The women’s movement in India has played a crucial role in fighting for women’s rights, gender equality, and empowerment. However, it has been widely argued that the movement has not adequately addressed the concerns of women belonging to lower social strata. Below are some of the reasons and evidence to substantiate this view:
- Class bias: The feminist movement in India has been primarily led by educated, middle-class women who tend to overlook the concerns of women from lower social strata.
- According to a study conducted by the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi, the feminist movement in India has been dominated by middle and upper-class women who are more concerned with gender issues affecting women of similar socio-economic backgrounds.
- The movement has largely ignored the concerns of women from marginalized communities such as Dalits, Adivasis, and other backward classes.
- Limited focus on economic issues: The feminist movement in India has primarily focused on issues such as violence against women, representation in politics, and reproductive rights, among others. However, economic issues that affect women from lower social strata have been ignored.
- The National Sample Survey Organization’s report on employment and unemployment in India reveals that women from lower social strata are mostly engaged in informal and unorganized sectors where they face exploitative working conditions and low wages.
- The feminist movement in India has not adequately addressed the issue of women’s economic empowerment, which is crucial for women from lower social strata to break out of poverty and inequality.
- Language barrier: The language used by the feminist movement is often inaccessible to women from lower social strata who may not speak English or be literate.
- The feminist movement in India has been largely English-speaking, which has alienated women who do not speak the language.
- This has resulted in the movement’s failure to reach out to women from marginalized communities who are often non-literate or speak regional languages.
In conclusion, the women’s movement in India has made significant strides in advancing women’s rights and empowerment. However, it has not adequately addressed the concerns of women from lower social strata due to class bias, limited focus on economic issues, and language barriers. To achieve gender equality and social justice for all women, the feminist movement in India must adopt a more inclusive and intersectional approach that addresses the concerns of women from all social backgrounds.