Women, Education and Development : Profle of Women Social Reformers

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In the 19th century, social reformers such as Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule fought against female infanticide, widow-burning, segregation of women from the public life, prostitution and begging by the destitute women. They also organised public functions for widow-remarriages. They worked for legal reforms to better lives of women in India. Many women from wealthy families of Bombay turned philanthropists and helped establish educational institutions, shelter homes and vocational training centers for women from where the first generation of women teachers, nurses, skilled workers and white collar employees such as typists, clerks, accountants and secretaries came out. Enormous amount of literature of that time, produced by the Indian social reformers in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati and English bears witness to their path-breaking effort

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Women, Education and Development:

Women, Education and Development Some Important Figures In Maharashtra Sophia College, Mumbai

Savitribai Phule:

Savitribai Phule First woman teacher in modern Maharashtra Worked with her husband for the upliftment of Dalits Founded a number of schools for girls Wrote a number of poems and a verse biography of her husband

Pandita Ramabai :

Pandita Ramabai Educated far beyond the range of most women of her time, she was publicly acknowledged as a scholar. Was instrumental in improving the condition of widows through the homes she founded and the education they received there.

Ramabai Ranade:

Ramabai Ranade Married at 11 to a famous scholar and jurist, she was educated by him and was soon helping him in his work. An activist and freedom fighter in her own right, she worked for equal political rights for women.

Tarabai Modak:

Tarabai Modak Her parents being firm believers in the importance of education for women, she became a graduate. Her husband’s alcoholism drove her to leave him, and take up the post of Superintendent of Barton Female Training College. She set up many Montessori schools in “untouchable” colonies and in rural areas.

Parvatibai Athavle:

Parvatibai Athavle Married at 14 and widowed by 20, she defied tradition and religious custom by coming out of seclusion to study in America. She worked with Karve, her brother-in-law, to improve the condition of widows. With him, she set up the first university for women.

Gangutai Patwardhan:

Gangutai Patwardhan Daughter of a teacher she was educated at St. Columba’s , Mumbai and Karve Inst., Pune. Travelled to England with Tarabai Modak to study the Montessori method. Devoted her life to teaching in girls’ schools. Encouraged sports among women and popularised the Girl Guide movement.

Dr. Anandibai Joshi:

Dr. Anandibai Joshi First high caste Indian woman to travel to the US. First Indian woman to be awarded a medical degree (1886) in any country. Appointed as director of the female ward of the Albert Edward Hospital in Kolhapur, she died too young (22) to practice.

Cornelia Sorabjee:

Cornelia Sorabjee First woman graduate of Bombay University, she won the Govt. of India scholarship for a course at Oxford, where she studied law. She represented women in purdah in legal matters, thus preventing their exploitation by male relatives.

Rakmabai Save:

Rakmabai Save Trained in medicine in England, she became the first Indian woman to practice medicine. Married as a child, she was one of the first women to seek separation on grounds of incompatibility. As a result, the Age of Consent Act became part of Indian family law.

Kashibai Kanitkar:

Kashibai Kanitkar One of the earliest Marathi women writers, she was married at 9 & her husband taught her Marathi, English and Sanskrit Literacy and learning were initially survival strategies for her, but soon absorbed her in their own right. She was a delegate at the Indian National Congress of 1910, taught Marathi at BHU and wrote a number of articles, stories, two novels and the first Marathi autobiography.

Shakuntala Paranjape:

Shakuntala Paranjape Did her MA from Cambridge and spent ten more years abroad On her return, she involved herself in the field of family planning, counselling both men and women and spreading the message through kathas and nataks Did pioneering work among Muslim women and was perhaps the first woman to address the issue of female sexuality

Malathi Karve:

Malathi Karve Inspired by the teaching of Maharshi Karve Worked tirelessly and fearlessly with her husband to spread the message of healthy family planning practices in the community

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