Reservation for Women
From the beginning of civilisation in India, women were held in high esteem, but they were considered as dependant on their male relations like father, brother and husband and on son and grandsons. The society was run according to customs. Women never asked for equality with men. However, the impact of western education and the influence of the national movement changed attitude of women. Now, educated women began to claim that they should not be treated as property and they have equal rights with men. Accordingly, they were given some rights like share in parental property and to secure divorce in certain circumstances. The increase in the dowry menace resulted in passing of anti-dowry law and minimum age for marriage was also fixed.
During the World War-II, a number of girls joined government jobs and many women’s organisations were established to fight for the rights of women. This movement for the liberation of women has helped improve condition of women of India. The women have been pleading for absolute equality of women with men and entry of women was demanded in all the fields hitherto considered to be the exclusive preserve of men. Now-a-days, women can be found in almost all trades. The jobs for which women are considered the most suitable should be reserved exclusively for women Their argument is that unless women are able to earn their own livelihood and are free from economic dependance on their male relatives, all talks of equality with men has no meaning.
The jobs of school teachers in towns and cities, air hostesses, tailors in government clothing factories, typists and computer operators are some of the openings which can be reserved for women.
However, the problem is that all of these jobs cannot be reserved exclusively for women, because of certain functions to be performed by men. Moreover, if these jobs are exclusively reserved for women, women trained for all these jobs may riot be available while male candidates capable of performing those jobs will remain unemployed. All women police stations and all women schools or dispensaries were started, but that also created problem. Exclusive reservation is thus difficult to achieve.
The need of the hour is to encourage them to join whichever field they like, but no category of jobs be exclusively reserved for women. In demanding exclusive rights over certain categories of jobs, the women are making the idea impracticable, instead the policy should be that any eligible woman should not be denied any particular job on ground only of her sex. It will give woman self-confidence, enable them to exercise the freedom of conscience and make them independent of their male relations if they get employment without much difficulty or prejudice. A good deal of progress has been made in this direction, but to claim an equal status with men, women of India have yet to go a long way.