Position of Indian women during the Vedic period!
The Rig-Vedic society was a free society. The Aryans evidently preferred male child to female child though females were as free as their male counterparts. Education was equally open for men and women. There was opportunity for the women to the Veda and fine arts. Women never observed purdha in the Vedic period nor they were restricted by any means by the patriarchal force. They enjoyed freedom in selecting their life partners. Divorce was not permissible to them. In the family during the Vedic period the women enjoyed complete freedom and were treated as Ardhanginis of their husbands.
In domestic life women were considered to be supreme and enjoyed freedom. At home the women were free to work as they used to do work of the time like spinning and weaving of clothes, helped their husbands in agricultural pursuits also. Most importantly the husband used to consult his wife on various domestic and social matters.
Unmarried daughters had share in their fathers’ property. Daughter had full legal rights in the property of her father in the absence of any son. Parent’s property was equally divided among sons and unmarried daughters. A married women had no share in father’s property. As a wife, a woman had no direct share in her husband’s property. A widowed mother had some rights.
The woman was regarded as having an equally important share in the social, cultural and religious life because a man without woman was considered as an inadequate person. She regularly participated in religious ceremonies with her husband. There were many scholars who composed hymns of Rig Veda. Lopamudra, Gargi and Maitreye were the pioneers among them. Lopamudra, the wife of Agasti rishi, composed two verses of Rig Veda.
It may be concluded that during vedic period the status of women was not unequal to that of men. Women got the same education as men and participated in the philosophical and religious debates.
Women had equal rights in social and religious fields but had limited rights in economic field.
“This shows that men and women were regarded as having equally important status in the social life of the early period’.Manu