|Anna Chandy, the first female judge in India. www.geni.com|
|Kerala High Court. en.wikipedia.org|
......... Mahatma Gandhi
Throughout India in the early 1900s when it came to public service and politics, it was exclusively a male domain. Women were not allowed to go beyond matriculation because of the sheer fact that they had to move or associate themselves closely with males. This would mean the Indian culture would be at stake and women would succumb to male exploitation, etc. Yet another misconception among the conservative Indians was that women were not as much talented and competent as men were. Thus scores of talented women were denied fundamental rights, education and opportunity to move forward in the Indian conservative society.
Though matriarchy is recognized in many communities in Kerala, the society as a whole, was biased against women and majority of the people there say "matriarchy is the biggest hypocrisy" in Kerala and actually the head of the family is always the male member. So, matriarchy, in the true sense was not practiced in any part of Kerala and simply it was a myth.
With respect to recognition of women's rights, etc., among the Indian women, Kerala women were more daring and determined than their counter parts elsewhere. In Kerala, despite hurdles, women made an early entry in politics and were granted rights to vote for the Shree Mulam Popular Assembly in 1919 and further, they were given voting and membership rights as far back as in 1922. In the late 1930s one Narayani Amma became the first woman legislator in the princely state of Travancore.
Anna Chandy (1905-1996), born in 1905 and raised in Tiruvananthapuram in a Syrian Christian family of Kerala, was the first woman judge in India and also the first high court judge in this country. She also took the honor of being the first woman to get a law degree in Kerala. She did her post-graduate degree in 1926. While practicing as a lawyer from 1929, she was actively involved in promoting the cause of women's rights and their legitimate role in the society. The women workers in the agricultural lands suffered a lot and were not paid reasonable wages by the landlords. Similar was the fate of working women in other fields as well. To promote their cause and redress their grievances, Mrs. Chandy started a magazine called ''Shrimati,'' that she both founded and edited.
|Anna Chandy, first woman in Kerala to get a law degree. jaipurwomenblog.org.|
Anna Chandy was one of the early torch-bearers of women's rights in India and made a valid contribution towards the progress of Indian women, especially those of Kerala. Through hard work and dedication she rose to the position of eminence at a time when women empowerment was a by word. She, on her own merit, achieved greatness by breaking barriers in the society that was steeped in conservatism. Often described as the first generation feminist, Anna Chandy achieved what was impossible.
"First to appoint a lady advocate – Mrs. Anna Chandy — as District Judge.". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
"Former Judges of High Court of Kerala". Retrieved 2008-05-27.
(Revised December 03, 2015)