Women in Buddhism
In ancient India, women were considered to be at the same level as the Sudras. The Sudras is the lowest level of the 4 classes in Buddhism. Throughout the life of a women living under Buddhism, she was always considered dependable on men. When she was younger she would be taken care of her father, as an adult she was under the care of her husband and once she was a senior, her son would eventually take care of her. Her main duties were to uphold the household and be accountable for her husband’s wishes.
Women who were married were often put under pressure since majority of the time they were co-wives. Widows were seen as unlucky. Women were often seen as a burden in the family since it was a man responsibility to take care of everything. Women lacked education. The birth of women was often seen as a misfortune, families often prayed for a son. With a son, he would grow up to be a man who would be able to perform rituals unlike women who were mainly useful for housework.
Although women were not seen as equal in India, they were not restricted opportunities to seek higher education. If women were capable of proving themselves worthy enough to realize the Truth, they were permitted admission into the Order.