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The Roles Of Women In Different Societies

1298 words - 5 pages

Women have been suffering discrimination in societies for years. They are considered inferior to men. In two different societies women’s have different roles, in Buddhist societies women are thought o have evolved socially than in Brahmanic societies . Women lead very different lives in Brahmanic and Buddhist societies. Buddhism was created by Buddha(565–485 BCE). The Buddha wanted equality. Instead of trying to overcome the strict caste system , he created a second world where these social barriers no longer existed. Hinduism believes in the worships of gods and goddesses. The origin of Hinduism is unknown. There are multiple symbolism of women in Hinduism for instance women can symbolize the goddesses. the roles of epic heroines as behavior models for women, and the roles of women worshipers or their virtues. Were women better off in Buddhist societies than in Hindu societies.
Women in Buddhism have a more positive than negative role. Buddha has encouraged Dharma(the teaching of the Buddha) to both men and women and he made sure that everyone understands that the differences between men and women are meaningless. During the first few years of Buddhism women were treated the same as they are in Brahmanic societies. They were dominated by men. Buddha created a new way of living but he was still living in a society that has been treating women as inferior to men. After the passing of Buddha’s father, his stepmother asked him if she would be allowed to join the order and he denied her for reasons unknown. She shaved her head and dressed in a yellow robe and she went to him with 500 or more women who also wanted to join. Ananda, Buddha’s cousin saw them at the gate and after realizing that they wanted to join, he went to Buddha and asked if he denied their access because women could not reach the highest spiritual goal. Buddha assured Ananda that women could reach enlightenment. This was the first time in history that religion believed women could be enlightened. Then Buddha agreed to let his step mother, Maha Pajapati to join with the condition that she had to agree the 8 Garudhammas(heavy rules Buddha added to the bhikkhuni rules). Maha Pajapati was responsible the bhikkhuni sangha(orders of the nun), which allowed women to participate in religious practices and rituals.
Although, women were allowed to join the Buddhist orders, it was quite difficult for them to enter the orders in the early stages of Buddhism. Both men and women had to go through a thorough medical examination but only women had to have their sexual organs examined. There were only a few lower class members and most of the women that entered were well educated. Illiterates were prohibited from joining. Women also were discriminated in these societies as well.
There were three general attitudes toward women in Buddhism. The first was that being reincarnated as a woman is negative karma from your past life. The second is that the Buddha was a male and that means being...

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