The laws of Svetaketu and the smirtis oppressed women though women accepted it is beyond me.
The Mahabharata probably is most confused –
Madri’s suicide though appreciated is underplayed. Yet it could have inspired generations of sati’s
Satyavati’s remarriage is underplayed
Kunti is glorified as mother superior
Gandhari’s gesture of blinding herself is represented to make it palatable to the male ego
The entire exercise I think came when teachers and knowledge keepers became selfish, and handed them only to progeny many a times not so worthy. This could given rise to a class of clergy.
And clergy in every religion exists to keep power within its grasp. Oppressing everything and everyone else.
Early rebels came as jains though the digambara cult placed a dilemma.
Jainism reveres women in two classes. The Shravaki and the sanyasini
The sanyasini is what all of know.
The shravaki were like the pre-clergy Vedic women. They were independent people when it came to spiritual and intellectual quest and practise, and equal partners to their men in life and living.
Disrespect to women was a punishable offence.
Jain women were known to supervise and head social and religious causes independent of their men.
Marriage though not confining remarriage was not acceptable.
May due to prevalent Hindu influence Jainism could not really free the women from shackles.