It’s a dismal however unavoidable truth that things have quite often been harder for ladies in India. Notwithstanding certain areas of society ending up more open to the possibility of equity between the genders, there remains a profound established misogyny in the nation. In spite of these chances in any case, there have been ladies who have shown extraordinary bravery and a will to push ahead even with social and social dismissal. From Prem Mathur, the main female business pilot in India, to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, who moved toward becoming President of the UN General Assembly, these ladies have changed the scene of India to improve things.
Here are some Indian women who broke the standards when it was totally incredible.
Jhansi Ki Rani: A symbol of resistance against the British
Born in 1828, Rani Lakshmibai has always been one of the most iconic and powerful female figures in the minds of the people of the country. Her resistance of the British and the ferocity with which she battled has become stuff of legend, and her military prowess in general was considered beyond par. She was martyred in 1858, during the battle of Kotah Ki Serai.
Kittur Rani Chenamma: One of the earliest women to fight for independence
In 1824, Kittur led an armed rebellion against the British East India Company in response to the Doctrine of Lapse. She was martyred and is remembered to this day as one of the earliest Indian rulers to have fought for independence. Her tremendous courage, swiftness of action and open defiance of the Brits was something that had never been seen before.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit: First Indian President of the United Nations General Assembly
The sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vijaya was born in 1900. Her work as an Indian diplomat and politician brought her a lot of attention, especially considering she was the first Indian woman to hold a cabinet post. In 1953, she was appointed the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly. She was a stalwart and an inspiration in the human rights movement worldwide.
Anandi Gopal Joshi: First Indian woman to get a degree in Western medicine
Anandi was married off at the young age of 9, and while this would put an end to most dreams at that time, her husband actually encouraged her to get an educated. In the late 1800s, this was almost unheard of, but she managed to fly to the US, with the support of her husband, and end up becoming the first Indian woman to obtain a degree in Western medicine. In her efforts, she discussed the persecution she and her husband had endured, and stressed the need for female doctors in India.
Begum Hazrat Mahal: Was a pivotal figure in the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Born in 1820, Begum handled several of the affairs of state for Awadh, along with her husband. She played a major role in the Rebellion of 1857, but was exiled when the British recaptured Lucknow. While in exile, she drew everyone’s attention towards the demolishment of temples and mosques by the British to make way for the construction of roads, as well as highlighting other injustices purported by the English.
Prem Mathur: India’s first woman pilot
Captain Prem Mathur obtained her commercial pilot’s license in 1947 from Allahabad Flying Club. At the time, it was unheard of for a woman to be a pilot in India. FInally, she was accepted by Deccan Airways in Hyderabad, and even passed the interview with flying colours. However, there was massive public rejection of a woman pilot in command at the time, and she was forced to fly for private airlines. A few years ago, she finally flew with the Indian Airlines.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: Fought for freedom as well as the revival of arts and culture in India
Born in 1903, Kamaldevi accomplished more things for India in terms of country, society and culture than any of us can imagine. She fought for the freedom of India, worked in social reform, especially in the field of women’s rights and the upliftment of women in the country, facing severe protest and backlash in the process. The National School of Drama, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Central Cottage Industries Emporium and the Crafts Council of India, all exist thanks to her belief in the power of culture to change society.
Durgabai Deshmukh: Started Andhra Mahilla Sabha in 1937 to fight for women’s rights
Durgabai was born in 1909 in Andhra Pradesh, and was married off at the incredibly young age of 8, but later left her husband to work. She displayed a keen sense of duty, ambition and belief in a better country however, working in the INC, helping with Gandhi’s Satyagraha activities and enacting several social welfare laws. She fought hard for women’s rights and drafted a national policy on social welfare while she was part of the Planning Commission.