Sarojini Naidu fought for five good women rights

Sarojini Naidu fought for five good women rights

Every year, India celebrates the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu as National Women’s Day on February 13. Mahatma Gandhi was a close friend of her in her fight for independence from Britain. He also called her the “Nightingale” of India for her prolific poetry talent. Sarojini Naidu’s birthday is celebrated for her contributions to women’s rights and India.

Born in Hyderabad to Bengali parents, Sarojini Chattopadhyay fell for poetry as a child. Her mother, Barada Sundara Devi, was an inspiration. At just 12 years old, Sarojini Chattopadhyay wrote the 1,300-line poem “Lady of the Lake”. She married Muthyala Governorajulu Naidu two years later. It was an inter-caste marriage with Govindarajulu Naidu being non-Brahmin. However, Sarojini’s progressive parents supported their daughter’s decision.

After completing her higher education in the UK she returned to India where she joined the Indian national movement in protest against the partitioning of Bengal in 1905. She fought for women’s equality and plunged full-time into the freedom fight.Sarojini Naidu and Mahatma Gandhi 

Sarojini Naidu frequently spoke out about the importance and need for women’s empowerment. These are five of the ways Sarojini Naidu helped to improve women’s rights.

Rights for widows

She was instrumental in passing the resolution requiring educational facilities for widows and creating women’s homes. These subjects were controversial at the time.

Right of Voting

Sarojini Naidu, Annie Besant, and other women founded the Women’s Indian Association in 1917. The WIA’s main goal was to grant women the right to vote. She was a leader of a delegation representing women voting rights to London and also joined the international movement to support women’s rights.Many women were inspired by Sarojini Naidu to fight for their freedom and take part in the struggle for freedom.

Right for equality   

Sarojini presided at the Indian National Congress’ 1925 session. She was the first Indian woman elected to the office of president. Annie Besant (a British citizen) was the first woman to preside at the session. The New York Times published a lengthy feature about the event with the headline “A Joan of Arc Rises To Inspire India.”

She saw her appointment to the office of Congress President as a “generous dedication to Indian womanhood.” She stated that freedom could only be achieved with equality for women. During her presidency she proposed the creation of a section for women in the Congress. The first victory of the women’s movement, with her as its leader, was in 1926 when women were elected by nomination to the legislatures.

Right to representation

She was the founder of both the WIA (Women’s Institute of India) and All India Women’s Conference, (AIWC). Both organizations played an important role in the country’s fight for women rights. The AIWC, under her leadership, pushed for non-communal elections instead of elections on communal lines like the British Parliament.

Although the women’s groups remained non-political, they gave women the opportunity to be themselves. Many of these women also joined political parties or participated in the nationalist movement. She addressed the Patna Session Women’s Conference and spoke out against purdah, and encouraged women to remove the veil. Although many in the orthodox Indian community were opposed to it, she got Mahatma Gandhi involved to speak out against it. She also advocated for the right of divorce.

Equal political status

While the British were considering a new Indian constitution, Sarojini Shahnawaz and Jahan Ara Khana Shahnawaz, prominent women activists of that time, demanded “complete and imediate recognition of their [women] equality in political status, both in theory and practice by the grant of full adults franchise or an effective, acceptable alternative based on the conception and implementation of adult suffrage.”

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