Indian women rebels Who've reinvented our Idea of Feminism.May 13, 2019
Feminism is a term that is used very often in today’s times. A lot of work is being done to empower women in all fields and to ensure that the suppression of women that has been going on for a long time comes to an end. Indian women are strong, resilient and powerful but have been struggling to fight the deep-seated patriarchy that exists in our society.
Let us look at some Indian women who have defined feminism in the right context and made life much better for many women around them with their powerful work.
Indira jaisingh is a woman who has defined what it means to be a strong and fearless woman in India. She used her absolutely amazing grasp over law to fight for the rights of women all over the country. She founded the Lawyers Collective, which is an organisation that defends human rights, along with her husband. She is one of the strongest voices that spoke about issues of domestic violence. She was the first woman to be appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India in the year 2009.
Another powerful voice from the courtrooms, Leila Seth was the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court who then went on to become the Chief Justice. She has inspired an entire generation of women to believe in their strengths. She was one of the important people who fought for the amendment of the Hindu Succession Amendment Act (2009). This act was amended to ensure that women have equal rights over family property. She has also been very vocal about her support towards the rights of LGBTQ community in the country.
Rupan Deol Bajaj
As an IAS officer, Rupan Deol Bajaj filed a case of harassment against KPS Gill who was the Director General of Police at that time. This was in the year 1988 when sexual harassment was thought to be a myth and was shushed away. None of the societal dynamics deterred Rupan when she was harassed by KPS Gill at a party and she went ahead to file and eventually win the case against him. He was found guilty and action was taken against him. This became a landmark judgement and went on to give the much-needed strength to many more women to voice out against harassment.
Flavia Agnes is an Indian lawyer, scholar, author and women’s rights activist. She has fought for the rights of destitute women who are the ones that need the most help in our country. She co-founded Majlis, which is an organization that provides legal representation for women. She was also one of the people who formed the Forum Against Oppression of Women Campaign in 1979 that dealt with harassment, dowry and wife-beating issues. Her work has brought justice to women in various communities across India.
The definition of feminism has been something that is debated a lot in India. There are many misguided definitions that divert focus from the main issue and derail the actual motive behind the whole idea. Nivedita Menon is one of the women in our country who is considered as the pioneers of the modern feminist theory. Her book titled “Seeing Like A Feminist” is one of the most important books about feminism in our country. She is a professor, author and activist and says that feminism is not about triumphing over patriarchy but is a gradual shift in the social field such that the old markers shift forever for good.
Kavitha Krishnan is one of the loudest voices to demand justice for the horrific rape case in Delhi in 2012. She was instrumental in initiating a series of protests that eventually led to the amendment of the rape laws in India in favour of women safety.