Status coast they were generally assigned a lower

Status of women

Though the Portuguese rule was
non-democratic but it had a positive impact on the Goan women. It brought about
several sudden changes in the position of women. A considerable amount of
legislation was enacted to control the activities of women. In the olden times
during the Portuguese rule most of the rights were granted only to Christian
women. As a result the position of Christian women was improved but the same
was not with the non-Christian women. They were deprived of property and some
other rights.  In the early period , much
of the legislation issued for the benefit of women were not enforced properly
and was ignored due to the attitude of society especially men. Education
benefited a small section of women from the old conquests. The education was
completely neglected for them. Patriarchy on the other hand continued to remain
strong in all terms. In the patriarchal society men believed that women should
not enjoy certain rights. The government found it difficult to ban such
activities despite repeated legislation with heavy penalties, because it suited
men to continue with these activities. 

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Pre-puberty marriages were common in
Goa. Seclusions (being away from other people), polygamy and sati prevailed in
the society. Widow remarriages were not permitted. Customs, traditions and
other religious practices had its own way on the life of Goan women. The
customs and tradition encouraged a woman to play the role of a daughter, wife,
mother and daughter in law. Though women were the partners in the formation of
culture and civilization in Goa and in the areas along the Konkan coast they
were generally assigned a lower socio cultural rank which caused damage to
their status and prestige. Majority of the women stayed as loyal housewives and
also loyal to their husbands. The legislation issued by the Portuguese crown on
the women helped to improve their position in Goa. The Portuguese civil code
1867 further improved the position of women. The code is uniform for all
citizens irrespective of sex, creed or caste. The code safeguarded the interest
of widows, unmarried women and raised the age of marriage. The constitutional
changes of 1910 brought about changes in the structure of the civil code of
1867. It was liberalized and gave women more freedom and altered  the laws regarding marriage, divorce and
protection to children. A woman was encouraged by the society to burn herself
in the fire after the death of her husband. The word sati means a true virtuous
wife. Afonso de Albuquerque banned the practice of sati after the conquests of
Goa. The ones involved in encouraging the practice were liable to loose their
profession and thus became slaves. There were many procedures which afonso had
to face but he did not fail to do so. Finally sati was abolished permanently in
the new conquest territories in the year 1884. Education has made women aware
of their rights and due to this the literacy rate is much higher. Primary
education is made free and compulsory upto secondary school level specially for
girls. Women have made a progress in many fields. They are highly qualified
than men yet a few of them occupy for important posts in the government
offices, educational institutions , industrial fields and have become the state
members but the discrimination amongst them is still prevailing. The Portuguese
civil code of 1867 decreed that women below the age of 12 were not allowed to
marry. As a result there was decrease in child marriages. The age of getting
married was raised to 16 for girls and 18 for boys. Civil marriage was now
regarded as the only valid marriage for all purposes. The Portuguese civil code
guaranteed equality for everyone. The following were valid grounds for
separation according to Portuguese civil code. A wife could ask for divorce if
she felt like her husband is committing adultery. Adultery in a women was a serious
crime than in man. Neither society nor the law equated the wife with the
husband. The Portuguese civil code did not provide for a divorce and hence till
today the catholic church goes against the divorce cases. The decision was to
be executed  by the civil authorities.
Under the republic both husband and wife were entitled to seek civil divorce.
Widows and daughters had no right to property of their husband and fathers in
the early decades. In 1542 Minguel vas secured a provision from governor Martim
whereby the widows and daughters of the deceased had right on the property if
there was no male heir but under the situation where they had to convert into
Christianity to enjoy the rights. Single mothers and  siblings who are born to couple which is not
married were protected under the Republic. Single mothers who were economically
poor had the right to ask for maintenance from the father of the child and
could claim for payment for all expenses she faced during the pregnancy and
delivery. Both parents were entitled to exercise control over the child and
protect them. The Portuguese who were fascinated with dancing girls they
neglected their duties and were responsible for delaying various expeditions in
order to associate these girls. At the turn of the sixteenth and the early
decades of the seventeenth centuries three institutions for women were
established in the city of Goa largely due to the efforts of patriarch
Aleixode  Menezes.









Health is defined as the most crucial
well-being of the human aspect. It is the state of being physically, mentally
and spiritually fit. It gives value to human life and serves as economic
growth. A women’s health not only influences the household economic but also is
viewed as an investment in society’s welfare. As per 2011 census women
constitute about 48.5 % of the country’s total population. 


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