History of India proves that the woman occupies the position of the key-store in the arch of Hindu social structure. From the earliest records that we have of the Aryan civilization we find that the women has been an equal partner with the man in all religious and social duties. The woman plays such an important role in Hindu Society, because the marriage institution is a sacrament to the Hindu, not a contract.
Appreciating the grandeur of the Hindu ideal of marriage Dr. Annie Besant, said “Nowhere in the whole world, nowhere in any religion can you find a nobler, a more beautiful, a more perfect and ideal form of marriage than you can find in the early writings of the Hindus
“The Indian marriage system does not aim at mere enjoyment of pleasure but also at fulfillment of duties towards family, nation, fathers and culture. According to Vedas, Smrities and convention, a wife is the half of the husband, and shares his merits and demerits. The teacher and the father have always been the objects of worship, but the mother is considered as far superior to their pin point of respect to be showed to her.
Manu, in one of the scriptures gives a table of respect to be shown to these. He opines that an Acharya deserves more honour than should be shown to ten Upadhayas (who charge money to teach) put together, a father should be honoured more than a hundred Acharyas put together, but the amount of respect to be shown to the mother should exceed the amount of honour to be shown to the father a thousand times.
“Manu further adds woman should be worshipped and decorated by fathers, brothers, husbands and brother-in-law who desire to have prosperity for the family. Gods indeed revel where women are honoured. Life becomes barren where they are not worshipped.
That family indeed perishes where women bewail but happiness dwells in these families where they are not required to bewail. Houses cursed by women because they are not honoured go to ruin as if black-magic. Therefore, those who wish to have prosperity should always honour them.
All the descriptions of the important positions that women occupy in Indian society does have scope for providing equal opportunity to women in the field of education.
The NPE 1986, regarding Education for women’s equality states education will be used as an agent of basis change in the status of woman. In order to neutralize the accumulated distortions of the past, there will be a well-conceived edge in favour of woman.
The National Education System will play a positive, interventionist role in the empowerment of women. It will foster the development of new values through redesigned curricula, text books, the training and orientation of teachers, decision makers and administrators, and the active involvement of educational institutions.
This will be an act of faith and social engineering. Women’s studies will be promoted as a part of various courses and educational institutions encouraged taking up active programmes to further women’s development.
The removal of women’s illiteracy and obstacles inhibiting their access to, and retention in, elementary education will receive overdoing priority, through provision of special support services, setting of time targets, and effective monitoring. Major emphasis will be laid on women’s participation in vocational, technical and professional education at different levels.
The policy of non-discrimination will be pursued vigorously to eliminate sex stereos-typing in vocational and professional courses and to promote women’s participation in non-traditional occupations, as well as in existing and emergent technologies.