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Report No. 66

3.2. Ideals of society.-

The estimation in which woman is held, the status occupied by her in society and the treatment accorded to her, have been justly regarded as an index of the degree of civilization and culture attained in any country. Our moral ideals regarding women have been too often conceived in a narrow sense-as concerned with sexual morality and the obligations of chastity and marital fidelity.1

But such an approach would give a very incomplete picture of the attitude of society in its totality. The ideals of a society as to womanhood include not merely the relation of husband and wife or mother and children, or the other intimate relationships of family life, but also the notions we form about her capacity, her character, her claim to equality, independence and freedom for development, her rights to personal liberty, to the ownership and control of property, to the choice of her vocation and other rights as well as duties as a member of society.1

1. P.S. Sivaswami Iyer Evolution of Hindu Moral Ideals, (Kamla Lectures, Calcutta University), (1935), p. 54.

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