RELIGION AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: ARE THEY ANTI-THESIS?

Author: Umang Dudeja

IMS Unison Univ, Dehradun


INTRODUCTION

The barrier to gender parity is often seen as a religion. There are many storeys of gender-based religious violence. Thus, religion and gender parity issues are often overwhelmed as too complicated to be dealt with in many cases. This rather complex multi-institution doesn't seem to be a way to break away.

Men were dominant recipients and interpreters of God's messages, while women remained mainly passive recipients of religious rituals and fiery practitioners. Attitudes developed around patriarchal religious belief interpretations have defined and shaped Indian women's social and cultural contexts, which lead to their empowerment and second-class status.

Women and religion are usually studied to examine women's role in particular faiths and religious doctrines relating to gender, and women in the history of religion. The majority of religions raise the status of men over women, impose more stringent sanctions on women and require their submission. While equality has changed, religions overall remain delayed in tackling gender issues in the rest of society. In every religion, some fundamentalists actively resist change. In religion, there is often a dualism that, while demanding more strict demonstrations of religion, exalts women on the one hand.

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

In India, violence against women, marginalised societal groups, and minority groups is a troubling problem. In family members, violence prevails and expands into the circles of women who are known even to individuals who are taught reverence and trust, like religious leaders.

Also, religious structures harm victims of sexual abuse. The interpretation of scripture that describes women as sinners, manipulators and tempters is internalised by women. This prevents them from being vocal about the abuse.[1] As a result, the psychosocial and spiritual effects on women victims of abuse by the clergy are enormous. Violence in the family against women is based on the cultural attitudes of male superiority and extends in India across all religious and caste groups. Tales of violence in the family against women can only be described as appalling. One wonders how women still survive and look after their kids and their homes. Similar storeys include beating, smoking, choking (even during pregnancy), sexual violence, violence against girls, emotional violence.

DENYING WOMEN THEIR FREEDOMS

Women's freedoms are even under threat in a highly literate State such as Kerala. This serious problem needs to be examined in terms of the increased number of attacks on women in Kerala, a fully literate State. Women were victims in all phases of their lives and some have been burned in full public.

However, urban women are now revealing their bitter experiences to the world, and court laws denying women religious, political and sexual freedom are being brought down.

However, society fears to grant these freedoms to women. This position was revealed in the disgraceful protest against the decision of the Supreme Court allowing menstrual women to enter the temple of Sabarimala. Gender discrimination requires the consideration of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

The High Court in Bombay in Signapur Temple and Hadji Ali Dargah has recently ruled that it is contrary to these provisions for equal rights to prohibit access to women in the public places of worship. In the case of Sabarimala, however, the Supreme Court went one step further and struck down the contested rules under Article 17, by seeing this ban on menstrual women as a practice comparable to untouchability.

INDIAN RELIGION[2]

Buddhism

In the social and political realms of ancient India, Buddhism can be considered revolutionary about women’s role. Buddhism can be considered revolutionary because, in an age when monastic communities were ruled by men in India, Gautama Buddha accepted women into the monastic order. One of the most important traditional schools, called Theravada Buddhism, which originated from the initial development of Buddhism, expresses the presumption that all men and women have the same spiritual value, regardless of caste, origin or status.


Hinduism

Hinduism is the strongest presence of the divine female among the main world religions, states Professor of Indian Religion Edwin Bryant, from old times to now. In the Shakti and Saiva Hindu traditions, the goddess is considered central. Women are portrayed in Hinduism as equal or even larger than men. Kali Maa is the Hindu deity of creation, conservation and destruction, for example. Her power included both the beginning and the end of life of all creation. Kali was regarded as a goddess, both loved and fearful, because of its control of life and death. This means that women are better than men and everybody must respect them to live more smoothly and live longer than men.


Jainism

Jainism was established around the sixth century BCE as a traditional Indian religion. Jainism is currently practised in several countries. The "fourfold" path describing the Jainism community, composed of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen is one of the cornerstones of religion.

Women’s religious status is a very important aspect of religious history and one of the most critical issues among the religion's oldest religious divisions, Svetambar and Digambar. The position of women in their societies is the major distinction between these two divisions. Digambar Jains think that women are not able to be enlightened, while Svetambar Jains believe that women are capable of becoming renouncers, are capable of enlightenment, and can become role models for religion. Women are believed to be deceitful, particularly among Svetambar Jains, and that this characteristic is the main basis of their character, to the extent that rebirth as a woman is a consequence of being deceitful in a former life.


Sikhism

Men and women are two sides of the same coin, according to Sikhism. There is a system of inter-relationship and inter-dependence in which men are born of women, and women are born of the seed of men. A man can not feel safe and complete during his life without a woman, according to Sikhism, and the success of a man is linked to the love and support of a woman who shares her life with him, and vice versa. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, said that it is a woman who keeps the race going and that when women are born leaders and rulers, we should not consider a woman cursed and condemned. Sikhs had a duty to consider women as equals, and gender inequality in Sikh society was not tolerated. Gender equality has been difficult to achieve.[3]

GENDER EQUALITY AS GAIN

Policies have shown how legislation is skewed to demonise one religion of the minority in the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) debate in India, thus ignoring gender injustice in other personal laws.[4] Women from religious minorities see the creation of a UCC to maintain personal law as a step to compromise their rights with the requisite changes to ensure gender justice. In the course of society evolving and becoming more pluralistic across nations, we realise that we need equal rights and not equality so that equality is a priority for women and not equal laws for all irrespective of religious or ethnic differences.

Gender justice in India is being manipulated to achieve political gain. The government has created a uniform civil code controversy that divides people on religion and gender. It encourages Muslim women in the name of gender-justice to oppose the polygamy and triple talaq practised in India (where the man says "talaq" three times for his wife's divorcement). Yet Flavia Agnes, a women's rights lawyer who is taking up several Muslim women's divorce cases at the Court, has concluded that Muslim law can do justice to women, in particular for their alimony, while women continue to fight for these rights in other traditions. Second wives have full rights in Muslim tradition, while they have no rights in other traditions. In other religious traditions, polygamy is more common than Islam.

CONCLUSION

The work highlights the contemporary processes of deforestation in tribal areas through the trace of fundamental characteristics of tribal life and their dependence on forests. The practice of development deteriorates the living conditions, especially for women, of Adivasis in general. This increases women's average working hours because they mainly collect small forest products and firewood, something that is vital to their household economy. Although women were previously involved in laborious work, women are more skilled than men during the mechanisation process.

Besides, women's work is not counted as an activity that generates income. This part of the chapter deals with the question of child labour and the vulnerable condition of women workers by expanding the aspects of the mobilisation and organisation of different women workers in the unorganised sectors. This is mainly so, because of the society's de-valuing attitude towards the woman folk’s work. Therefore, the issue of development needs to be re-framed from the perspective of people's rights. If so, as a result of displacement and environmental degradation, the victims of development could be met with human rights issues, i.e. a rights-based development perspective that focuses primarily on people's human rights over and above the development results of growth. Most of the deprived sections, such as children and women, would be helpful.





REFERENCE [1] https://mattersindia.com/2016/10/impact-of-religion-and-culture-on-womens-empowerment/ [2] https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-status-of-women-in-world-religions [3] https://www.globalsistersreport.org/column/equality/power-religion-over-women-india-43236 [4] https://www.india.com/news/india/why-uniform-civil-code-in-india-is-about-gender-equity-and-not-religion-1350730/ [5] https://mattersindia.com/2016/10/impact-of-religion-and-culture-on-womens-empowerment/

[6] https://www.globalsistersreport.org/column/equality/power-religion-over-women-india-43236

[7]https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/religion-as-a-barrier-in-womens-empowerment/article5364865.ece

[8] https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/religion-holds-women-back-or-does-it/

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