Women in Hinduism

Bharat, also known as India is a country with over 10,000 years long history. 

Women are regarded as the most respected member of the community and they hold a special position in society. There are female gods, warriors, scientists, entrepreneurs, etc. from whom a billion Hindus derive inspiration and all of them are worshipped for their traits and contributions to society. 

There are special days dedicated to women, some of them being: Lalita Panchami, Radha Ashtami, Durga Ashtami, Meerbai Jayanti (on October 24 every year), Navratri (twice a year making it 18 days where Millions of Hindus observe fasting and 9 goddesses are worshipped everyday). Every year in the month of July/ August - fasting is observed for the goddess Gauri which lasts for 4 days. Shakts in Hindu community is the sect in Hindus which worships the shakti (power) in female form. There are dedicated mantras, rituals, and books on devi (goddess).

There are dedicated 51 Shakti Peeth and Devi Sthanam (prominent worship places where millions of Hindu devotees visit). There are temples dedicated to female deities such as Meenakshi Mandir, Bhadrakali Mandir, Tulja Bhawani Mandir, Bhagya lakshmi mandir, Mahalakshmi mandir and many more temples in different cities of India. Mumbai is named after the goddess "Mumba Devi" who is the deity of Mumbai. Kali is the prominent goddess of Kolkata and during Durga Puja, millions worship her for 9 days. In every temple, the god is worshipped along with their wives, for eg.: The god Ram is accompanied by his wife  Sita while with the God Vishnu, there will always be the goddess Lakshmi.

Ancient texts of Hinduism expound a reverence for the feminine. The 10th chapter of the Rigveda, for example, asserts the feminine to be the supreme principle behind all of the cosmos, in the following hymn called as Devi Sukta,[1][2]
I am the Queen, the gatherer-up of treasures, most thoughtful, first of those who merit worship.
     Thus Gods have established me in many places with many homes to enter and abide in.
Through me alone all eat the food that feeds them,-each man who sees, breathes, hears the word outspoken
     They know it not, yet I reside in the essence of the Universe. Hear, one and all, the truth as I declare it.
I, verily, myself announce and utter the word that gods and men alike shall welcome.
     I make the man I love exceeding mighty, make him nourished, a sage, and one who knows Brahman.
I bend the bow for Rudra that his arrow may strike and slay the hater of devotion.
     I rouse and order battle for the people, I created Earth and Heaven and reside as their inner controller.
On the world's summit I bring forth the Father: my home is in the waters, in the ocean.
     Thence I prevade all existing creatures, as their Inner Supreme Self, and manifest them with my body.
I created all worlds at my will, without any higher being, and permeate and dwell within them.
     The eternal and infinite consciousness is I, it is my greatness dwelling in everything.
— Rigveda 10.125.3 - 10.125.8, [1][18]
In Hinduism, the women are considered as equal if not more than the men. One of the excerpts from Mahabharat is as follows: 
The daughter, O king, has been ordained in the scriptures to be equal to the son.
— Bhishma, Anushasana Parva, Mahabharata 13.47.26[27]
In Hinduism, all festivals including Diwali which require fire in the rituals, are led by the women of the family (women being the Lakshmi - a form of the goddess who brings happiness and prosperity to the family).
Dignity of Women in Hinduism: 
Verse 6.4.17 Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
अथ य इच्छेद्दुहिता मे पण्डिता जायेत, सर्वमायुरियादिति, तिलौदनं पाचयित्वा सर्पिष्मन्तमश्नीयाताम्; ईश्वरौ जनयितवै ॥ १७ ॥
atha ya icchedduhitā me paṇḍitā jāyeta, sarvamāyuriyāditi, tilaudanaṃ pācayitvā sarpiṣmantamaśnīyātām; īśvarau janayitavai || 17 ||
"One who wishes that a daughter should be born who would be a scholar and attain a full term of life, should have rice cooked with sesamum, and both should eat it with clarified butter. Then the creators (would-be parents) would indeed be able to produce such a daughter.
Will Durant (1885-1981) American historian says in his book Story of Civilization:
"Women enjoyed far greater freedom in the Vedic period than in later India. She had more to say in the choice of her mate than the forms of marriage might suggest. She appeared freely at feasts and dances, and joined with men in religious sacrifice. She could study, and like Gargi, engage in philosophical disputation. If she was left a widow there were no restrictions upon her remarriage.
Some words about Sabarimala (in Hindi/ English Language):


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