THE HISTORY OF INDIAN WOMEN: HINDUISM AT CROSSROADS WITH GENDER
Feminism in India is not a singular theoretical orientation; it has changed over time in relation to historical and cultural realities, levels of consciousness, perceptions and actions of individual women and women as a group. Historical circumstances and values in India make women’s issues different from the Western feminist rhetoric. In all the three main stages of Indian history, viz. the ancient period, the medieval period and the modern age, we find that Hinduism and the role of women in particular have undergone tremendous changes. Through this paper, I would wish to study the position of Hindu female gods and the male deities and thereupon clarify main concepts as to how this situation has drawn an impact and affected the male dominated system of Indian society. The approach which in particular I seek to adopt is firstly, a comparative study of both the deities, secondly, its impact on status of women in all the three ages, i.e. the ancient, medieval and the modern, and lastly, the position of women in the Indian context.
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