It is said ‘where women are honoured, divinity blossoms there, and where women are dishonoured, all action no matter how noble, remain unfruitful.’
There have been umpteen debates about gender in India over the years. Much of it includes women’s education, health, economic position, gender equality etc.
In the Vedic period, women were in fact encouraged to pursue education but they gradually lost this right as the society started changing from both the genders being equal to male dominant one.
However, later there was revival of interest in women’s education in India,
Swami Vivekananda highlighted women’s education in fact, he’s one of the first monks to work for freedom and equality of women.
He once quoted “It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is impossible for a bird to fly on only one wing.” He considered men and women as each wing of this bird.
Swamiji’s words of encouragement and the efforts he made ignited something within the women back in those days. Later on, they started believing in their abilities. They realised they were more than just homemakers. But by the time they started fighting for their educational rights it was quite late. Men had started enjoying power and their status in society, dowry, another social evil had evolved by then. Since men were more educated than women, the dowry demands were even more.
We had several leaders/reformers across India tirelessly worked towards improving status of women through education.
According to Swami Vivekananda “education is the manifestation
of perfection already in men”
Swamiji also identified and realized that India’s negligence towards women education is the main deterrent to India’s development.
From being treated as queens to being in a quandary, the transition was gruesome.
Women were called querulous and were quashed when they raised their voices.
Now, with time, a lot has changed for women but those dark times of the olden days will never be forgotten.