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Word Count: 653
One of the newest religions to be of influence today The Sikh Religion was founded by Guru Nanak 1469-1539 AD who was born in Panjab Pakistan A brief reference about the social inequalities of that period especially with respect to women helps to appreciate the progressive doctrine adopted by the Sikh Gurus For centuries the status of women in India was being systematically downgraded The caste system economic oppression denial of right to property and inheritance a false sense of impurity attached to menstruation and child birth deliberate deprivation of education led to the deterioration of womens position in society This was further justified by religious sanctions as was done by Manu the Hindu law giver By a girl by a young woman or even by an aged one nothing must be done independently even in her own house In childhood a female must be subject to her father in youth to her husband when her lord husband is dead to her sons a woman must never be independent She must not seek to separate herself from her father husband or sons by leaving them she would make both her own and her husbands families contemptible Code of Manu 5147-49 Woman was referred to as a seducer unclean and a temptress This was awful and totally sexist She was denied the right to preach or to participate in other religious rites Manu went to the point of declaring that the service of the husband by the woman is considered to be equal to the service of God Though he be destitute of virtue or seeking pleasure elsewhere or devoid of good qualities yet a husband must be constantly worshipped as god by a faithful wife No sacrifice no vow no fast must be performed by women apart from their husbands if a wife obeys her husband she will for that reason alone be exalted in heaven Code of Manu 5155 Only men could perform
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