Women were considered inferior to men in practical life. But in scriptures they were given high position. Thus in past, the status of women in India was not clear. It was theoretically high but practically low. Women were prohibited to take part in domestic as well as in external matter. They were under the influence of their parents before marriage and their husbands after marriage.
Thus, the position of women in ancient India was inferior. The position became worse even during the Moghul rule. They could not overcome the nasty Purdah system of the time. Further, there was the custom of Sati. Many women were forcibly sent to the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. There was no change in the fate of women even during the British rule in India.
The situation began to change when many national figures started a struggle for India's freedom. Mahatma Gandhi openly invited the help from women. Many women came forward. Among them were Sarojini Naidu, Vijaya Laxmi Pandit, Mrs. Aruna Asaf Ali and others.
Mrs. Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India. She became a very famous woman in the world. With her, the status of women in India increased a lot. It was proved that women are not inferior to men. Many women thereafter occupied prestigious positions in India. They excelled in almost all fields such as sports, politics, administration, science and arts.
The Government of India has taken all efforts to abolish the difference between men and women. According to the Constitution of India, men and women are equal before law. The government is laying special emphasis on the education of girls. In the recent competitive examinations, women have done better performance than men. (Kalpana Chawla's visit to the space has encouraged the young girls to make more and more research in the field of science today,}
In spite of it, many women are suffering mental and physical tortures in their in-laws' houses. Their husbands demand more and more dowry. They consider their wives as good source of getting dowry. Bride-burning and bride- killing occur every day in India. This is how the status of Indian women is going down. The women can get back their rightful place in society if law is properly enforced to check male-superiority.