Paving the way towards equality – A deeper look at women’s voting rights in India

Sep 06

For decades in the early nineteenth century, women in India were suppressed and denied their rights to voice their opinion, vote or stand for office. Women were treated only as objects of beauty that were destined to take care of their husbands and children and would have only one world – the four walls of their home. A number of women leaders have fought to acquire equal status for women in the state office as well as in their everyday lives. Back in 1917, Women’s India Association was founded to gain voting rights and hold legislative office. A number of feminists were an active part of this association with an aim to bring about a revolution into the lives of Indian women and change their destiny altogether. However, due to the British rule, the women never got an equal right to vote and stand for office in India before independence. Some provinces like Madras gave voting rights in 1921 to only wealthy and educated women. Conversely, most princely states still did not have voting rights for women.

Fortunately; with a number of social, political, and economic revolutions that emerged in our independent India; women also got the right to vote and stand for office (also known as woman suffrage).In 1947, Indian women were given an equal right to vote by the Indian Congress.

In 1948, voting rights for women were brought forth in international law after the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, a number of western and advanced countries have equality in voting rights and allow equal number of male and female participants in the state office. There are still a number of Islamic countries that are yet fighting for their women to get a fair share in voting for the country’s future.

Today, women have been given the right to vote once they turn 18. There has been a steady increase in the number of female voters in the state elections. However, there are still a number of women who are unaware of their voting rights and continue to live in the four walls of their home. For a brighter and better nation, we need to create awareness and ensure that every woman in the country comes forth and voices her vote to make or break the country’s future. After all, a woman is the strength of her home, her family and her nation.

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