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Discrimination and Oppression of Women in Context to Indian Society

In the 21st century, India is rising as a global power, but half of the population, i.e., women who are still facing issues and struggling for life and dignity. Women in every sphere of life have to deal with various hurdles and cope up with immediate problems. The perfect balancing of life can be learned from the women of today’s generation. The oppression of women creates difficulty for the recognition of rights as a human being. 

Women have to execute a multilateral role in society, i.e., as the breadwinner of the family, as the caretaker, as a mother, wife, daughter, and also a service provider to the society. Despite this fact, women’s contribution to the development of the nation is equal, but still, discrimination is made based on gender. The women in India are deprived of their fundamental right to dignity and left alone with the question of gender equality. 

The women have to face the challenges in India, such as the dowry, female foeticide, domestic violence, denial of inheritance, rape, sale, and trafficking of girls, etc. The objective of our NGO is to evolve strategies to empower women who are as human beings as men are.

Mapping of Oppression of Women in India

We, as an NGO, are working for the upliftment of women’s status in society. However, there is some major oppression of women existing in society, which are briefly discussed below:

Oppression of Women

Lesser Number of Girl Children 

In developing countries like India, the proportion of women compared to men in the population is suspiciously low. The sex ratio in various states in India is one of the main reasons for sexual offenses against women. The children, especially girls from low-income families, are sold by the brokers, particularly in Northern India, where the problem of the imbalanced sex ratio is very much evident. Apart from this, there were cases of women going missing from their marital houses is because of the oppression of women.

Dowry Deaths of Women

In India, the dowry deaths of the women at their matrimonial home has been increased over the past few years, which is quite a severe problem. The National Crime Records Bureau in India had disclosed the figures for newly wedded brides that were killed for the dowry. Even though Section 498A of the Indian Penal code deals with the person responsible for marital cruelty, then also cases are increasing or not registered on time. The different law on Dowry prohibition Act is presently dealing with taking and giving of dowry as a crime. However, it has been discovered that most of the states neither have the Dowry Prohibition Officers nor do they have made it obligatory to maintain the record of things given and received. 

Domestic Violence against Women

The reason for Domestic aggression is ingrained in the patriarchal nature of the Indian society that supports such violence at home. Besides that, the problem of an alcoholic husband or the desire of a male child is some of the other factors accountable for household brutalities in India. This domestic violence had taken the form of physical and psychological abuse against women, for instance, hitting, slapping, public humiliation, etc. However, there is an existing law Domestic Violence Act against the oppression of women from domestic violence, and it remains a severe problem. The major scale of violence in India against women is linked to the domain of domesticity. 

Girl Child Marriage

In India, there is a prohibition on the marriage of children at a primitive age, that is for girls under the age of 18 years and boys its 21 years of age, but still, child marriage is being practiced in different parts of India. Child Marriage Act prohibits child marriage for both boys and girls. However, as per National Population Policy, over 50% of girl child in India marries below the age of 18 years that results into reproductive pattern ‘too early,’ ‘too many,’ ‘too frequent.’ Child marriage takes away the innocence of a girl and slows the emotional and psychological development. 

Preference for Male Child 

The inclination towards the male child is a phenomenon that is rooted in the patriarchal system of Indian society. The strong preference for a son emerged with the transition of Indian society from the primitive stage, which used to be primarily matrilineal, to a feudal stage where agriculture emerged as a primary established occupation of the people to be controlled by the male. The desires to have a son often have an adverse effect on the health of the mother. All these issues gradually led to the neglect of a girl child, even in Indian society.

Female Foeticide

The women have to face a practice of infanticide, foeticide, sex-selective abortion. Today it has become common due to the amniocentesis technology and mal-nourishment among girl children. In India, it has been estimated that around “10 million female foetuses have been aborted in the last 20 years. Even though the Government of India have declared pre-birth sex determination is illegal; still, unlawful termination of female foetuses by untrained nurses and staff is widely prevalent, especially in the Northern states of India. All these have resulted in the escalation of the maternal mortality rate.

Girls Education

Education is one of the most important for the empowerment of women. The provision of the right to education under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has made it compulsory by the government to provide free education to everybody; the high rate of women’s education is still a distant dream. Although Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been successful in bringing the girl child back to the schools, yet the retention rate in school is lower as compared to a child. The reasons associated with this is that parents expect girls to look after their siblings while parents are at work, work with the parents as seasonal labor and managing the household work, etc. The parents are more interested in boys’ education as against girls as they feel that girls are to be married off, increasing the cost of education, etc. Thus the primary education for girls in India remains a remote daydream for the women.

Forced Evictions and Divorce

In India, often, the widows are evicted from their matrimonial home and are left alone to feed themselves and their children following the demise of their spouses. Women headed households and women, in general, are far less secure than men.

A separated or divorced woman having no land and family to care for often ends up in an urban slum, where her security of tenure is questionable. There is increasing clinching evidence that, in poor households, women spend more on basic family needs, while men spend a significant part on personal goods, such as alcohol, tobacco, etc.

Sexual Harassment at the Workplace

The initiative on sexual harassment of women at their workplace in India started with the Supreme Court’s Vishaka guidelines in 1997. However, it was the passage of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act that helped in translating these guidelines into concrete rules that are to be implemented. But even today, the issue of sexual harassment has largely been swept in India. The provisions have never been successfully invoked because of social taboos still associated with sexual harassment. In India, women are discriminated against in terms of payment of remuneration for their jobs. It is true for both urban as well as rural areas. Women entrepreneurs often have to deal with more complications in getting credits to start their independent businesses.

Rape Matters

In India, there has been a significant increase in the number of rape cases in the last ten years. As per the National Crime Records Bureau, about 25000 rape cases were reported every 3rd day in states. In India, in the rural areas, particularly in Northern India, the upper caste people use mass rapes as a strategy to have power over the members of the lower caste groups. The brutal gang-rape case in Delhi had led to the passage of a stricter Law, i.e., The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 has been bought for the rape cases in India.

Societal violence against women

The communities and societies in India in most of the places are bound up with a patriarchal normative universe from that women could hardly get true justice. The village communities, religious communities, or artificial communities like professional bodies are hardly the epitome of equality between men and women. These religious communities have often made women’s lives worse by forcing them to adopt conservative practices that are no good for women.

Working of Hindrise for Oppression of Women

The discrimination and oppression of women globally and particularly in India is becoming acute as women are facing hardships in their lives from a number of factors. After having embarked on an exploration of gender discrimination and oppression in the country, we are working for women’s empowerment and safety. 

Hindrise is an organization that wants to empower women by changing the attitude of society towards harmful traditional practices. We are helping especially those who are widows, divorced, or left by their families, rebuilding their lives and confidence. Hindrise is achieving this goal by giving education to women about their legal rights and helping them economically to become independent enough to make their own decisions in life.

We also organize programs regarding general and legal awareness from time to time and provide shelter homes to women and children who are orphans or are not self-dependent. We also give counseling to women who are victimized. Oppression of women can be curtailed only when the cultural norms and attitudes towards women can be changed. 

The oppression of women in India is often supported and perpetuated by the indigenous cultures and religious leaders. Therefore we as the communities must try to put up mechanisms and strategies which can eliminate such ruthless practices against women. Thus, in short, we have a goal to achieve gender equality, and women’s empowerment can be realized in India only when the practices such as female infanticide, dowry deaths, honor killings, domestic violence, or sexual abuse can be eliminated. We believe in respecting women and helping victimized women to achieve equal status in society. 


The idea of self-reliant, independent women making independent decisions of her life can be achieved only by educating women and helping them achieve economic independence and knowledge and awareness about their rights. Particular emphasis must be provided in educating women on the constitution’s legal and Human rights provided to them. 

A multi-layered strategy is required to be developed to assess the core causes of violence against women. The state and society must provide support to victim-survivors to ensure that they can carry on with their daily lives. In dealing with the problem of oppression of women, innovative levels of coordination and integration must be built up between government, civil society, and the family. Our organization is working hard and requires your support and help in the same ways we are doing. We unitedly can make the world a better place for victimized women of our society.