A STUDY OF THE STATUS OF INDIAN WOMEN UNDER DIFFERENT LEGISLATIONS
We can easily believe by studying our History books that in ancient India, women enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period.Rigvedic verses reveal that women married at a mature age and were probably free to select their own husbands. Scriptures such as the Rig Veda and Upanishads mention several women sages and seers, notably Gargi and Maitreyi. But Indian women's position in society further deteriorated during the medieval period when child marriages and a ban on remarriage by widows became part of social life in some communities in India. The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent brought purdah to Indian society. Among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, the Jauhar was practised. In some parts of India, some of Devadasis were sexually exploited. Polygamy was practiced among Hindu Kshatriya rulers. During the British Raj, many reformers such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Jyotirao Phule, Swami Vivekanand etc., fought for the betterment of women. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's crusade for improvement in the situation of widows led to the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856.In 1929, through the efforts of Mahomed Ali Jinnah, the Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed, stipulating fourteen as the minimum age of marriage for a girl.Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc. Indira Gandhi the first woman Prime Minister of India for an aggregate period of fifteen years, is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister.
The aim of the study is to check out those different legislations which have made special provision with regard to the status or protection or which have been enacted for improving their reputation and standard in society in comparison to those of women we have studied in our history books.
Keywords: The Constitution of India, coparcenary property, infanticide, genderÂ Â Â Â discrimination