In women’s movement the main factor is that it brings reformation on structure of institution, value and beliefs that overpowered women over decades. Reformational efforts witnessed in the 19th and early 20th century were on women’s issues. To bring women’s issues into the mainstream Prathana Samaj, Brahmo Samaj and Arya Samaj played a prominent role. Anywhere across the globe including India the women haven’t had homogeneous identity. With regards to women, they have faced lots of problems. There were multiple dominance hierarchies that existed in the society. Also there were issues regarding the social circle of their lives.
The UN declared in 1975 that that would be the International Women’s Decade. This saw a series of conferences and discussions across the globe for the betterment of women. The series started off with topics such as that of betterment in the social circle to major issues of women such as their involvement in the socio-political economy. This helped women’s movement become a “power-ful source of political energy, a developing body of theory, a battle-ground and a sisterhood” according to A. R. Desai.. The last few seminars and meetings in India acknowledged the limitations of women’s movements in the decade and also appraised the achievements both within the Nation. Moreover some also discussed what to do in the forthcoming meetings after the end of the decade. This led to more reforms favouring the development.
Since long ago, the victims of many domestic problems were the women in the society. To get rid of this there were many social movements happening in the society, named commonly as the women’s movements. The involvement of females in a social movement is derived from 4 ways. Firstly in accordance with the socio-political and economical needs of distinct categories of communities like tribals, farmers and industrials labours. Secondly, for the reform in the problems in the working environment and control upon women. Thirdly, equal salary without gender based discrimination. Fourthly, upon the problems such as sexual attack.
The concerns upon gender discrimination and disproportion in subjects been discussed and made a reliable and changing impact on them at the decade of International Women (1975-85). Under UGC and Indian Council of Social Science, studies on Gender related issues has been an important topic and in the same aim in the year 1980, The centre of Women Development studies came into being with the assistance of ICSSR.
In the time of globalisation, the women’s resistiveness response towards the domination by men was at a raise. Men were impacted by the western model of education. In forming and acknowledging themselves about the objectives women took the initiative.The women’s movement occurred in western countries centered over “universality”of gender exploitation and thereby universal sisterhood.
This made an impact in the liberation movement of women in India as well. Even though there are observations that the dimension of dominance by male in western communities is totally varied from India. Because of this need and rights demand would also be different. The current phase which started from nineteen seventies, which projects capitalism and neoliberalism which encourages privatisation and non intervention to preserve human freedom as respecting the identity to consume and participate without the obstruction from inflated state.
In Indian during the post independence period there were a number of women centric programmes introduced for liberation of women in social groups. Constitutional and social legislation tried to make a series of reforms for the same.The aim of economic growth of women is one such. Women centric actions over this time frame made an impact from these wide social political and economical initiatives. Article 15(3) that promises special space for the women and children recognises the reality of women being deprived and they need some sort of encouragement from the state to compete with male.
During the Independence struggle itself there was a hope that the freedom to the nation will also help in the empowerment of women. In hindu family law, the government made a step to eradicate the problems of women. The reforms in legal background in the 1950s made more strength to women in inheritance and guardianships etc. Even Though they didn’t do well to bridge balance bw social and legal platforms. Apart of hindu, other communities also made the similar effort but they became failures. The organisations like Kasturba Memorial Trust and Indian women organisations, which came in post Independent India empowered women community all across the nation in building leadership.
The rejuvenation of the women centric movement in late nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties was in the form of a women ‘s group and organisation. This development was after the disappearance of women concerns in the debate on the public space after their active participation in the freedom movement. There were several reasons for this. The women organisations established in the pre independent with the objective of charity and welfare activities shifted there goal to some other social issues related with the women.Lot such reasons inflamed women movements.Even though the women who were active participants in the political, labour,farmer arena not really made the effort to pull up the women centric issues.
PROBLEM BASED MOVEMENTS (1970s &1980s)
Anti-dowry movements, a sustained form of campaigning, have been led by civil rights peoples and women organisations. In nineteen eighties at Delhi a joint front formed named “Dahej Virodhi Chetna Manch”. The same spread all across. As a result in 1984 a bill was introduced and changes were made to Dowry Prohibition Act (1961).Even Then the dowry related exploitation is at the same level. As of the National HumanDevelopment Report 2002, 6917 deaths were reported in 1998 and 1285 deaths in 1986 for the reason of dowry.
The practice of sati was abolished in 1829. The burning of a widow, Kanwar in Rajasthan in 1988 ignited the active protesting from women centric organisations and as a result the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Bill passed. The act considers the practice is part of the customs and strange part is in the country still the barbaric system is active.
Anti rape movement was emerged by demanding review of rape cases.Because of active participation and efforts of the women in pulling government agencies to review. As a result in the year 1983 Criminal law Passed. A historically significant women’s movement happened in India recently. In december 2012, in the stimuli of brutal rape of an young girl sparked nation as well the same made people unite in the streets of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The movement impacted in framing strict laws against rape and exploitation. The movement and rape case became landmark in history of women movements in India. It was the first time the women centric problem became a massive social movement in the country.
In the state of haryana, due to the reason that a boy married a girl without going through the norms of khap panchayat; as a punishment the members in panchayat raped his 12 year old sister brutally. Against this heinous action nearly a thousand women led by Jagmani Sangwan protested. This was her first movement and by campaigning wider she networked nearly fifty thousand women to join Janwadi Mahila samiti. They actively protested against the social issues against women.
Today feminist movement emerging in a new dimension in which the debating topics were LGBT communities space in the society. Which witnessed an acceptance in the social space of the country. Also the judiciary addresses the rights and needs of such marginalised segments in a rational manner. While looking a bit back there were incidents like people united against the armed forces, one such was at the state of manipur. The movement was actively led by Meira Paibi. It was a protest against the brutal rape and murder of a girl by the armed forces. In nature the protect was aggressive and violent. They led the protest by calling out the slogan “Indian army rape us! Kill us.” As an impact of this crowd movement with active participation of women led to the removal of AFSPA in the constituency of Imphal in the year 2018.
In the nineteen nineties, the issues concerning communalisation and globalisation were brought up by the women into a wider arena both over the national as well as international platforms. While observing the engagement of women organisations in India at twenty first century at the beginning, that was linked as a network by involving actively over different issues and campaigns. There are methods from an earlier time frame for protest and advocacy but new ways of resistance and mobilising the mob for change have emerged.
The women’s movement in the nineteen nineties faced several obstacles in terms of socio-political and economical dimensions, also free market economy and the developing coservative religious approach was a challenge in reality. The thought of the nation as a welfare state has disappeared. The primary concern of the women centric movement has shifted to rights over livelihood and the religious fundamentals and use,mis-use, abuse against women. There was an uncertainty due to Liberalisation Privatisation Globalisation reforms. Women’s movement not only came into action, it also changed and progressed as of the need based circumstances.In the present day when looking into the women’s movements, they were not only aimed at women centric needs and rights, they made an active effort to cover communalism, militarism and globalised influence. They were not at all static also, they evolved and changed upon problems and rights.
Desai, A. R. (1985). Women’s Movement in India: An Assessment. Economic and Political Weekly, 992–995. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/4374491
Roychowdhury, A. (2019, March 7). International Women’s Day 2019: Five mass movements spearheaded by women in India. Retrieved from https://indianexpress.com/article/research/international-womens-day-2017-five-mass-movements-spearheaded-by-women-in-india-4559761/
Gupta, R. (2012, January 4). Has neoliberalism knocked feminism sideways? Retrieved from https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/has-neoliberalism-knocked-feminism-sideways/