Women have made landmark contributions encompassing various fields.Its time we sing joys of celebration for our sheroes too like we do for men.They have suffered various setbacks in life but emerged powerful as pointed out by Swami Vivekanand ,“Woman has suffered for eons, and that has given her infinite patience and infinite perseverance”.
For celebration we need to know about the milestones they have crossed and the hinderances they’ve overcome.
Their benefactions can be categorized Two folds .First theEducational Sector.
Second the Political and the Social Sector.
When discussing about Economy we cannot rule out the role education.The first female graduates Kadimbini Ganguly and Chandramukhi Bose long broke the stereotypes of Male centric education system.There have been other historic Educationists of India like Ayyalasomayajula Lalitha who became the first Engineer of India back in 1943.
Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was the first female doctor of India.
SavitriBai Phule along with Mahatma Jyotiba Phule led a movement for education of Girls.
They faced social ostracization and societal pressures but did not stop.In the end, SavitriBai Died while serving the victims of plague.In the field of law which was highly patriarchic Cornelia Sorabji broke all shakles and became India’s first female lawyer. Durgabai Deshmukh an early lawyer and political activist said-“I had then decided to take up the study of law so that I could give women free legal aid and assist them to defend themselves.”
These woman are not mere inspirations or role models,theybecame game changers and paved the way for education for the upcoming generation.
Politics despite being male dominated ,some Strong Female leaders have made immense contributions to freedom struggle. Going back to the the Delhi Sultanate,Razia Sultan became the first and last Female to ever became sultan in 1236.
After that there were different princely states in which women lead their dynasties. Rani Laxmibai became an epitome of strength along with JhalkariBai giving a strong fight to British.
Uda Devi a ‘Dalit Virangana’ fought the British Bravely in 1857 Battle.
Rani Gaidinliu of Manipur,was imprisoned at a young age of 13 because of her Anti-British Stand.During the 1857 Revolt the participation of Begum Hazrat Mahal of Lucknow is unmatched.AhalyaBai Holkar of Malwa Kingdom is still remembered as one of the Finest Leaders of India.In the modern era of freedom struggle Female Leaders like Sarojini Naidu,Annie Besant,Vijay Laxmi Pandit(First Female President of UNGA),Aruna Asif Ali(Grand Old Lady of Independence) etc fought against the British.
Be it Anti partition movement of 1906 or Non Co-operation Movement or Civil Disobedient Movement, Women have added by large,the amplitude of struggle.
Revolutionaries like Capt.Laxmi Sehgal lead the Jhasi rani regiment of INA Army made by Subhash Chandra Bose.AlsoPritilata Waddedar,Kalpana Datta took up arms against the British.
Post-Independence Rajkumari Amrit Kaur became the first woman Health Minister of India.
Indira Gandhi not just became India’s First Prime Minister but also was the first female Finance Minister(1970-71),to present a budget.Sucheta Kriplani became the first female to become a Chief Minister of UP,also Sarojini Naidu became the first ever female Governor in UP.
The list of contributions made by our early Women is never ending. Such zeal and sacrifices, on par with those of Men, despite miniscule opportunities, simply motivates us.
It would be appropriate to agree with Mohammad Ali Jinnah when he quoted,
“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women”.Mohd Ali Jinnah