In human history, we find that women have been mistreated in almost every country or culture. Mistreating and discriminating against women Is more the rule than the exemption. Some more than others, world religions follow the same trait. In this paper we will research and discuss the role and impact of women in two of the most important and extended religions in the world, Buddhism and Hinduism. Women in Hinduism Women’s position in Hinduism has always been unclear.
Women were traditionally expected to serve their husbands and to have no autonomous Interests. Because Hinduism comes from many different sources and traditions, Hindu sacred writings have many philosophical contradictions. On the one hand, some Hindu sacred writings, predominantly of the earlier period, gave immense value to women and were venerated as a symbol of the divine, on the other hand, other Hindu sacred writings discriminated women to Incredible extremes. Women were treated as inferior beings.
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For example, long time ago, when a man died, his widow had to commit suicide by throwing herself on his funeral pyre. This was going on for long time until the colonial power (England) forbids it with strict laws. Another example is an old Hindu writing “(Mann 9. 3) Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence. ” in addition. Law In India Is biased against women rights.
An article In a New Deli’s newspaper clearly show the extreme discrimination that women suffers in India (PIPS , DCE 18, 2004) “India, where extreme patriarchal attitudes prevail, is about to make a giant step towards gender equality by introducing a bill that would give women an equal share in family property. To be introduced in the ongoing session of Parliament, the Hindu (Amendment) Bill 2004 will remove discriminatory provisions In a law enacted In 1956 that ensured that only males inherit ancestral property. The PIPS news article continues affirming that the women discrimination has its ugliest face In northern India.
The article also affirms that “Discrimination follows women through life from the womb to the tomb and ultimately affects the development process in the country itself,” One of the worst types of discrimination against women in Hindu society includes (Wisped) “abortion of female futures (officially banned in India) and Illegal, female Infanticide,” In addition,” The gender ratio has also dropped from 97 women for every As stated before, different Hindu scriptures Positive have different perspective of women rights.
Manuscripts as the Ramadan and the Inhabitant, while some texts such as the Mann Smite advocate a restriction of women’s rights. The circumstances are slowly changing. Hindu government is making changes to the law to better protect women rights. In addition, the general public is changing its point of view of the position that women has in the family and socially. However, the changes are too slow. Women in Buddhism Buddha at first excluded women from monastic life but later changed his mind. His aunt was Buddhism first nun. Buddha taught gender equality.
The essence of Buddhism dogma is to attain salvation by one’s own effort, this principle relate to both sexes. Consequently, Buddhism teaches the spiritual equality of male and female. The Buddha belief of gender equality resulted on the foundation of the (Wisped) Order of Bushiness, the first organization for women nuns. Buddha once said: (Rattletrap)”A woman child, O Lord of men, may prove even a better offspring than a male, for she may grow up wise and virtuous, her husband’s other reverencing, true with the boy that she may bear do great, deeds and rule great realms, yea, such a son or noble wife becomes his country’s guide” (KS l. Ii). This was said to king Koala who was apparently disappointed at the news that his queen had given birth too girl. ” Buddha also said that the maximum spiritual state (nirvana) could be achieved by any gender. Women did not need male support or any additional help to achieve it. Buddha also stated in (Dewar) in “Sociological Status the duties of a husband and wife: “In five ways should a wife as Western quarter, be ministered to by her husband: by aspect, by courtesy, by faithfulness, by handing over authority to her, by providing her with ornaments.
In these five ways does the wife minister to by her husband as the Western quarter, love him: her duties are well-performed by hospitality to kin of both, by faithfulness, by watching over the goods he brings and by skill and industry in discharging all business. ” Buddha nuptial principles are equivalent for both parties; the nuptial association is a mutual one with Joint rights and duties. As a result, amongst Buddhists, marriage is a agreement among equals. This was an important innovation from existing ideas of his time.
In present time we For example, in Sir Lankan, Burma and Thailand, women equal men in every aspect of life. Women from the above cited countries have more rights and better life than women of China, Nepal, and India where Hindu, Confucian and Islamic doctrines prevail. These conclusions are based “mainly on the observations of Europeans who lived in these two countries in various capacities in the 19th and 20th centuries. R. Grant Brown, who was a revenue officer for 28 years in Burma (1889-1917) has remarked, “Every writer on Burma has commented on the remarkable degree of independence attained by the women.
Their position is more surprising in view of the subjection and seclusion of wives and daughters in the neighboring countries of India and China… ” A British envoy to the Court of VA was struck by the equal treatment accorded even to royal ladies. “The queen sat with the king on the throne to receive the embassy. They are referred to as ‘the two sovereign Lords’. It is not extraordinary to the Bursars for with them, generally speaking, women are more nearly upon an equality with the stronger sex than among any other Eastern people of consideration. The common characteristic predominating in Sir Lankan, Burma and Thailand is that they are Buddhist societies. Consequently, it is appealing to conclude that Buddhism has improved the situation of women in these countries. Hinduism and Buddhism have many similarities because Buddha beliefs roots come from Hinduism. However, both religions have major differences. Even though Hinduism and Buddhism promote family and society values, Hinduism sacrifice women for the benefit of man, while Buddhism has an impartial thought of genders.