ROLE OF EDUCATION IN EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN: PERCEPTION OF ADOLESCENT GIRLS By Dr. Gourav Mahajan

Swami Vivekananda once rightly questioned “In what scriptures do you find statements that women are not competent for knowledge and devotion? In the period of degeneration, when the priests made the other castes incompetent for the study of the Vedas, they deprived the women also of all their rights. Otherwise you will find that in the Vedic or Upanishadic age Maitreyi, Gargi, and other ladies of revered memory have taken places of Rishis through their skill in discussing about Brahman. In an assembly of a thousand Brahmans who were all erudite in the Vedas, Gargi boldly challenged Yagnavalkya in a discussion about Brahman. Since such ideal women were entitled to spiritual knowledge, why shall not the women have same privilege now? What has happened once can certainly happen again. History repeats itself. All nations have attained greatness by paying proper respect to women. That country and that nation which do not respect women have never become great, nor will ever be in future. The principal reason why your race h! ! ! ! as so much degenerated is that you have no respect for these living images of Shakti.” Manu says, “Where women are respected, there the gods delight; and where they are not, there all works and efforts come to naught.” There is no hope of rise for that family or country where there is no estimation of women, where they live in sadness.