Astonishingly all so called religions both present and past are unanimous on status of women i.e. mother. Christens recognize women as "Mother Supreme", Hindus consider woman as "Shakti" i.e. strength or power. However, there are 3 distinct cultures in the world. Western, West Asian and Indian. Eastern part of Asia has a mixed culture. Originally all cultures were developed based on a single factor of "survival" During early days of human culture physical strength had been necessity for survival. Man being superior in physical strength was given more importance than a woman. Now time has changed and mental intellectual strength is more important for survival than physical strength. Therefore woman has a better place in today's society. There is a need to recognise this change and reform the society to give a status to women based on their intellectual strength.
Western culture leads in recognizing strength of a woman. Westerners treat women equal to men in every respect. However it should not be forgotten that westerners migrated to new area on earth in search of natural resources like valuable metals and food. In their search they didn't consider killing, robbing and raping as sins as long as they could grab natural resources. This did degrade women to wife. A wife, who is useful for sex pleasure only. In spite of equal status to women, women are still considered as toys. Under the disguise of equal sexual rights to women they have made women as slaves. Women also have accepted this without understanding the implications of this change. The original idea of purity is now a history. Religions considered purity of mind and body as the highest virtue. In western Asia (India and Muslim countries in west) this virtue has been degraded but still accepted by all. In India purity of mind and body is accepted by majority even for men. Muslims treat women as their property and consider safety of women as duty of the man. Muslims assume that purity of women is to be preserved and they don't pay attention to purity of men. Indians also have started adopting this change. However huge majority still considers purity of men also.
Swami Vivekananda said Indian women are first mothers and then wives where as western women are first wives and then mothers. He considered purity as the highest virtue and it must be preserved under any circumstance. He said education is the only need to solve problems of women. Educate women and they will solve their problems. He even refused to suggest and solution for women problems. He insisted on giving proper education based on Vedanta and science to women. He started schools for women to teach this. It has good effect and in the area of schools the women are better educated, self dependent and value purity. Bharat Ratna Dhondo Keshav Karve started similar movement in the Pune region of Maharashtra state in India. That has grown and spread at many locations in Maharashtra state. Both these mahatmas had a vision which could give right place to women in a society. Women need to follow them and get educated while preserving purity.
Westerns have grabbed natural resources not belonging to them and have flourished in every walk of life. Their basic needs are luxuries for other part of the world. They have no worry about food, clothing and house. Therefore, when they see women in India starving and feeding their children they opine that women in India are slaves or not given due respect. They don't understand the scarcity of resources in India. They don't understand women feed children because they are mothers first. Indian women consider feeding children is their responsibility. How can a mother eat when her child is hungry? This greatness of Indian women lies in value of women considered by society as mother first. As long as this is preserved, Indian women shall be superior to their counterpart at any place in this universe.
Swamiji was requested by some one to give solution for widows in India. Swamiji replied I am not a woman and I won't give solution. Educate women and they shall find their solution. Education is what is needed to solve women's problems. Men must not interfere except for imparting right education to women. This is true even today. Status of women in India is the best as compared to any other part of the world. This shall remain so as long as society considers woman as a mother, educates her, allow her to deal with her problems in her own ways and both men and women maintain purity of life (both body and mind).