The women who advocated for the upliftment of women in a Patriarchal setup.
Women should get a better education, “ not because we may make better matches for our girls… not even that the services of the daughter-in-law may be more valuable in the home of her adoption, but because a woman like a man is, first of all, a mind, and only in the second place physical and a body.”
The journey of women has never been easy because they have gone through a bigger struggle to get their rights and freedom. One such big struggle has been the right to education and gender equality. The fight for these rights has been a bigger struggle. Education has been denied to women due to poverty, cultural belief, violence, and much more.
Back in the time when women were forced to take up the job of homemaker, Abala bose took a stand against Patriarchal norms and did commending work to improve the ratio of women's education. The mid 19th century was one of the most crucial times because the ideals of nationalism and independence were running high in the blood of Indian society. It was a time when Indian society began to introspect on the discriminatory practices towards caste and gender. There were widespread social ills that included Sati, ostracization of widows, unregulated age of consent for sexual relations, child marriage, and property rights.
Abala bose was born to Durgamohan Das on 8 August 1865. He was a prominent leader of the Brahmo Samaj. Her mother, Brahmamoyee, advocated the cause of the development of widows. Widows had to face severe ostracisation and social injustices. Brahmamoyee died when Abala was only 10 years old. Still, she left a deep impact on Abala. She was brought up in an environment where women were supported to pursue higher studies.
Abala Bose, also known as 'Lady Bose', was very affectionate for women who were widows or suffered from distress and misery. She was a prominent social worker.
She married prominent scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose at 23. He was also known as the father of Radioscience and she got the chance to travel through the world with him. She got to widen the vision towards women's empowerment. She was initially denied admission to the University of Calcutta because females were not accepted. But, she and her sister Sarla become the first women to be accepted by the University of Calcutta.
During a time when education for girls was not accepted in society and was looked upon with an objectionable attitude, she decided to study. She studied Medicine and pursued a career in it. Abala cleared her final year exams but was unable to study further owing to her illness.
As a woman, her establishments have been influential and praiseworthy. She along with 200 schools in rural areas founded the Nari Shiksha Samiti. She founded Vidyasagar Bani Bhavan, Mahila Shilpa Bhavan, and Bani Bhavan training school. It was primarily set up for Widows to provide teachers to these schools. Abala was the Secretary of Brahmo Balika Shikshalaya. When her husband died she donated Rs. 10,000,000 to set up the Sister Nivedita Women’s Education Fund and Sadhana Ashram.
Abala Bose died on 26 August 1951. She was a glorious woman who bravely fought for women's empowerment. Her whole life was devoted to fighting for women's education and the widows in India.
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