Q. Women’s movement post-independence has covered a wide array of topics. In this background mention the issues covered by these movement and government response to the same.

Structure of the answer:        

  • Introduction
  • Issues covered by women’s movement
  • Government response to the same
  • Final analysis

Model Answer

Women’s movement is an important variant of social movement that aimed to bring changes in the institutional arrangements, customs and beliefs in the society that subjugated women. The aim of theses movement changed over a period of time and the same is enunciated in context of post-independence women’s movement: 

  • In the post-Independence organisations such as Kasturba Memorial Trust and Bharatiya Grameen Mahila Sangh aimed to assist the rural women in developing leadership potential.
  • Further, during 1950-60’s, the main thrust of women’s movement was provision of education, health and welfare of women.
  • In late 1970s and 1980s new organisations such as Self-Employment Women’s Association (Gujarat), Working Women’s Forum (Tamil Nadu) concerned themselves with the plight of women workers in the unorganised sector.
  • During 1980s, the environmental issue was also touched by women’s movement such as Chipko movement.
  • Additionally, in 1990s the women movement was focussed on issues like dowry, alcoholism among men, wife-beating For ex- formation of Dahej Virodhi Chetna Manch in Delhi.
  • In late 1990s, for the first-time groups in Mumbai, Delhi raised issues of rape, crime and violence against women. For ex.- anti-rape movements.

The government response to these movement can be reflected from the following words:

  • The government set up women’s cells within a few ministries like Rural Development, Labour
  • Similarly, in the late 1980s the government prepared a National Perspective Plan for Women (1988-2000), which has made several recommendations relating to legal, economic, social and political status of women.
  • The 73rd and 74th amendment provided for across the board reservation of 33% in local body for women.
  • The other response of the government was seen in form of setting up of the National Commission for Women, 1992women specific programmes such as Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

Thus, in overall analysis it can be said that women’s movement were effective in bringing women’s issues back into the arena of public debate. But it is only a beginning of the long struggle ahead for equality, justice and dignity to all women.  Click to View More

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