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Trailblazing Women in Indian Constitution



  Mar 07, 2024

Women Who Contributed to the Indian Constitution



1. How many women were part of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Indian Constitution?

There were 15 women among the 299-member Constituent Assembly who played a crucial role in advocating for a progressive and inclusive India.

2. What were some of the key issues advocated by the women members of the Constituent Assembly?

These women passionately discussed and argued on a wide range of topics including reservations, minority rights, legislative finances, and the Uniform Civil Code, emphasizing economic, social, and political equality for all.

3. Did the women in the Constituent Assembly support reservations for women?

Not all women supported reservations for women in legislative bodies. For instance, Hansa Jivraj Mehta argued against reservations for women, advocating for social, economic, and political justice without reserved seats or quotas.

4. What was the stance of Dakshayani Velayudhan and Begum Aizaz Rasul on reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?

Both Dakshayani Velayudhan and Begum Aizaz Rasul argued against reservations and separate electorates for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, believing that such measures would perpetuate a divide between minorities and the majority.

5. What unique perspectives did these women bring to the Constituent Assembly debates?

Coming from diverse backgrounds and having faced challenges like patriarchy, caste oppression, child marriage, and widowhood, these women infused their debates with rich insights into achieving an India that respects both genders equally and ensures justice and equality for all citizens.

6. Can you name some of the women members of the Constituent Assembly and their contributions?

• Annie Mascarene: Advocated for the centralization of power for democracy’s smooth functioning.
• Hansa Jivraj Mehta: Presented the first national flag on behalf of the women of India and advocated against women’s reservations.
• Dakshayani Velayudhan: Opposed untouchability and supported Article 17, which abolishes it.
• Amrit Kaur: Advocated for universal adult franchise without reservations for women and emphasized secular values.
• Ammu Swaminathan: Supported adult franchise, the removal of untouchability, and reform in Hindu religious laws.
• Durgabai Deshmukh: Focused on judicial matters and social welfare.
• Begum Aizaz Rasul: Advocated for minority rights in a secular state but opposed reservations on communal lines.
• Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit: Emphasized India’s responsibilities towards its citizens and international relations post-independence.

7. What was the broader impact of these women’s participation in the Constituent Assembly?

The participation of these women not only ensured that the Indian Constitution bore the imprint of both genders but also laid the foundation for a society that values equality, justice, and inclusivity, influencing the country’s legislative and social fabric for generations to come.


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