NCERT - Women, Caste & Reform Class 7 Notes | EduRev

Class 7 : NCERT - Women, Caste & Reform Class 7 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


OUR PASTS – III 108
Have you ever thought of how children lived about two
hundred years ago? Nowadays most girls from middle-class
families go to school, and often study with boys. On growing
up, many of them go to colleges and universities, and take
up jobs after that. They have to be adults before they
are legally married, and according to law, they can marry
anyone they like, from any caste and community, and
widows can remarry too. All women, like all men, can vote
and stand for elections. Of
course, these rights are
not actually enjoyed by
all. Poor people have little
or no access to education,
and in many families,
women cannot choose
their husbands.
Two hundred years ago
things were very different.
Most children were
married off at an early age.
Both Hindu and Muslim
men could marry more
than one wife. In some
parts of the country,
widows were praised if they
chose death by burning themselves on the funeral pyre of
their husbands. Women who died in this manner, whether
willingly or otherwise, were called “sati”, meaning virtuous
women. Women’s rights to property were also restricted.
Besides, most women had virtually no access to education.
In many parts of the country people believed that if a
woman was educated, she would become a widow.
Women, Caste and Reform
9
Fig. 1 – Sati, painted by
Balthazar Solvyn, 1813
This was one of the many
pictures of sati painted by the
European artists who came
to India. The practice of sati
was seen as evidence of the
barbarism of the East.
Read More
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