How did women end up as a subordinate in Indian society?

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Earlier we saw a structure where both men and women had equal rights in society and also equal status. I have read about the oldest civilization found so far; the Harappa. Women in that civilization were highly regarded as in tribal societies that still exist today. Both in Ramayana and Mahabharata we see the bold and definitive role of women. India has seen not only great kings but also queens.

Even during Buddha’s time we see equality of men and women. In the process of fall of Buddhism in the debates also we see woman participation that indicated women received equal education. India has been known for matriarchal societies. Then we observe how women got pushed into the home and out of public gaze.

One reason could be the invasions of Huns followed by Mughals and their atrocities on Indian women who were destroyed in India and also captured en masse and sold as slaves in foreign lands - a process that continued throughout the rule. The Mughal rule saw women becoming objects of desire and subject to purdah; an alien concept to Indians.

During British rule the attitude of British soldiers towards Indian women is well known. They preyed on Indian women because British women refused to come to India because of the harsh conditions. The partition of India witnessed large scale atrocities on women.

Another reason could be the prevalence of Tantra - a religious exercise involving women - that deteriorated leading to development of a conservationist mindset.

But we have to acknowledge that somewhere on the way women were deprived of education and the right to a livelihood. The fall of agricultural society led to a decline in role of women. I can also state that the fall of holistic health concepts also led to mental transformation that led to more attacks on women.