What was the contribution of the women's participation in national movement?

 “What was the contribution of the women's participation in national movement?”

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If the achievements of women were not acknowledged, the history of the Indian Freedom Struggle would be lacking. The sacrifice made by the Indian women will take precedence. To secure our independence, they fought valiantly and bravely despite numerous exploitations, tortures, and difficulties. When the majority of the male freedom fighters were incarcerated, the women stepped forward and took over the fight. There are many wonderful ladies whose names have been recorded in history for their unwavering commitment to serving India. As early as 1817, women began taking part in the movement for Indian independence. British colonel Malcolm was beaten by Bhima Bai Holkar's valiant guerilla fight against him.

There were two prominent ladies who encouraged women to join the movement before Mahatma Gandhi emerged as the movement's undisputed leader.

Annie Besant

Theosophical Movement in India leader Annie Besant was one among them. She supported Indian women's liberation. Many Indian women actually joined her Home Rule Movement. She claimed that the engagement of many women, who contributed to the unplanned bravery, perseverance, and self-sacrifice of the feminine nature, increased the effectiveness of the Home Rule Movement tenfold. She viewed child marriage as a societal vice and wished to see it eradicated from Indian society. She advised against boys getting married young because of this. She was also in favour of children and young widows getting remarried. She firmly thought that the push for women’s education will help to successfully address the pressing issues facing the country.

Sarojini Naidu

One of the pioneers of women’s involvement in the National Movement was Sarojini Naidu. She was instructed by Gopal Krishna Gokhale to utilise her poetry and her lovely words to rekindle the sense of freedom in the minds of the locals. She was tasked with using her skill to set Mother India free. She first met Mahatma Gandhi in August 1914, and ever since she has devoted her energy to the independence struggle. As a politician and independence fighter, Sarojini Naidu was quite active. She led the group that visited Mr Montagu in 1917 to discuss women’s suffrage. She pushed for a resolution in support of women’s voting rights to be adopted at the special Congress meeting in Bombay in 1918. She travelled to England in 1919 as a representative of the Home Rule League to testify before the Joint Parliamentary Committee. She presented the argument for women’s suffrage there. She started advocating for women’s satyagraha in 1919 and travelled all throughout India to do so. She specifically called on women to protest the Rowlett Act.

Sarojini joined the campaign for non-cooperation in 1920. Sarojini Naidu toured the riot-torn regions of Bombay in 1921 during the riots that broke out as a result of the protest against the Prince of Wales’s visit to the city in an effort to persuade people to support Hindu-Muslim unity. Similarly to this, she went to Moplah to handle a volatile situation during the insurrection and questioned the government’s response.

She supported the Akalis and spoke out against the ban placed on them throughout the 1920s and 1930s. She visited South Africa in 1924, presided over a meeting of the East African Congress, and spoke out against the Anti-Historic Bill. She participated in numerous groups formed to advance freedom while serving multiple prison terms.

With Mrs Sarojini Naidu serving as their president, members from several women’s organisations in India met in Bombay in September 1931 and drafted a memorandum requesting “the rapid admission of an adult franchise without any sex distinction.” After the memorandum was approved, women were given the same rights as males. 

Other contributions

At the time, many other Western nations were still engaged in the struggle for gender equality. Many women, like Pandita Ramabai, Anandi Gopal, and Savithribai Phule, challenged the colonial patriarchy. Gandhiji also played a significant role in the inclusion of women in the national cause. Women played a significant role in India's freedom movement. Given that the primary techniques of resistance were non-cooperation and non-violence, women could participate in the movement and were even encouraged to do so. They actively participated in the Swadeshi movement, which included picketing liquor stores, refusing to pay taxes, and boycotting foreign goods. Women took part in both the civil disobedience movement of 1930 and the non-cooperation movement of 1921 in large numbers.

Indian women learned the value of leading aware lives as a result of their affiliation with and participation in the liberation movement. In addition, prominent female activists like Kamaladevi Ghattopadhyaya, Kalpana Dutt, and Madame Bikaji Cama emerged.

Contribution to the Swadeshi Movement

Contrary to reality, it is often believed that women’s involvement in the independence struggle contributed to the movement’s decline. For all women, Rani Lakshmi Bai set a significant example of how women might actively participate in the struggle and engage in combat. As a result, several women gained notoriety for their brave deeds and fearless attitude.

The Swadeshi Movement opposed a Watershed Movement that was launched in the early 1900s to increase women’s involvement in the revolt. The reason for this was that the Swadeshi movement did not question the feminity of women or their established place in society. The women opposed the modern moderate phase and the zealousness of the reformers.

They thought that women need to have their own space if they wish to join in the Nationalist movement. The importance of women’s involvement in the freedom struggle is often ignored in important books on the national movement. Because it was women who stepped forward to take responsibility at the time and took control of the struggles and movements, women played a crucial role in the Indian National Movement and fought with true spirit and fearless courage while facing numerous forms of torture, exploitation, and hardships to win us our freedom. Therefore, the milestone of Indian Independence cannot be attained without the commitment and devotion of women to the service of India.

First War of Independence

Although the British were able to put an end to it within a year, it was unquestionably a popular uprising in which the Indian rulers, the populace, and the militia actively took part, leading to its designation as the First War of Indian Independence. The First War for the Freedom of India had a magnificent heroine in Rani Lakshmibai. She exemplified heroism, respect for oneself, and patriotism. She was the empress of an endless empire of splendour while ruling a little state as its queen.


People fall for the misconception that “Women had scarcely any role to play in the national movements” due to factors like stereotyping and undervaluing women’s efforts in nationalist movements in an effort to highlight the achievements made by men. Hence Women’s contributions to the Indian freedom struggle were crucial and cannot be measured or quantified. They ranged from being ordinary people to leading the mass movement. Nationalists and reformers were forced to concentrate on families and establishing a nonviolent home environment. Additionally, this criticism forged a bond of national honour between Indian men and women. The majority of research on women’s participation in the Indian national movement has focused on the contributions of a small number of well-known female leaders, including Sarojini Naidu, Vijaylakshmi Pandit, Sucheta Kripalani, and Annie Besant. The involvement of hundreds of women at the local level-out in the streets as well as inside their homes was less well acknowledged but no less significant. Ordinary middle-class women participate in the Indian freedom movement with nationalist views, particularly in the United Provinces.

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