Mahatma Gandhi was a visionary who understood the importance of women in society. He reformed several regressive aspects of Indian culture and tradition including dowry, purdah system, untouchability and child marriage. His reforms strengthened women’s status in society and empowered them. Women’s self-esteem rose and their dignity were upheld through Mahatma’s efforts. Gandhiji’s vision was to turn women from abala to sabla. Gandhiji’s philosophy was inclusive growth where all sections of society rich and poor, high and low, men and women should be treated at par and given equal opportunity for growth. Gandhiji had immense faith in the inner strength of women. He believed that women naturally possessed qualities of love, non-violence, sacrifice and forgiveness. Therefore he made women part of freedom struggle. He felt that success of Satyagrah and Dandi March were linked with active participation of women. Gandhiji had learnt the method of Satyagrah from his mother and wife whom he saw quietly resisting against exploitation at home. He gave credit to his wife and mother to teach him empathy towards women. Gandhiji adopted a rational approach towards religion and never followed it blindly. He wanted modifications in religious scriptures to do away with exploitative customs. Gandhiji realised that women were intellectually, mentally and spirituality equal to male and can participate in all the activities. He felt that women should be educated to make them independent and confident.They should be trained in various skills for their financial independence and support to their families. This paper highlights the inspiring ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and modernity of his thoughts as a social reformer which brought respect and dignity to women in society. His inspiring ideology boosted their morale and brought about women empowerment.
Keywords: Visionary; Reforms; Gandhiji’s Philosophy; Inclusive Growth; Modernity; Women Empowerment. Corresponding Author
: Chetna Priti, Assistant Professor (Senior Grade), Amity University, Patna, Bihar 801504, India.