Male and Females are the two common constituents of the human civilization, depending on each other, respectively, and each of them carries nearly half of the overall population. Men and women are considered the chariot wheels as they depend on each other for various things. Over time, some scholars and sociologists have strained the study to find out the change in status around the world and generally in India and also evaluate the difficulties confronted by women during the historical time.
Any finding or Study on society of historical times is unfinished without reviewing the role, status, and also the position of women during the historic period. Women of Indian society established the arch keystone and proved their superiority at that time. There is no hesitation to claim that the women of Rig Vedic society have adored higher status, and the situation was always pleasant for the women and also had the right to attain high intellectual and spiritual standards. But the beginning of the later Vedic period has started discriminating against the esteemed position and free positions of women.
Later on, later Vedic society has induced education and other privileges and facilities for women. Indian civilization is created on the essence that women’s source is men; they grow or descend collected, godlike or dwarfed, free or bonded. There is no uncertainty that we are in a society that is in the middle of a prodigious rebellion in the antiquity of women. The indication is universally seen, such as the rising number of women can be seen in the parliament, the streets, and also in court. While on the other hand, women from the western part need to stand and fight for basic rights such as the right to vote, and they need to fight for more than a century, but India has served equal rights to both men and women from the beginning.
Role of Women in the Later Vedic Period
The lifespan of the women from the Later Vedic Society was very difficult in comparison to the Rig Vedic society. Numerous great Kingdoms rose during the later Vedic period and retained aggressive nature with each of them. Caste System is one of the gradual factors growing its motion. The status of women started degrading as the later Vedic period began, and bad practices such as the dowry system in gaining their position in society.
The Later Vedic Civilization observed enormous variations in the caste system. Such as the traditional four-castes system classes commonly known as Kshatriya, Brahmins, Sudra, and Vaishya and still in place in the modern period. However, numerous sub-castes sprang up in addition to the historical four castes. In regards to the caste system during the later Vedic period, women are unable to find higher positions for themselves as compared to the Rig Vedic period. During the later Vedic period women were not allowed to visit and perform religious activities and also not allowed to join politics. Furthermore, the wedding guidelines became discerning for the bride. The women in the Later Vedic period did not have rights of basic equality and are unable to enjoy their domestic lives. Women in the Later Vedic Period are served with very few rights and low-grade status. A woman was treated as a substance for the satisfaction of passion and not as the spouse of men. In the Later Vedic period, women were deprived of their properties and were not considered necessary for political, economic developments.
Status of Women in the Epics
The status of women epics period is known as the golden period for women, as women in the epics period are rewarded with an honorable status in the society due to the influence of Mahabharata Ramayana in the society, and in Ramayana and Mahabharata majority of women are educated.
The Mahabharata and its influence on society resulted in the reserved rights for women and equality, as women gave advice to men and also shared a higher position with men, sharing the effective role of women in social, political, and religious issues. Ramayana demonstrates the Hindu ideal of women of India.
Status of Women in the Smritis
In terms of the status of women in the Smritis period, While talking about a woman and their connections to men. Women continue to be honored and appreciated by their fathers, husbands, brothers, and also brothers-in-law, who wish for their well-being.
Manu witnesses that the family where women agonize is guaranteed to be abandoned, while on the other hand family where women are happy is bound to flourish. Further instructs that each person is to uphold concord with the household of the female members. He also guides each householder to delight his daughter as the uppermost object of sensitivity and honors the mother as the highest respected person in the world.
Status of Women in the Buddhist Period
During the Buddhist period, numerous immoral social practices, such as the exercise of pre-puberty weddings, rejection of educational rights, and also marriage selection, etc., were forced on women throughout the Puranas and Brahmans periods.
In the Buddhist historical age, the place of women was enhanced to some level; in the spiritual field, women derived from inhabiting a noticeably superior place. Women have got generous occasions in public life. However, the economic position of women remained unaffected.
The status of Women during the Later Vedic period, epics, Smritis, and Buddhist did not have rights of basic equality and were unable to enjoy their domestic benefits. A woman was taken for granted and was treated as a substance for the satisfaction of passion and not as the spouse of men. The later Vedic period was considered as the most unlawful and unhealthy environment for women to survive, and they are not allowed to be a part of development, such as deprived of their properties, not able to vote, not allowed to attain political and social activities, etc.