The status of Hindu women today is a paradox. They are on the verge of empowerment and complete autonomy on one hand and trapped by the prejudices and beliefs of ancient times on the other. This situation must be seen from a historical perspective to be fully understood. The status of women and their activities can be divided into three main historical periods, the ancient, the medieval and the modern. It is important to understand their history to see how restriction grew upon them, and how today they are forging their way to liberation and equality. Western culture has often criticized the place of women in Hindu society. This criticism is often by people who do not know the historical place of women in Hindu society. The story of the Hindu women is one with a rich and diverse history. Hindu women have great strength in body, mind and spirit. The future for many is one of opportunity and empowerment and for many the promise of these freedoms still looms in the distance.
Table of Contents
Position of Women in Hinduism 1
Tasha Behnke 1
ANT 101: Cultural Anthropology 1
Ashford University 1
3893 Banyan Drive, Danielsville Pa 18038 1
Professor Leteisha Jones 1
The feminine “Shakti” represents the word for strength, virility and power in the Hindu culture (Osello, 2007). “Shakti is the all prevailing universal manifestation of the feminine and she is worshiped as a goddess of strength, valor and power in Hinduism” (Navasaria & Peterson, 2007). In Hinduism, a wife has an equal share of her husbands’ duties. She is his other half. The life and soul of her husband is entrusted to her and he cannot perform religious activities without her. Marriage is the balance of life and a man is not complete until he marries. Women as mothers, are seen as the keepers of the future of the human race and are respected...