Organizing Women

Bharathi Ray

in Early Feminists of Colonial India

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780198083818
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082186 | DOI:
Organizing Women

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This chapter reports the story of Sarala Devi Chaudhurani’s and Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s efforts at organizing women. Swarnakumari Devi was the first woman to have shaped a women’s samiti. She left her daughter, Sarala the foundation of an all India women’s organization, formed by women, for women, of women, and led by women. Sarala’s central focus was on woman-power. She was a political activist for the women’s cause. Rokeya’s focus was clearly gender. She believed that women were in a particularly abject condition and that this suited men’s interests. She also saw nothing but humiliation in a Muslim woman’s position in the family and in the larger society. Despite their limitations, both Sarala and Rokeya anticipated some of the crucial concerns of today’s women activists, and raised some important questions.

Keywords: organizing women; Sarala Devi Chaudhurani; Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain; Swarnakumari Devi; woman-power; gender equlaity; Muslim woman; political activist; women activists; nineteenth century feminism

Chapter.  8460 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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