently nine such SEWA member organizations are working in 35 districts of seven states, and together they accounted for a total membership around 12, 00,000.

HomeNet South Asia: HomeNet South Asia is a network organisation of women homebased workers promoted by UNIFEM and SEWA. It was set up after the Kathmandu Declaration, formulated in an international conference convened in Nepal in year 2000. The formal launching of HomeNet South Asia was held on January 17, 2007 in the Conference "Women Work & Poverty Policy Conference on Home Based Workers of South Asia" which was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh.

3.2 Shri Mahila Gruhudyog (Lijjat Papad)

Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, popularly known as Lijjat, is an Indian women's cooperative involved in manufacturing of various fast moving consumer goods. The organisation's main objective is empowerment of women by providing them employment opportunities. Started in the year 1959 by seven Gujarati women from Bombay with a seed capital of Rs. 80, Lijjat had an annual turnover of around Rs. 6.50 billion (over 100 million USD) in 2010, with Rs. 290 million in exports. It provided employment to around 42,000 people.Lijjat is headquartered in Mumbai and has 67 branches and 35 divisions all over India. A remarkable story indeed!

The growth of the Lijjat is often seen in the larger canvas of women and their empowerment. The organisation has undertaken various efforts to promote literacy and computer education for member-sisters and their families. A literacy campaign for sisters began through literacy classes at Girgaum on 18 June 1999. Later, the managing committee decided to start such classes in all its branches. From 1980 onwards, Lijjat started giving Chhaganbapa Smruti Scholarships to the daughters of the member-sisters.

The member-sisters used their organisation as a medium to promote their and their families' welfare. In the Valod centre they set up an educational and hobby centre for the rural women. Orientation courses in typing, cooking, sewing, knitting and toy making as well as other courses like child welfare, first aid and hygiene were taught. The first ever pucca (tarred) road in Valod to be built and inaugurated in 1979 was with the help of the Lijjat, Valod branch.

In 1979, Lijjat teamed up with UNICEF to organise a seminar in Mumbai on "Child Care and Mother Welfare", as part of the International Year of the Child celebrations. In October 1984, Bhadraben Bhatt represented Lijjat at the UNESCO sponsored international workshop on "The role of women in the assimilation and spread of technological innovation" held at NITIE, Powai. Alkaben Kalia represented Lijjat at the national level meeting on women convened by the National Commission on Self Employed Women.

At the behest of Mother Teresa, the member-sisters also took part in some activities of Asha Dhan, an institution to care for destitute women. Lijjat member-sisters also tried to start a co-operative bank, but the effort was not very successful.

3.3 Organisations against rape and dowry

Some of the earliest autonomous women's groups were the Progressive Organization of Women (POW, Hyderabad), the Forum Against Rape (now redefined as Forum Against Oppression of Women), and Stree Sangharsh and Samata (Delhi). Among the first campaigns that women's groups took up was the struggle against rape in 1980. This was triggered by the judgment of the Supreme Court to acquit two policemen who were accused of raping a minor tribal girl in Mathura, despite the fact that the High Court had indicted them. Four eminent lawyers addressed an open letter to the Chief Justice of India protesting the patent injustice of this decision and this led to country-wide demonstrations.

Several other rape cases became part of this campaign that culminated after several years of protest in Government agreeing to change the existing rape law. The amended law was enacted in 1983 after long discussions with women's groups. Since then, women's groups have lobbied again to have the law further changed to make it more stringent and have also fought for an implementation machinery to be set up without which the law is less effective than it was intended to be.

The POW in Hyderabad organized new and fresh protests against dowry. In the late 1970s, Delhi became the focus of the movement against dowry and the violence inflicted on women in the marital home. Groups which took up the campaign included 'Stree Sangharsh' and 'Mahila Dakshita Samiti'. Later, a joint front called the 'Dahej Virodhi Chetna Mandal' (organization for creating consciousness against dowry) was formed under whose umbrella a large number of organizations worked.

The anti-dowry campaign attempted to bring social pressure to bear on offenders so that they would be isolated in the community in which they lived. Experience in the campaign revealed the need for counseling, legal aid and advice to women. It was in response to this that legal aid and counseling centers were set up in different parts of the country. Women's organizations also succeeded in getting the dowry law changed.

Sati was declared a punishable offence in 1829. Yet in 1987, Roop Kanwar, a young widow, was forcibly put on the funeral pyre of her husband and burnt to death in a village in Rajasthan. Women's groups rose in protest and declared this to be a cold-blooded murder. They demanded a new Sati Prevention Bill.

3.4 Campaigns for women's rights

There were several campaigns in the eighties relating to women's rights. Among them was a campaign, in 1985, in support of the Supreme Court judgment in the divorce case where Shah Bano, a Muslim woman form Indore, had petitioned the Court for maintenance from her husband under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Act and the Court granted her demand. The orthodox Muslims, however, protested against interference with their personal law. In 1986, the government introduced the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights in Divorce) Bill denying Muslim women redress under Section 125. Women's associations protested against this outside Parliament.

Over the years it has become clear that changing laws alone means little unless there is a will to implement them and unless there is education and literacy which makes women aware of their rights and allows them to exercise them effectively. It was this realization that has led the women's movement to take up in a more concerted manner programmes of legal literacy and education, gender sensitization of textbooks and media.

Women's studies as an identifiable area of teaching and research emerged in the 1960s in the United States, although the intellectual antecedents go back further, most noticeably in the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Virginia Wolf. The contemporary women's movement provided the impetus for the establishment and growth of women's studies across disciplines. Women's studies spread to India slowly at first and then more rapidly following the UN Mid Decade Conference in Copenhagen in 1980. The Indian Association of Women's Studies established in 1981 is an institution of women academics and activists involved in research and teaching. In the last three decades a large number of books and journals by and on women have appeared. There are publishing houses that bring out books exclusively on feminist subjects. Efforts are being made to prepare reading and teaching material with a feminist perspective. A number of universities and colleges have women's study centers.

All the major political parties, the Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI (M) etc. have their women's wings.The new women's groups declare themselves to be feminist. They are dispersed with no central organization but they have built informal networks among themselves. Their political commitment is more leftist than liberal. The Indian women's movement is often accused of being urban based and middle class in character. While the urban feminists are more visible and articulate, rural women have also mobilized themselves.

While street level protests and demonstrations gives the women's movement visibility, this is clearly not enough. What is needed is attention to basic survival needs such as food, safe drinking water, sanitation and housing. Women need education, health care, skill development and employment; safety in the home and at work. The last few years have seen the broadening and expansion of the movement to take in a whole range of issues.

3.5 The National Commission for Women (NCW)

The National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body for women established in 1992 by Government of India under the provisions of the Indian constitution, as defined in the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.

The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in India and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns. The subjects of their campaigns have included dowry, politics, religion, equal representation for women in jobs, and the exploitation of women for labour. They have also discussed police abuses against women.

In October, 2013 the NCW drafted a ‘New Bill of Rights’ incorporating various provisions like the right of women to refuse 
  1. forced marriage 
  2. non-consensual sex within marriage or 
  3. any medical treatment she doesn't want to undergo. 
The Bill also contains measures for reining in (controlling) khap panchayats and other vigilante groups to prevent them from inhibiting women's freedom. 

The first chairperson of the NCW was Ms. Jayanti Patnaik (03.02.1992 to 30.01.1995), followed by Dr. V. Mohini Giri, Ms. Vibha Parthasarathi, Dr. Poornima Advani, Dr. Girija Vyas (longest serving - for 6 years), and Ms. Mamta Sharma.

4.0 The Future of Women's organizations in India

The women's movement in India today is a rich and vibrant movement, which has spread to various parts of the country. It is often said that there is no one single cohesive movement in the country, but a number of fragmented campaigns. Activists see this as one of the strengths of the movement which takes different forms in different parts. While the movement may be scattered all over India, they feel it is nonetheless a strong and plural force. 

Women's organizations not only lead campaigns and march on the streets, they, including the older ones such as AIWC, YWCA and others, run shelters for battered wives and women who are victims of violence and provide counseling and legal aid. They conduct training workshops on various issues. They also help in forming self help groups to make women economically self - reliant. The success of the women's movement has not been in the number of women appointed to office or in the number of laws passed but in the fact that it has brought about a new consciousness on the entire question of women in Indian society.

The brutal gangrape case of December 2012 in Delhi shook the nation’s conscience and exposed the hollowness of laws and their fear, and implementation quality. It set in motion several changes in the administrative and judicial machinery.

Yet in terms of numbers, few women, even now, are involved in the women's movement and one should not exaggerate its impact. The large majority of India women still live below the poverty line leading miserable wretched lives. While there have been scattered and sporadic examples of women's outraged protests against rape, dowry deaths or sati, women have not been able to mobilize themselves enough to exert political pressure and focus attention on those problems which are today affecting their role and status. Despite this long history of women's struggle, Indian women are one of the most backward today in terms of literacy, longevity, maternal mortality, female work participation and sex ratio. Changing societal attitudes and women's own self perceptions which are deeply rooted in our psyche and social structure is not easy. For every step forward that the movement takes, there may be a possible backlash, a possible regression. History shows that though the struggle for women's rights is long and hard, it is a struggle that must be waged and won. The women's movement thus has a long way to go in its struggle for bringing about new values, a new morality and a new egalitarian relationship.

Women as a percent of lawmakers

Male and Female electors statistics - India General Elections 2014



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exchange,9,Formal and informal economy,13,Fossil fuels,14,Fundamentals of the Indian Economy,10,Games SportsEntertainment,1,GDP GNP PPP etc,12,GDP-GNP PPP etc,1,GDP-GNP-PPP etc,20,Gender inequality,9,Geography,10,Geography and Geology,2,Global trade,22,Global treaties,2,Global warming,146,Goverment decisions,4,Governance and Institution,2,Governance and Institutions,773,Governance and Schemes,221,Governane and Institutions,1,Government decisions,226,Government Finances,2,Government Politics,1,Government schemes,358,GS I,93,GS II,66,GS III,38,GS IV,23,GST,8,Habitat destruction,5,Headlines,22,Health and medicine,1,Health and medicine,56,Healtha and Medicine,1,Healthcare,1,Healthcare and Medicine,98,Higher education,12,Hindu individual editorials,54,Hinduism,9,History,216,Honours and Awards,1,Human rights,249,IMF-WB-WTO-WHO-UNSC etc,2,Immigration,6,Immigration and citizenship,1,Important Concepts,68,Important Concepts.UPSC Mains GS III,3,Important Dates,1,Important Days,35,Important exam concepts,11,Inda,1,India,29,India Agriculture and related issues,1,India Economy,1,India's Constitution,14,India's independence struggle,19,India's international relations,4,India’s international relations,7,Indian Agriculture and related issues,9,Indian and world media,5,Indian Economy,1248,Indian Economy – Banking credit finance,1,Indian Economy – Corporates,1,Indian Economy.GDP-GNP-PPP etc,1,Indian Geography,1,Indian history,33,Indian judiciary,119,Indian Politcs,1,Indian Politics,637,Indian Politics – Post-independence India,1,Indian Polity,1,Indian Polity and Governance,2,Indian Society,1,Indias,1,Indias international affairs,1,Indias international relations,30,Indices and Statistics,98,Indices and Statstics,1,Industries and services,32,Industry and services,1,Inequalities,2,Inequality,103,Inflation,33,Infra projects and financing,6,Infrastructure,252,Infrastruture,1,Institutions,1,Institutions and bodies,267,Institutions and bodies Panchayati Raj,1,Institutionsandbodies,1,Instiutions and Bodies,1,Intelligence and security,1,International Institutions,10,international relations,2,Internet,11,Inventions and discoveries,10,Irrigation Agriculture Crops,1,Issues on Environmental Ecology,3,IT and Computers,23,Italy,1,January 2020,26,January 2021,25,July 2020,5,July 2021,207,June,1,June 2020,45,June 2021,369,June-2021,1,Juridprudence,2,Jurisprudence,91,Jurisprudence Governance and Institutions,1,Land reforms and productivity,15,Latest Current Affairs,1136,Law and order,45,Legislature,1,Logical Reasoning,9,Major events in World History,16,March 2020,24,March 2021,23,Markets,182,Maths Theory Booklet,14,May 2020,24,May 2021,25,Meetings and Summits,27,Mercantilism,1,Military and defence alliances,5,Military technology,8,Miscellaneous,454,Modern History,15,Modern historym,1,Modern technologies,42,Monetary and financial policies,20,monsoon and climate change,1,Myanmar,1,Nanotechnology,2,Nationalism and protectionism,17,Natural disasters,13,New Laws and amendments,57,News media,3,November 2020,22,Nuclear technology,11,Nuclear techology,1,Nuclear weapons,10,October 2020,24,Oil economies,1,Organisations and treaties,1,Organizations and treaties,2,Pakistan,2,Panchayati Raj,1,Pandemic,137,Parks reserves sanctuaries,1,Parliament and Assemblies,18,People and Persoalities,1,People and Persoanalities,2,People and Personalites,1,People and Personalities,189,Personalities,46,Persons and achievements,1,Pillars of science,1,Planning and management,1,Political bodies,2,Political parties and leaders,26,Political philosophies,23,Political treaties,3,Polity,485,Pollution,62,Post independence India,21,Post-Governance in India,17,post-Independence India,46,Post-independent India,1,Poverty,46,Poverty and hunger,1,Prelims,2054,Prelims CSAT,30,Prelims GS I,7,Prelims Paper I,189,Primary and middle education,10,Private bodies,1,Products and innovations,7,Professional sports,1,Protectionism and Nationalism,26,Racism,1,Rainfall,1,Rainfall and Monsoon,5,RBI,73,Reformers,3,Regional conflicts,1,Regional Conflicts,79,Regional Economy,16,Regional leaders,43,Regional leaders.UPSC Mains GS II,1,Regional Politics,149,Regional Politics – Regional leaders,1,Regionalism and nationalism,1,Regulator bodies,1,Regulatory bodies,63,Religion,44,Religion – Hinduism,1,Renewable energy,4,Reports,102,Reports and Rankings,119,Reservations and affirmative,1,Reservations and affirmative action,42,Revolutionaries,1,Rights and duties,12,Roads and Railways,5,Russia,3,schemes,1,Science and Techmology,1,Science and Technlogy,1,Science and Technology,819,Science and Tehcnology,1,Sciene and Technology,1,Scientists and thinkers,1,Separatism and insurgencies,2,September 2020,26,September 2021,444,SociaI Issues,1,Social Issue,2,Social issues,1308,Social media,3,South Asia,10,Space technology,70,Startups and entrepreneurship,1,Statistics,7,Study material,280,Super powers,7,Super-powers,24,TAP 2020-21 Sessions,3,Taxation,39,Taxation and revenues,23,Technology and environmental issues in India,16,Telecom,3,Terroris,1,Terrorism,103,Terrorist organisations and leaders,1,Terrorist acts,10,Terrorist acts and leaders,1,Terrorist organisations and leaders,14,Terrorist organizations and leaders,1,The Hindu editorials analysis,58,Tournaments,1,Tournaments and competitions,5,Trade barriers,3,Trade blocs,2,Treaties and Alliances,1,Treaties and Protocols,43,Trivia and Miscalleneous,1,Trivia and miscellaneous,43,UK,1,UN,114,Union budget,20,United Nations,6,UPSC Mains GS I,584,UPSC Mains GS II,3969,UPSC Mains GS III,3071,UPSC Mains GS IV,191,US,63,USA,3,Warfare,20,World and Indian Geography,24,World Economy,404,World figures,39,World Geography,23,World History,21,World Poilitics,1,World Politics,612,World Politics.UPSC Mains GS II,1,WTO,1,WTO and regional pacts,4,अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थाएं,10,गणित सिद्धान्त पुस्तिका,13,तार्किक कौशल,10,निर्णय क्षमता,2,नैतिकता और मौलिकता,24,प्रौद्योगिकी पर्यावरण मुद्दे,15,बोधगम्यता के मूल तत्व,2,भारत का प्राचीन एवं मध्यकालीन इतिहास,47,भारत का स्वतंत्रता संघर्ष,19,भारत में कला वास्तुकला एवं साहित्य,11,भारत में शासन,18,भारतीय कृषि एवं संबंधित मुद्दें,10,भारतीय संविधान,14,महत्वपूर्ण हस्तियां,6,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा,91,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा जीएस,117,यूरोपीय,6,विश्व इतिहास की मुख्य घटनाएं,16,विश्व एवं भारतीय भूगोल,24,स्टडी मटेरियल,266,स्वतंत्रता-पश्चात् भारत,15,
PT's IAS Academy: UPSC IAS exam preparation - Post-Independence India - Lecture 1
UPSC IAS exam preparation - Post-Independence India - Lecture 1
Excellent study material for all civil services aspirants - begin learning - Kar ke dikhayenge!
PT's IAS Academy
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