Pre Independent India Social Movements Based on Gender Sociology

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  • Patriarchal system
  • Women discriminated against
  • Evil and orthodox practices
  • 19th century middle class movement
  • Educated middle class
  • Ram Mohan Roy, Jyotiba Phule, etc.
  • Women՚s rights – Nationalist vision

Role of Polity

  • 1931, Karachi Session – Fundamental Rights – women՚s equality
  • 1970s- practices like sati, child marriage, dowry murder, etc. prevalent
  • Need for law

Emergence of Women՚s Movement

  • During British raj
  • Clash of ideas and ideals of society
  • Women participation in movements
  • Brahmo Samaj – women education
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Kesab Chandra, Syed Ahmed Khan
  • Prarthna Samaj, All India Muslim Women՚s Conference
  • Widow reforms, widow remarriage, abolition of sati, child marriage, etc.

Second Phase of Women՚s Movement

  • Women organized themselves
  • Pan-India agenda
  • Women leaders during National Movements
  • Linked to Swaraj
  • Majority participation by educated and urban and middle- class women


  • Political participation
    • Political representation
    • 1917 – INC session – Annie Besant
    • From 1920 – voting rights to women – Travancore
  • Personal laws needed to be reformed
    • Sarda Act – raised age of marriage
    • Hindu Law Code Bills, 1950 – property rights to women
  • Ban on social evils
  • Educating women
  • ‘Hum Bharat ki nari hain, phool nahi, chingari hain’
  • (We, the women of India, are not flowers but fiery sparks)


  • Focused on issue of privileged class women
  • Lower caste women՚s ignored
  • Impact questioned
  • Many social evils and practices still exist today
Focused on Issue of Privileged Class Women


  • Pan- India mobilisation of women
  • Awareness of roles and rights
  • Civic rights of women
  • Constitutional support - “The Constitutions radical departure from inherited social values represented to women of that generation its greatest intrinsic quality.” – Veena Majumdar
  • The pre-independence women movements were about social reforms and initiated by men.

Q. 1. What was one of the strategies of Mahatma Gandhi behind using Charkha?

(A) Women could participate even from their homes in the movement by using charkha.

(B) Charkha was easily available

(C) Charkha was easy to use

(D) Charkha did not break the laws

Answer: A

Q. 2. Whose efforts led to Widow Remarriage Act of 1856

(A) Ram Mohan Roy

(B) Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

(C) Pandita Ramabai

(D) Jyotirao Phule

Answer: B

#Sociology of Development

#Social Movements and Protests

#Movements Based on Gender (New 2019)