What is the role of women in Hinduism?

Hindus call an unmarried girl a Kanya meaning radiant, illustrious or brilliant which implies that a girl must acquire all such qualities that can make her excel in every field. During the stage of girlhood, she must develop herself physically, intellectually and spiritually in order to enter the life of a homemaker. Hinduism gives equal status to both husband and wife. It compares the family to a chariot and considers the husband and wife a team like two wheels working in union. Hindu scriptures refer to the wife as a “ardhangini” which means one half of the whole body. In a traditional Hindu family, the husband earns a living for the family while the wife’s sacred responsibility is to nurture virtuous children and manage the household.

Hindu scriptures rank status of women as the highest even above GOD and Guru. So women are ranked above equality, honor and dignity. Hindus conceive GOD in both male and female manifestations. Many worship GOD through family deities. No Hindu ceremony or sacrament in a family is considered complete, unless husband and wife performs it together. Ancient Hindu society produced many illustrations of female sages, seers and intellectuals such as Lopamudra, Urvashi, Yami, Ghosha, Gargi, and Maitreyi just to name a few. They are remembered with great reverence.