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simran arora
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Over the years, the feminist issues concerning the right to vote, educate, make decisions, the choice to work, etc., have changed. Returning to the early 19th and 20th centuries, the concept of feminism began in England, as we know from history. It might have started in other countries as well, but approaching the euro-centric perspective, this is what we know.

Earlier, women were expected to focus on the household, and even if educated, it was to be a teacher or a governess, i.e., roles that suited them. While England and other European countries had different feminist issues, in the Indian subcontinent, women were not allowed to step out like men in society. One of the first feminists in India could be Rani Lakshmi Bai, who fought like a strong woman against the English men. Soon, feminist issues became the same across the world. The women had to fight for their education, right to vote, right to work, etc. Over the years, the barriers have been removed, and the effort to empower women has increased. Though there is a long way to go, the journey to reduce feminist issues has begun.

From Sati to having a right to continue life after their husband’s death, women have liberalized themselves over the years, and the journey continues. One of the first Indian feminists, Ramabai Ranade, found her way to educate herself in a society where it was a sin for a girl to learn. She started an organization as Seva Sadan in Mumbai that helped women to stay independent. It was way before independence, but she was a revolutionary pillar of women’s rights.

In the contemporary world, women do hold the opportunity to educate themselves and stand their chance in the competitive nation. Women have been creating a work-life balance successfully. Also, they are emerging as aspirations to do more in society simultaneously. Of course, we still have a long way to go.

Lastly, I would say that the balance in women’s rights is yet a gap in various regions and religions, but we expect the change soon. Also, one must remember that feminism is about equal rights and not the idea of doing more against men because that would be inequality then. Many misinterpret feminism today, but I hope people will understand that it is about empowering women but not putting them on a pedestal or playing a woman’s card.