How Female Socialists Forged Feminism in India?


How female socialists forged feminism in India?  Feminism, a social phenomenon that has lasted in Indian society for almost about 50 years, has been esteemed to provide potential drive for the women in India. But the main fact to ponder is, how was feminism first procured in India? 

Looking back into history, the themes for the uprooting were first conjured in the 19th century when numerous male social reforms were classified during British rule. 

Which further entailed a great impact on the society in India, which were deemed by the effects of western liberal democratic values and ethics. Causing a wave of empowerment among the women of India to fight against the atrocities like female infanticide, widow burning, elimination of women from public life, prostitution and begging by impecunious women.

This was further incorporated to be the first wave of feminism in India. It has been accounted that the first generation of educated and empowered women belonging to the English medium became the pioneers and an institution for women across India. They help to develop the various age-old conditionings and patriarchal charts by replacing them with basic standardised and practical means of evaluation. 

To channelise the rhythm of equal aspects for the women in our society. These inspiring and diligent women, to spread the further growth of feminism established organisations like All India Women’s Conference, Young Women’s Christian Association and Anjuman-I-Islam. To understand the deep roots of feminism let us get down to some of the female socialists who initiated the cause of social good in our society.

List of some of the national female socialists who forged the part of feminism in India :


1. Savitribai Phule

History has known that Savitribai Phule is known to be one of the main social standings supporting feminism in India. She was a Dalit woman who worked to acclaim the rights of Indian women in our society. Country’s first female teacher, who aimed to provide education to all the women irrespective of their caste. 

Which is reflected to be the cause of instituting 17 schools across India. Together with her husband and the women of our society she worked hard to destitute the caste and gender system from our society. 

To ward off the fabrications of female infanticide, killing of widows and pregnant rape victims she set up a foundation by the name of ‘Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha’. Phule is adversely known to be one of the main pillars of feminism in India.

2. Fatima Sheikh

This female socialist was also a close associate of the Phule couple. It has been perceived that when Phule fought for the rights of the women and led a life as a social stanza she was not supported by her peers and was given the choice to either stop these relinquishes or leave the house. 

Ultimately she chose to leave the house and continue her practices, it is where she met the Sheikh sisters – Usman and Fatima Sheikh who provided her with accommodation at their house. Later on, both the ladies together went to establish a school in Fatima’s home, where they started to teach the women of the minority communities. 

Which further inhabited to be a huge default for Fatima as she is a Muslim woman, the act of empowerment proved to be an act of defiance against the Muslim law. Yet she withheld all the struggles and continued to stand by her idols and became the first Muslim teacher of India.

3.Tarabai Shinde

A female socialist, who opposed the devaluation and the patriarchy and caste instigated norms. She has been said to have fought against some of the normative values and ethics inscribed in the Hindu scriptures, which became a source of controversy and are continued to be a subject of contention to date. 

She is also said to have delivered some of the most influential and aspirational female texts ‘Stri Purush Tulana’ in Marathi, which talks about the discriminatory and social prejudices among men and women in India.


4.Ramabai Ranade

Last but not least on our list is Rambai Ranade, who is also to be the first women activist of India. She was also the founding director of Seva Sadan which is located in Mumbai and Pune. An association that was speculated to teach women numerous practical life skills. 

She is proficient in making women self-independent and also accounting for them to Financial literacy. Though as a child Ranade was not allowed to study and was forced to marry at the age of 11. Which proved to be an enigma of motivation for her, contributing to serving the women of our society with the basic facility they deserved. 

Luckily for her husband, it facilitated her to continue her education and gain the scope of knowledge she deemed to acquire. She also has said to play a huge role in communities operating to work for the prosperity of women.

The history of feminism of India is a long driven journey of struggles and hardships conjured by feminist personalities. One such installation was procured to be around the beginning of feminism in India

Known personalities around India, who were then suppressed by the atrocities of men, were now standing up for their rights speaking up against the biased values of the societies which further led through the huge drive-through of equal rights and a sense of awareness among the women of India.

Today we, aim to highlight some of these well-acquainted feminist pioneers in the history of India. 

So do let us know in the comments who marked you as an inspiration?