Since centuries women have been looked down upon in Indian society. Their role was restricted to child-bearers and housekeepers. The entire world for them was restricted within the four walls of the house. In general male members received a better treatment compared to female members. Women have been subjected to economic, social as well as cultural oppression. Till date the condition of women is still the same without much difference.
Razia al-Din (1205-1240) usually referred to as Razia Sultana, was the sultan of Delhi in India from 1236 to 1240. She was a trained sultan who lead armies and administered kingdoms. She was preoccupied with the affairs of the state and was not like other women of those days.
Next came the Bhakti movement which tried to restore the powers and status of women in the society. One of the most important and distinguished figures of Bhakti movement was Mirabai. She was a female saint poet. Some of the other female saint poets include Akka Mahadevi and Rami Janabai. The Sikh women broke the shackles of oppression and subjugation; became the supporters of men and in some cases their leaders too. Sikh women have too played a glorious part in the Indian history. Rani Laxmi Bai was another one such women who put the British rulers to shame with her extraordinary battle skills. She was the woman who fought for her own kingdom.
Annie Besant (October 1847- 20 September 1933) was a prominent British theosophist and women’s rights activist, writer as well as an orator. She was the woman who launched the Home Rule League to campaign for democracy in India during the First World War. She was also the president of Indian National Congress in late 1917. Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi also joined her husband in political protests. In 1897 she travelled to South Africa to be with her husband. Kasturba also accompanied Gandhi during his support campaign for Indigo planters.
Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to be the president of Indian National Congress and also the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. She joined the Indian National Movement in the wake of partition of Bengal in 1905. She travelled from city to city demanding women’s rights. Aruna Roy (26 May 1946) is a politician and social activist who founded the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana (Workers and Peasants Strength Union) and she also heads this organization. She is the one who demanded the right to information movement which led to the enactment of Right to Information Act in 1905.
Thus we see that the list is endless consisting of women who have changed the world. With their great beliefs and thoughts they are able to etch themselves in the minds of the people and till today the public remembers them for their success and bravery. It is in the minds of the women whether they can or cannot; it is entirely based on their self determination. If they think that they can make a difference to the society then they will surely create history.
Article by Anisha Dutta
She is a content evangelist who believes that the Science of today is the Technology of tomorrow.
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