It is true that occasionally women of the character and personality of Razia Sultana, Chand Bibi, or Ahilyabai Holkar arose in India. But they were exceptions to the general pattern, and do not in any way change the picture. After the 1880s, when Dufferin hospitals (named after Lady Dufferin, the wife of the Viceroy) were started, efforts were made to make modern medicine and child delivery techniques available to Indian women. Women played an active and important role in the struggle for freedom.
They participated in large numbers in the agitation against the partition of Bengal and in the Home Rule movement. Sarojini Naidu, the famous poetess, became the president of the National Congress. Several women became ministers or parliamentary secretaries in the popular ministries of 1937. They started many organisations and institutions for this purpose, the most outstanding of which was the All India Women’s Conference founded in 1927.
The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 made the daughter an equal co-heir with the son. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 permitted the dissolution of marriage on specific grounds.
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