Report No. 66
II. Position of Hindu Women-the Main Chronological Divisions
3.6. Historical survey.-
The fluctuations in women's rights, and the comparatively early recognition of their status, will be evident from the historical survey which follows. We propose to divide our historical survey of the position of women in India into the following divisions:
(1) The period from c. 4000 B.C. to 1500 B.C.-broadly corresponding to the age of the Vedas.1
(2) The period from c. 1500 B.C. to 500 B.C.-broadly corresponding to the age of the later Samhitas,2 Brahmanas and Upanishads.
(3) The period from c. 500 B.C. to 500 A.D.-broadly corresponding to the age of the Dharmasutras, Epics and early Smritis.
(4) The period from c. 500 A.D. to c. 1800 A.D.-broadly, corresponding to the age of the later Smritis, Commentators and Digests.
(5) The period from 1801 A.D. to 1955 A.D. (which may be conveniently called the British period).
(6) The period from 1956 A.D.
1. As to the age of the Rig Veda, See Kane History of Hindu Dharmasastras, Vol. 2, Part I, p. xl.
2. As to the Second Third and Fourth periods, see Altekar Position of Women in Hindu Civilization, (1956), p. 336.