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The Role Of Women In India And South America

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663 words
Social Issues

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In the stories read concerning India and South America, women play
important roles. Some are not so tasteful while others portray them as
strong and independent. In each story, woman are allowed to express
themselves quite differently. They lead a life that dos not parallel ours
but hopefully one day will.

Women in India occupy a paradoxical status. On one hand, there is an
abundance of goddesses occupying pivotal places in Indian mythology. On
the other hand, there are inhuman Atraditions@ piled against them; Sati,
Dowry-system, etc. come to mind. Yet, now there are possibly more Indian
women in scientific, medical, and professional areas than many
Aliberalized@ Western nations. After all, India boasts of the first woman
Prime Minister in the world! However there are no end of reports of wife
burning, female infanticide, battery, rape that take place in a democratic
India. However it is hardly mentioned that women and men in India are
doing something about this situation. The average record of the last
decade though is still very disturbing. According to a newspaper in New
Delhi, every 6 minutes, a crime is committed against women. Every 7
minutes a woman is raped, every 45 minutes a woman is kidnapped or abducted.
335 of women are subjected to cruelty. 17 dowry deaths are reported every
day. In the reading done this semester it is shown that the treatment of
women in India is not often understood.

"The Shroud", written by Prem Chand, is a perfect example on how women are
disrespected by their husbands. The women in the story dies during
childbirth and her husband is worried too much about his own enjoyment than
purchasing a proper shroud for her to be burned in. This is quite an
isolated case though, because the people of the village are ashamed by his
actions. The husband, Madhav, and his father, Ghisu, go around the town
weeping for the death of the woman but their tears are false. All they
want is money. She lived miserably, working only to feed her and husband
and care for the children. Ghisu said it best when he sais Awhy do you
weep my boy? Rather rejoice that she is freed from this web of illusion.
Escaped from this tangle of misery. She is lucky to have broken loose so
soon from the bonds of maya. A Perhaps Ghisu is only trying to say that to
alleviate his guilt but he is correct.

In "resignation" , the author is trying to show that the main character
Fateh Chand is quite unlucky. His name means AThe Moon of Victory@ but the
author claims it would be more appropriate to call him AThe Slave of
Defeat@. To prove tis the author goes on to say Ahe had no sons, but tree
daughters, no brothers but two sisters-in-law...@ By saying this he is at
a disadvantage. In India the practice of dowry has grown so perverted that
birth of a daughter is despised as a curse to the family. Dowry implies
the demand made by the bridegroom's family on the brides family in an
arranged marriage.. The bride's family , under social pressure, and having
regard to the welfare and safety of the bride, has no option other than
capitulate to the demand of the groom's family. In AWho Cares?@, he reader
sees the stress an arranged marriage can have on a young woman. Anand, the
main character, has been set up to marry a woman named Janaki. Anand's
mother spends her time training her to be a good housewife to her son.
Anand's friend notices that Janaki is Aany mother-in-law's ideal-quiet,
obedient, helpful.@ The only problem was that Anand had gone to a school

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