Well, till a century ago women did not had any separate identity, they were identified by their husband, father or son. They were almost invisible. They existed and not. Then they stepped out into the world and started to make their own identity.
But even then, a woman had to mostly lean upon a man to help her in getting her identity, because the male controlled society won’t allow otherwise. They force women to admit that they are indispensable for her in home or outside! Even though women will try to contradict but I will really love to know about Indian women who have become really successful without the help of any men. By successful I mean like Indira Gandhi (Jawahar Laal Nehru+Gandhi).