In ancient India, being a woman was a pretty big deal

When the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked India as the world’s most dangerous country for women, ahead of Afghanistan, Syria and Saudi Arabia women in India were not so pleased.

The survey consisted of 548 experts on six different indices – healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual and non-sexual violence, and human trafficking.

One comment asked how Syria could be safer when ISIS Jihadis held women captive as sex slaves.

Another comment asked how India can be the most unsafe for women when Syria’s war forced parents to send their daughters out of the country in order to keep them safe. Where in Nigeria, Boko Haram abducts school girls. In Iraq, Yazidi women are made into sex slaves.

This poll survey is of course based on the opinions of the experts in their respective fields. Whether accurate or not I think I know why women in India were so outraged with the survey. It goes back to ancient India.

Women of the Vedic period, some 3,000 years ago, were assigned a high place in the society. They shared an equal standing with men and also enjoyed access to rights that today are only limited to men, especially in some cultures.

Women had similar education as men and also partook in philosophical debates with men. This made women prominent figures.

The involvement of wives during this period was mandatory in many rituals. Woman also had an opportunity to select their husband in an assembly.

I believe that the people of India, especially women, are not going to let anyone disregard the women of India. Even though later in the Vedic period woman started being discriminated on the ground of education and other rights, I still don’t think any women in India would allow some opinions to do the same.

About Mduduzi Mbiza 110 Articles
Mduduzi Mbiza is a creator. Author of the book, ‘Human Education: The Voyage of Discovery’.