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Women Who Framed The Indian Constitution



  May 06, 2024

Women Who Framed The Indian Constitution



1. Who were some of the notable women members of the Constituent Assembly of India?

Several women played key roles in the Constituent Assembly, including Dr. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who was also India’s first Health Minister; Sarojini Naidu, known as the Nightingale of India; Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who later became the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly; Durgabai Deshmukh, a social reformer and public activist; Hansa Mehta, who influenced the phrasing of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and Sucheta Kripalani, who went on to become the first woman Chief Minister of an Indian state (Uttar Pradesh).

2. What specific contributions did women make in the Constituent Assembly?

Women members were instrumental in advocating for gender equality and social reforms within the Indian Constitution. They participated actively in debates and were involved in various committees, especially those related to fundamental rights, minority rights, and the advisory committee on fundamental rights, minorities, and tribal and excluded areas. Their interventions ensured the framing of the Constitution with a strong emphasis on equality and justice for all citizens, irrespective of gender.

3. How did the involvement of women affect the provisions of the Indian Constitution?

The advocacy and active participation of women in the Constituent Assembly led to the inclusion of several progressive articles in the Constitution. These include Article 14, which ensures equality before the law; Article 15(3), which allows the state to make special provisions for women and children; and Article 16, which guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Their efforts were pivotal in embedding the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination into the Indian legal framework.

4. Can you explain the significance of the term "Founding Mothers" in the context of the Indian Constitution?

The term "Founding Mothers," though not officially used, is a symbolic recognition of the women who were integral to the drafting of the Indian Constitution. It serves to acknowledge their critical contributions to nation-building and the democratic framework, which are often overshadowed by the more commonly recognized male members, referred to as the "Founding Fathers." The term helps reframe historical narratives to include the influential roles women played in shaping modern India’s foundational document.

5. Were there specific amendments or proposals by women that were adopted in the Constitution?

Women members not only participated in general discussions but also proposed specific amendments and clauses that were adopted into the Constitution. For instance, Hansa Mehta and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur were influential in ensuring that gender equality was a definitive part of the Constitution. Their persistent efforts led to the framing of articles that provided for equality and protection against discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.

These FAQs highlight the essential roles played by women in the Constituent Assembly, emphasizing their contributions to foundational legal principles and their lasting impact on the rights and freedoms of all citizens, especially women, in independent India.



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