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Gandhi's Impact on the Liberation of Indian Women.

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Introduction

Gandhi's Impact on the Liberation of Indian Women India has the world's largest number of professionally qualified women. It has more female doctors, surgeons, scientists and professors than the United Statesi. This is a remarkable accomplishment for Indian women. Despite all of this, for thousands of years Indian women have been treated unfairly and unequally. It has taken years for women to gain respect in society; it did not come over night. Not one single event has emancipated women, instead it has been a series of events which has led Indian women to their liberation. Many riots, protests and powerful leadership have taken place in order to overcome this rigorous struggle. Due to the leadership of one man India changed from being controlled by the British Commonwealth to becoming and Independent Nation. This leader was Mahatma Gandhi. In is efforts to develop an independent country he also paved the path for Indian women to rise and speak against the social norms, which excluded them in society. During the time of Gandhi's leadership he observed many instances in which women were suffering. For instance, the average life span of an Indian was 27 years as both babies and pregnant women ran a high risk of dying young. Child marriages were very common, widows were in high numbers, and only 2% of the women had any education. In addition, specifically in North India the women practiced the purda (veil) system, in which they had to keep their faces covered if they were to go outside. ...read more.

Middle

Truth (Satya) implies love, and firmness (Agraha) engenders and therefore serve's as a synonym for force. Gandhi adopted what he learned in South Africa and demonstrated his political genius for the Independence struggle of India. Under his guidance a mass movement was created and eventually through his patience and his use of Satyagraha, Independence was declared in 1949. Gandhi seemed to direct an appeal specifically to women, telling them he had great faith in their capacity to sacrifice and endure suffering. This was a concept that women could easily comprehend since they have socialized to endure and sacrifice. Mahatma Gandhi speaks of this and explains why women are more able to self-sacrifice, "Woman is the incarnation of Ahimsa. Ahimsa means infinite love which again means infinite capacity in the largest measure. She shows it as she carries the infant and feeds it during nine months and derives joy in the suffering involved. What can beat the sufferings caused by the pangs of labour? But she forgets them in the joy of creation. Who, again, suffers daily so that her babe may wax from today? Let her transfer that love the whole humanity, let her forget she ever was or can be object of man's lust. And she will occupy her proud position by the side of man as his mother, maker and silent leader. It is given to her to teach the art of peace to the warring world, thirsting for that nectar. She can become the leader of Satyagraha which does not require the learning that books give but does require the stout heart that comes from suffering and faith" xiv. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reference Notes i www.indiaonestop.com ii Aloo J. Dastur and Usha H.Hehta, Gandhi's contribution to the Emancipation of Women (Printed in New Delhi, 1991) 25. iii Kapadia, www.mkgandhi.org iv Kamaladevi Chattopadhayhay, Indian Women's Battle For Freedom (Delhi: Abhinav, 1983) 114. v Mahatma Gandhi, Women (Ahmedabad: Navajivan, 1958) 24. vi Mahatma Gandhi, Women (Amedebad; Navajivan, 1958) 25. vii Mahatma Gandhi, Women (Ahmedebad; Navajivan 1958) 27. viii Aloo J.Dastur and Usha H. Mehta, Gandhi's Contribution to the Emancipation of Women, (Printed in New Delhi, 1991) 23. ix Pushpa Joshi, Gandhi On Women (Ahmedabad; Najivan, 1988) 14. x Pushpa Joshi, Gandhi On Women (Ahmedabad; Najivan, 1988) 14. xi Mahatma Gandhi, Women and Social Injustice (Ahmedad; Navijivan, 1958) 6. xii Mahatma Gandhi, Women and Social Injustice (Ahmedad; Navijivan, 1958) 12. xiii Paulson S. Lebra and J. Everett, Women and Work in India (New Delhi; Promilla, 1984) 110. xiv Gandhi, www.mkgandhi.org. xv Pushpa Joshi, Gandhi On Women (Ahmedabad; Najivan, 1988) iii. xvi Kamaladevi Chattopadhayhay, Indian Women's Battle For Freedom (Delhi: Abhinav, 1983) 107. xvii Aloo J. Dastur and Usha H.Hehta, Gandhi's contribution to the Emancipation of Women (Printed in New Delhi, 1991) 6. xviii Pushpa Joshi, Gandhi On Women (Ahmedabad; Najivan, 1988) 38. xix Sunil Sen, The Working Women and Popular Movements in Bengal, (Calcutta, 1985) 24. xx Sunil Sen, The Working Women and Popular Movements in Bengal, (Calcutta, 1985) 25. xxi Kaur, Women in India's Freedom Struggle (New Delhi; Sterling, 1985) 161. xxii Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, "Organizing Against Violence: Stragedies of the Indian Women's Movement", Pacific Affairs 62:1 (Spring, 1989), 53-71. xxiii Kamaladevi Chattopadhayhay, Indian Women's Battle For Freedom (Delhi: Abhinav, 1983) 108. xxiv Kamaladevi Chattopadhayhay, Indian Women's Battle For Freedom (Delhi: Abhinav, 1983) 109. xxv www.indiaonestop.com 1 ...read more.

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