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Life of Jain Women in India

Updated on January 4, 2014
A Jain Nun and Lay Woman walking on the road.
A Jain Nun and Lay Woman walking on the road. | Source

Jains in General

Jainism is a minority but influential religion of India. Followers of Jainism are known as Jains. According to census of 2001, the population of Jains is about 4.2 millions. In actual, it must be between 15 to 20 millions.

Jains have the highest literacy rate, about 94% Jains are literate. Jains are well to do, working in various fields including agriculture, business, industries, education, healthcare, public and private service, social services. A small number of Jains are also seen in Armed Forces and Police services. Many Jains are well settled in North America and Europe.

This is a general scenario of Jain community.

Jain Women in temple
Jain Women in temple

Life of Jain Women

Jain women are also literate, and their literacy rate is highest amongst Indian women. However it is slightly lower than that of Jain men. A large portion of Jain women are housewives, as they do not need to work for living. But a significant number of Jain women are career oriented, and work in a variety of fields. They work as teachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, consultants, software engineers, accountants, assistants etc. There is a growing trend of working in Government services. Few Jain women work in film industry. Few are writers.They all are well to do.

But on the other hand, the condition of Jain women who are housewives, is not better. Although most of them are educated, they are not independent. Jain housewife, like housewives from other communities, depend on her husband for money and other things.

Housewives get lot of free time, but they waste it in watching TV serials, chatting with their female friends and visiting Jain temples and Jain monks. These well educated housewives do not involve theirselves in any social activities, nor they do any intellectual work. For them, stove and Kids is their entire word.

Most of them suffer from blind beliefs. Many are orthodox.

As most of the Jain families are economically well to do, the housewives manage to save a lot of money, and eventually donate it, or insist their husbands to donate. But all these donations go to temples and religious activities. No donations to educational and social institutes or needy persons.

Thus we see that Jain housewives, in spite of being well educated and well to do, have no vision.

-Mahavir Sanglikar


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