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Glorious years for Indian Eves

First school for women, sati abolished, widow remarriage, voting rights for women... read every major women's event right here.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2008 04:09 PM IST

1810s First school for girls started by English and American missionaries.

1829 Sati Abolition Act passed.

1855 Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar pubilshed his first tract on Widow Remarriage. 2000 prints sold out in the first week.

1856 Draft Bill on Widow Remarriage introduced in the legislative council and passed as the Hindu Widow Remarriage Act; Act passed fixing the age of consent at 10; Indian Penal Code - bigamy treated as a crime and the marriage is considered void. The crime is punishable with imprisonment and fine.

1869 Indian Divorce Act 1869 Section 10, looked at issues like adultery, cruelty, desertion and mental disorder/unsoundness of mind as grounds for divorce. Section 19 cited Fraud and Section 22 allowed for impotence as valid grounds. Widow Remarriage Association started in Madras Special Marriage Act. Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872. This act was a consolidation of different small statutes of marriage of the Indian Christians. It repealed certain Acts of 1852 and 1865.

1881 Arya Mahila Samaj started by Pandita Ramabai; Ladies Theosophical Society founded by Swarnakumari Devi; Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya's Anandamath, evoked the image of 'motherland'.

1883 Kadambini Basu and Chandramukhi Basu receive their B.A.'s from Bethune, becoming the first women graduates in the British empire.

1888 International Council of Women formed and held it's first meeting in Washington D.C. 9 Ten women attend annual national conference of the Indian National Congress.

1890 Age of Consent increased to 12 after reform work by Tilak and others.

1894 South Australia became the first hation to grant universal suffrage and allowed women to stand for parliament.

1905 Apart from supporting the INC, women were also part of the underground support system of reactionaries during the freedom struggle. They hid weapons, sheltered fugitives and encouraged women, "their domestic roles providing a cover for these subversive and revolutionary acts." Later women like Aruna Asif Ali and Usha Mehta make this participation visible.

1909 In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day was observed across the United States on February 28.

1910 The Socialist International, meeting in Copenhagen, established a Women's Day, international in character, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval by the conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, which included the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament. No fixed date was selected for the observance.

1915 Annie Besant elected President of the Congress, becoming it's first woman President.

1917 Led by Sarojini Naidu, Margaret Cousins, and Annie Besant among others met with Lord Montague to demand voting rights for indian women.

1920 Non Cooperation movement led by Mahatma Gandhi was marked by a mass participation of women.

1925 Indian Succession Act of 1925; National Council of Women in India was established as a branch of the International Council of Women. The organisation began with three life patrons, Dowager Begum Saheb of Bhopal Maharani Saheb of Baroda and Lady Dorab Tata.

1926 Kamaladovi Chattopadhyaya became the first woman to stand for elections in Mangalore. She was also the founding member of the AII India Women's Conference and the organisation's most active secretary.

1929 Gender Equality was adopted in the Fundamental Rights Resolution of the Indian Congress

1935 India Act 1935, granted the vote to women over 21 years of age who qualified for the same because they owned property or had a certain level of education.

1937 The 1937 elections Begum Shah Nawaz won a seat in the PunJab as a Unionist.

1947 The Indian constitution gives right to Equal Franchise Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex but permits discrimination in favour of women.

1953 vijaya Lakshmi Pandit elected President of the United Nations General Assembly. 1954 National Federation of Indian Women established as the women's wing of the Communist Party of India.

1955 The Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act 1955 Section l3 - Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion and Mental Disorder and Unsoundness of mind. Section 10 - Impotence Section 12 - Fraud (under Voidable Marriages.)

1956 The Hindu Succession Act governs a Hindu woman's right to property.

1959 Indira Gandhi becomes President of the Indian National Congress.

1961 Maternity Benefit Act o 1961; Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961

1966 Indira Gandhi becomes first Indian woman to become a prime minister.

1971 The Medical Termination Of Pregnancy Act, 1971 - An Act to provide for the termination of cortain prognancies by registered medical practitioners; Ela Bhatt founded the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) to bring poor women together and give them ways to fight for their rights and earn better.

1972 March 8, International Women's Day celebrated in India for the first time. TO Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as an "international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination."

1975 All India Medical Institute realised that foetus tests were conducted for abortion of female foetuses. 8 Forum Against Rape formed as a reaction to the Mathura Rape Case. (Now called Forum Against Oppression Of Womon)

1980 Centre for Women's Development Studies founded by Vina Mazumdar as an autonomous research unit.

1982 Saholi, an organisation based in New Delhi that was formed primarily to address issues of domestic violence and sexual harassment.

1983 A law passed in of Karnataka which included a clause that 25% of the seats in local councils be reserved for women. Elections to these councils were hold in 1987; Kali for Women, Asia's first feminist publishing house founded by Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Monon.

1985 Shahbano Case - Shahbano, a Muslim woman, was granted the right to financial support (a meagre Rs 25 per month, appealed at the MP High Court and raised to Rs 179.70 per month). The court's decision sparked off a controvergy as Muslims saw the decision as violation of Muslim law and the Constitutional Right to Personal Law.

1985 Hindu Succession (Andhra Pradesh) Amendment Act, according to this law the rights of the daughter are absolutely equal to that of the son even in cases of application of Mitakshara system

1987 Roop Kanwar, an eighteenyear-old widow was burnt alive in her husband's funeral pyre in front of the entire village. Protests forced the government to bring in the Rajasthan Sati Prevention Ordinance (RSPO),1987 by October.

1988 Maharashtra Regulation of the Use of Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1988.

1992 Government reserves 1/3 seats in ithe Panchayats and Municipalities for womon

1995 The Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995 culminated with the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action

1994 The Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 came into force on the January 1.

1997 Vishaka Judgement The Supreme Court of India Issued a judgement against sexual harassment at the workplace known as the Vishaka judgment

2001 Womens Empowerment Year Indian Divorce Act 3 of 1869 amended to remove gross inequalities mutual consent was also recognised as a ground for divorce

2004 Hindu Succession (Amondment) Bill amends Section 6 of 1956 Hindu Succession Act and removes discrimination giving equal rights to daughters

2006 The Delhi High Court passes a judgement allowing the employment of women in bars as bartenders

2007 Pratibha Patil becomes country's first woman to be elected as the President

- Compiled by Damini Purkayastha

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