The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political, cultural and sociological theories, as well as philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. It is also a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women's rights and interests According to Maggie Humm1 and Rebecca Walker2, the history of feminism can be divided into three waves. The first feminist wave was in the nineteenth and early twentieth century’s, the second was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the third extends from the 1990s to the present. Feminist theory emerged from these feminist movements. It is manifest in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism. Pre-colonial social structures and women’s role in them reveal that feminism was theorized differently in India than in the west. Colonial essentialization of "Indian culture" and reconstruction of Indian womanhood as the epitome of that culture through social reform movements resulted in political theorization in the form of nationalism rather than as feminism alone3. Despite these “on-paper” advancements, many problems still remain which inhibit these new rights and opportunities from being fully taken advantage of. For example, India’s constitution also states that women are a “weaker section” of the population, and therefore need assistance to function as said equals.
In this research paper the feminism and feminists and women movements have been analysed with respect to Indian society and the rights conferred upon women in India
Cite this article:
Dwijendra Nath Thakur. Feminism and Women Movement in India. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 3(4): October-December, 2012, 458-464.