Women’s day special – Women who fought for women’s education.


Happy women’s day to all the women’s in the world! We have seen prominent women who contributed to women’s education when it was odd to see them outside the home. It was taught to her that woman would become ideal woman if she serve her family well without expecting anything in return, if she does not raise voice against any wrong with her, if she always obey family and society, if she keeps herself last and priorities others first, if she leads life within a four walls without having knowledge of outside, if she does not speak being empower, being independent, being ambitious, she will be praised by everyone in the family and in the society.

feature image of wmen 1 Women's day special - Women who fought for women's education.
Women who fought for women’s education

Let me introduce the women who broken all these odds, fought for their right to education, uplifted women and changed the perspective of the people in the society.

Women who fought for education of women – Women’s day special.

1. Savitribai PhuleRevolutionary Indian woman

hule - Revolutionary Indian woman
Savitribai PhuleRevolutionary Indian woman

Revolutionary Indian woman Savitribai Phule was on a mission to educate women. In 1848 she opened a school for girls at the age of 17 with the support of her husband Jyotiba Phule who was 21 year old and she was the first female teacher in India. Phule couple left the home as educating women was considered against the society. They took shelter at Usman Sheikh’s house, where they met Fatima Begum Sheikh who knew how to read and write. Fatima joined a teacher training course with Savitribai Phule and both graduated. She was the first Muslim woman teacher of India.

Savitribai used to carry extra saree while going to school as people threw stones and dungs at her but her mission was never to floundered. The Phule couple were running 3 schools with 150 girl students by the end of 1851. Their teaching method was considered to be better than the government schools. They together opened 18 schools to educate girls and low caste people. Thus Savitribai Phule and Jyotiba Phule laid the foundation for women education in India.

2. Fatima Sheikh – First Muslim woman teacher

Fatima Sheikh - First Muslim woman teacher
Fatima Sheikh – First Muslim woman teacher

Fatima sheikh was sister of Usman sheikh, who was friend of jyotiba Phule. Fatima helped Phule couple to set up school called “Indigenous Library” at own home to provide education to girls, dalits, muslim women and children from marginalised communities, who were underprivileged and education was given to only privileged men in those days. She used to teach in the same school and in other Phule’s school. She and her brother used to visit door to door to counsel the parents to send their children to school.

3. Swarna Kumari Devi – Prominent Bengali Writer

Swarna Kumari Devi - Prominent Bengali Writer
Swarna Kumari Devi – Prominent Bengali Writer

Swarna Kumari Devi was prominent Bengali Writer and the elder sister of poet Rabindranath Tagore. In her writings she clearly reflected the answer to the problems of women is not remarriage. Instead, she advocates for more education and financial independence. In 1896 she found organization called Sakhi Samiti to provided education and shelter to women, especially orphans and widows.

4. Sister Nivedita – Noble-hearted, Compassionate, Dynamic lady

Sister Nivedita - Noble-hearted, Compa
Sister Nivedita – Noble-hearted, Compassionate, Dynamic lady

Sister Nivedita was an Irish lady, by the name of Margaret Elizabeth Noble, teacher by profession and popular by teaching methods. She came to India on 28th January 1898 when Swami Vivekananda made a statement to her “I have plans for the women of my own country in which you, I think, could be of great help to me”. She started working for women’s upliftment, women education and called all women as her sisters. She opened a school at Bagbazar for women’s education.

With her excellence in teaching method in Maths and Art she generated such an interest in Indian women, who could wake early to finish the house chores and could attend her class on time. She started class on handicraft and vocational training to many young girls who were child-windows, became self dependent and supported their family. In the initial stage people were not accepting her as a teacher, but with her gentle behavior made to won many hearts in India. She totally transformed herself to an Indian and called India as our nation. She made ‘Vande Mataram’ as the daily prayer of her school.

Ramabai Ranade – First Women’s rights activists

Ramabai Ranade educated herself with the strong support of her husband Mahadev Govind Ranade, came out to educate women of India. She worked tirelessly for women’s education. She found girls’ school in Pune with the help of her husband and colleagues. she started ‘Hindu Ladies Social Club’ in Mumbai to train public speaking skills to women as she mastered the art of public speaking in English and Marathi.

ramabai ranade Women's day special - Women who fought for women's education.
Ramabai Ranade – First Women’s rights activists

Women who achieved top in education sector

There are many women inspired and followed their ambitions to get education in 90th century and broke many stereotype in the society. Chandramukhi Basu and Kamini Roy was first woman to graduate from British Empire in 1883 and Chandramukhi Basu pass Masters examination in 1884. Chandramukhi Basu then became the Principal of Bethune College in 1888, the first female head of an undergraduate academic institution in South Asia. Kamini Roy went against the society norms and continued her education after marriage. After graduation she started teaching in the same college.

Ashapurna Devi not permitted to attend school but she learned reading and writing and became first woman feminist writer of Bengal. Rukhma Bai created history by becoming the first Indian woman to practice medicine. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was one of the first Indian female doctors of western medicine.

These were strong women who went against society norms and called as sinner by the society yet their contribution towards women’s education is undescribable. Even in today also we come across with gender inequality and gender discrimination in education system. Parents are not committed to provide quality education to girl child as main priority given to male child. We can see daily in our society a girl child goes to government school and male child goes to private school from the same family.

let’s urge to all we will make better place to live together and provide equal education to all.

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Comments are most welcome and appreciated.

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