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In Hinduism, are women and men treated as equals?

related to an answer for: Are there any female godesses in Hinduism?
asked Feb 1, 2014 in Hindu - Beliefs by anonymous

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Per Hinduism, Men and Women are considered equals by their capability and intelligence. Hinduism also believes in differences based on Gender too. Like other faiths, Hinduism does consider female as fairer gender.

There had been several examples in Hindu scriptures about the equality, Even some are written by women themselves.

Several female sages and seers are mentioned in the Upanishads (the philosophical portion of the Vedas), notably Gargi and Maitreyi. The Harita Dharmasutra (of the Maitrayaniya school of Yayurveda) describes two types of women: Sadhyavadhu (who marry) and Brahmavaadini (who study and perform rituals). Bhavabhuti's Uttararamacharita 2.3 says that Atreyi went to southern India, where she studied the Vedas and Indian philosophy. Shankara debated with the female philosopher Ubhaya Bharati, and Madhava's Shankaradigvijaya (9.63) mentions that she was well versed in the Vedas. Tirukkoneri Dasyai wrote a 15th-century commentary on Nammalvar's Tiruvaayamoli, referring to Vedic texts such as the Taittiriya Yajurveda.

The Bhagavata Purana says that the Mahabharata was written for women and men who were not members of the priestly (Brahmin) caste :

Out of compassion, the great sage thought it wise that this would enable men to achieve the ultimate goal of life. Thus he compiled the great historical narration called the Mahabharata for women, laborers and friends of the twice-born.[6]

In several schools for Vedic priests, many graduates are women.

Ref : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Hinduism#Scriptural_study

There are a lot of debates about gender of God in Hinduism. Although Hinduism believes in one omnipresent God, but it has been appearing in several humanly forms or even as humans (aka avatar).

There is a wide variety of viewpoints in Hindu schools and sects about the nature and gender (if applicable) of the Supreme Being; some sects are skeptical about the existence of such a being. Shaktism, for example, worships the goddess Devi as the embodiment of power, or Shakti (feminine strength). Vaishnavism and Shaivism worship Lakshmi (and Vishnu) and Parvati (and Shiva), respectively, as equal beings (the male and female aspects of God). In Gaudiya Vaishnavism, emphasis is placed on the worship of God's female aspect (Radharani) over that of her paramour, Krishna. Hinduism considers God to have male and female aspects, as the original source of both.

Ref : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Hinduism#Gender_of_God

answered Feb 1, 2014 by anonymous
selected Feb 1, 2014 by TransLiteral Admin
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From a Western point of view Hinduism discriminates strongly in favor of men and against women. Gender roles are strictly defined. However, it's worth noting that India has had a female head of state (Indira Gandhi) and that the head of the Congress Party right now is her daughter-in-law. There are many female professionals in India, but generally the average woman in India has far fewer opportunities and protections than the average woman in the U.S. or Europe.

Ref :

answered Feb 1, 2014 by anonymous

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