Social Scientist. v 4, no. 40-41 (Nov-Dec 1975) p. 154.

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They have nothing like equality in economic, social or political life* And worst of all, they are not yet aware either of their status or rights.

Indian women, in general, are socially backward, economically dependent and politically not conscious enough. They have obscurantist ideas which continue to influence them in the absence of proper political guidance. The percentage of literacy among women is only 18. Millions of them are to be roused against their exploitation. They must be made conscious of their unequal status in society and of the tremendous role they have to play as active partners in building the new society.

Looking beyond 1975

In fact, the International Women's Year gave a good opportunity to establish contact with thousands of women in the rural and urban areas. Women's organizations could have utilized the time more purposefully, by explaining the issues facing them and deliberating on the ways to abolish their age-old slavery. It must be admitted that we could not do very much along these lines.

Only under the socialist system do freedom and '^sacred motherhood" become realities. Indian women have a long way to go to achieve this objective. They will have to Bght alongside their brothers in order to establish the democratic system which will pave the way to socialism. The responsibility rests much more on the shoulders of all democratically minded people, on men especially, to work for the cause of women, to abolish the exploitation and slavery to which they are being subjected for no fault of theirs, and to emancipate them, socially, economically and politically. We must not rest till justice is done to the thousands of working women who will be in the forefront of the democratic struggles leading to socialism.

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