History is proof that the status and position of women in ancient India was much better than what it is in the present. Women were respected and valued, not only within their families but also in religious and social spheres. They were treated equal to men and given the same opportunities and freedoms as given to men. So what is being a woman in today’s society?
The status of women progressively worsened as time passed. They were confined to their homes and the opportunities previously given to them were taken away. Certain strict rules and norms were to be followed, the violation of which resulted in the society ostracizing them. They were most definitely the worse during the middle ages where women were traumatized and abused at every turn of life, whether it is in the position of a daughter or a wife or a mother. They were, and still are, treated inferior to men. Practices like that of Sati, Female Infanticide, Female Feticide, etc. creeped up and stuck to the society. Sadly, despite the numerous laws made in order to protect women against these so called religious practices, women still face these customs and malpractices.
However, there have been women in the past centuries that have had the guts to be different and hence have not only changed the way the world sees a woman but have also become an inspiration to women today. As we all know, women in the past chiefly managed their homes and pandered to the men in their families.
Jane Austen is one such woman from the past who is an inspiration to us through her creation of strong and independent female lead characters. She was, probably, one of the only authors of her time who had the courage create such influential female leads. Her female leads not only had the wit and the intelligence, but also perseverance towards becoming powerful characters. In so many various ways, her novels accord more with our time today. The main thing in all of this was that she never portrayed her female characters to be perfect virtues of feminity that were present then, some of the being present even now. No, she portrayed her female characters to be real women with opinions and thoughts of their own and not just reflected by those of their fathers, brothers, husbands or sons.
Rosa Parks, Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Susan B. Anthony are some of those women who have helped make the world what is now for woman. Rosa Parks, after she had refused to from her seat for a white, said that “all I was doing was trying to get home from work”. Since that moment, she became the face of fighting for the rights of the black in the US. Marie Curie, who twice won the Nobel prize for her work, herself divulged that she had, many times, been asked by women of how she could harmonize her family and her career in science. Florence Nightingale went against the wishes of her parents to become a nurse during wartime. She came to be regarded as ‘the lady with the lamp’. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly unaccompanied over the Atlantic Ocean. Helen Keller parted the education to the world regarding disabled women. Jackie Joyner-Kersee launched women in the Olympics. Susan B. Anthony got women their voting rights.
Every woman is worthy of an irrefutable quantum of respect. But not all agree to this statement and those who do not are the ones who sow the seeds of harsh and difficult situations in every sphere of a woman’s life. Even in today’s apparently progressive world, there exist men who think that woman’s place is within the four walls of the house and under the thumb of the husband. This situation is definitely changing for