In ancient patriarchal societies, the birth of a girl was generally not welcomed. The daughter was considered the weaker sex and did not have an important role to play in family matters. During the Vedic period, as also in the ancient period, the birth of a female child was accepted although a male child was preferred. As time passed, the conditions for a girl in society changed for the worse, eventually leading to the heinous crimes of foeticide and infanticide.
Despite the efforts of educationists and social reformers, the status of women has not improved dramatically. Over the years numerous social, constitutional, and legislative measures have been implemented to empower women economically and politically. It is tragic that even in the twenty-first century, rape, dowry deaths, and other crimes against women are rampant. This book studies the status of Hindu women from the Vedic Age to the present, analysing the steps taken to improve their condition. Education and economic empowerment of women alone can bring about positive change and reduce gender bias.
A transformation in the attitude of men is necessary if the notion of equality between men and women has to be more than a distant dream.