This is an essay about the role of idol worship for Hindu women in India.

Essay by meeraberiUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2006

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All over the world women have been trying to gain their independence from the patriarchal society they live in. Women of India are no exception to this struggle. They have been fighting for years to break through the conventional norms of an oppressive and suppressive culture. The Hindu women in India find this cultural lag especially difficult because their religion is one of the most goddess rich faiths in the world today. Trying to live in a society that worships goddesses but abuses their women is unbearable. The Hindu women of India are starting to break through their culturally suppressed norms and are gaining power and respect through the embodiment of the very goddesses their religion worships.

By examining goddesses and Indian, female politicians, a connection can be made as to why women of power are frequently associated with the embodiment of goddesses. First, this paper will discuss why the Hindu women in India must call upon the goddesses as a source of feminine strength.

Secondly, the Hindu deities Durga and Kali are analyzed for their significance and functions in Indian women's lives. Lastly, Durga and Kali are analyzed for their frequent personification of women in power, specifically, politician Indira Gandhi and political deviant, Phoolan Devi. Hindu goddesses are used as a source of empowerment for Indian women and are a means to represent female politicians in order to manifest the divine powers, making these women acceptable in society as well as maintaining their supremacy.

Women in India are one of the most suffering genders around the world. They face discrimination in both the public and the private realms. Men largely dominate aspects such as the financial dealings of a household, the work place and the religious sphere. Men dictate what sacred scriptures women can read and learned. However, it...