Essay on the Place of Woman in India

A woman is a curve and a man a straight line. He follows her eternally. Mystery—thy name is woman, say cynics. Behind every successful man there is a woman or the other woman. To cap it all, there is a man in every woman — even in the word itself literally. She is her companion who completes him and recreates him. God created her so as to share man’s loneliness but in the bargain, man lost his tranquillity. Women are adored and women are tortured. Manu at one place said that no woman deserves liberty. The same Manu declared “Where women are adored, there the Gods are pleased’

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It is true that a woman is a combination of both good and bad. She can be a mother, sister and wife. At the same time she can be a cunning harlot and a deadly cobra. In western society, she was mainly an object of sensuality and sex. The clergy called her an evil. She was ill-treated and exploited. This situation made women revolt against the male domination. She became a liberated woman. Women libbers in America began to say — “Starve the husband—the rat! Let him mind the kitchen” The emancipation movement of women in the west failed because of misuse of their liberty. They failed to recognize the relationship between man and woman on the emotional plane. In India, it is a relationship between two souls. It has sanctity and spiritual touch.

The relationship between man and woman is not between a superior and an inferior, a dominant and a weak one, but between two different persons with natural differences. She has to have a greater say in important aspects of home life. Her role in building the family is very significant. She plays a crucial role first as a wife and then as a mother to her children.


Unfortunately, under the Western influence, the joint family system has almost collapsed in the cities. In the nuclear family set-ups she has lost her position of prominence. When there is a dispute between man and wife, there is no force to restore good will. Families get broken, divorces are on the increase. In spite of many laws, crime against women are rising. There is no safety in the society for the female sex. Economic independence has exposed the working women to sexual exploitation9 in offices and other work places.

Woman today is being used as a sales promotion commodity in advertisements and in fashion shows. Is it not an insult to womanhood? The need of the hour is that women should develop self-confidence and become strong. Timidity has been her curse. She should refuse to be a slave to man. She has to get education. But at the same time she is not to take undue liberty. She should acquire self respect and dignity. She is not to fight with man but to co-exist with him honorably. Love and mutual trust are very essential for a happy home. Kitchen work is not slavery. Nor is looking after the kids shameful for man. Change in attitude alone can bring harmony in the family.

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