Women Empowerment

For a society to be empowered, women have to be empowered. Vinoba believed in this principle and advocated that a new spirituality was needed which did not discriminate between men and women. To offer her this kind of equality, Vinoba was of the opinion that society needed to return to an appreciation of celibacy and asceticism. 

Speaking about the fear experienced by women in Indian society, Vinoba said that it came from an over emphasis on our physical identity. When thinking of beauty or strength , the focus is always placed on the physicality of the body and this is what leads to fear. For a woman to be fearless she has to first overcome the fear inside herself and then learn to defend herself externally. Vinoba was not in favour of providing arms to women as he felt this would not necessarily help her overcome her fears. Her goal should be to develop deep inner strength rather than rely solely on physical ability. 

The move to militarise the country is contrary to Ahimsa and this approach comes from a male dominated society. Ahimsa can be a tool for self protection , Vinoba believed. He further added that when Sita was captured by Ravana and was kept under his surveillance even then Ravana could not bring any harm upon Sita due to her spiritual strength, but this example pertains to the most ideal woman of mythology. As a normal woman who is living in a male dominant society what can she do to protect herself?

He adds further that such women can be given the concession of using a pistol to protect her, but these concessions are an exception to the rule of self reliance and nonviolence. The male dominant society has on the basis of violence snatched away her ability for self reliance and made her financially weak.Vinoba talks about handing over the basic primary education system to the women. So also women should be given a prominent place in the field of literature, education, religion and such other fields. 


While the world was preoccupied with womens liberation (Stree mukti ) , Vinoba spoke of Stree Shakti – womens empowerment. He founded an ashram called the Brahma Vidya Mandir specially for women who were willing to adopt celibacy fully.

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Artist : Sanjeev Joshi