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Status of Women in Hindu Law


The aim of this paper is to examine the status of women in different era in India.
The broad narrative it sketches and seeks to explore in womens position in
different sphere as in social, economic, political, legal, education and religion.
Vedas, dharmashastra, smrities, different documents, studies done earlier.
Critically evaluation will be done on the basis of data. This study will reveal the
status of women in the process of civilization. India is a country of people from
diverse religions and backgrounds. As there are many religions, so there are
numbers of religious laws too, that governs the people of different religions.
Every religion has its own personal laws relating to marriage, divorce,
maintenance, guardianship and succession governing the Hindus, Muslims and
Christians, etc. There is no uniform civil code in India. The women have fewer
rights than the men under the religious personal laws. The religious personal
laws give birth to many taboos; for instance patriarchy, early marriage, dowry,
domestic violence etc. The society has plonked verdicts on the women. The
women not only feel inferior but also helpless because the upbringing of the girls
has been done in such a way that they do not raise their voices against such
discriminations. Though the government has made the efforts to lift the status of
women via implementing civil code, yet there is need to change the thinking
pattern of people to give sense of credence to women about their potential.

The present paper is highlighting the status of women in Hindu and Muslim
religious personal laws and providing the glimpses regarding the effects of such
religious personal laws on the lives of women.
List of Content

Chapter 1: - Introduction

Chapter 2: - Status of Women in Ancient India

2.1 Vedic Period (1500-1000 BC)

2.2 In ancient Rigvedic period: Social Sphere (1700-1100 BCE)

2.3 Later Vedic Period:

Chapter 3: - Status of Women in Medieval India(500 A.D. 1600)

3.1 Religious Freedom

3.2 Participation in Religious Rites and Rituals

3.3 Jauhar

3.4 Strong Family Bonds

3.5 Women and Temples and Dancers

3.6 Restriction on Widow Remarriage

3.7 Devadasis

3.8 Child Marriage

3.9 Stree Dhanam

3.10 The changing status of Indian women with education

Chapter 4: - Status of Women in British India(1600 A.D. 1947)

4.1 Contribution by Arya Samaj in North India

4.2 Contribution by Brahmo Samaj

4.3 Contribution by Christian Missionarries

4.4 Important laws that were enacted in British Era

Chapter 5: - Women in Current Hindu law (1947- present)

5.1 Constitutional Status of Women

5.2 Right to adopt a child

5.3 Womans right to the dwelling house

5.4 Property succession of male and female intestates

5.5 Widows' property rights

5.6 Maintenance law

5.7 Divorce

5.8 Female infanticide and sex-selective abortion

5.9 Dowry

5.10 Domestic Violence

5.11 Acid Throwing

5.12 Rape, Sexual harassment and Trafficking

5.13 Women Safety laws in India

Chapter 6: - Conclusion