This essay declares that most of the South Asian countries have also had a colonial past. This, in many ways, was pivotal in shaping the economy and the fabric of their societies. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the historical legacy has translated to gender disparity and lower standards of living. Years of deprivation, neglect and other social taboos have created a huge gap in education and employability between men and women in South Asian nations. Historically women have been discriminated against, irrespective of religion, caste, class or social standing. The uninhibited show of masculine superiority and marginalisation of women have been mentioned in Hindu mythology and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. In medieval times it was first observed as customary practice in the feudal societies of these countries.
This paper makes a conclusion that the pages of history will bear testimony to the generations of gender discrimination in fields such as education, employment and self-sufficiency in the South Asian context. South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have a long and common past. Societal practices where women were relegated more to the domestic arena and were protected from external influences was common to all these societies. What started out as positive intent that of securing the lives and dignity of women, became exploitative with the passage of time. Cultural sanctions against women became common practise under the garb of religious and traditional values.