You know that the term ‘women’s rights’ wasn’t born yesterday, right? Once upon a 19th century, some very interesting Indians started stirring up a debate on child marriage and the rights of women. Here are some of the men and women from back in the day who advocated for these issues, or simply led by example.
You may have known Rukhmabai as one of the first woman doctors of India, but did you know she point blank refused to live with the guy they married her off to at age 11?
Malabari was a full-on ally in the 19th century for the rights of women. He ganged up with Rukhmabai (whom he helped in her case against her child marriage) and shaped discourse on the child marriage debate with his writings.
Savitribai and Jyotirao Phule are known as the crusaders for Dalit rights and education for women, but here’s a lesser-known fact about what Jyotirao did:
Hari Singh Gour may have been from olden times, but he sure wasn’t old-fashioned in how he imagined women’s roles and pushed pro-women legislations in colonial India.
Is marriage the only destination in a woman’s life? Anandibai proved it isn’t, by dreaming of becoming a doctor and attaining a medical degree in an era when even primary education was rare for women.
Shumsoonisa Begum was one cool lady who filed a case against her husband who was stealing her property way way back in 1856. We don’t know much about her but enough to know she was one of the early pioneers of standing up against unfair husbands and marriages.