In the early 1900s, when concepts like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao were yet to gain popularity among Indian masses, a group of spirited women graduates launched a sorority to empower girls through education. The NGO, Women Graduates Union, in Colaba, is preparing to celebrate its centenary on Tuesday.
Its members are proud to see that the educational landscape of India has absorbed more and more women over the decades. Over a hundred years ago scarcely any girls acquired a graduation degree. Today, millions of them walk the corridors of the Indian workplace.
President Nandita Singh said, “Despite several achievements though, the end is not in sight. We are still struggling to secure equal pay for equal work. We will organise a free seminar on ‘Women’s Empowerment through Law’ on Saturday, February 27. Former Supreme Court judge Sujata Manohar, a member of WGU, and Roshan Dalvi, former Bombay high court judge, along with senior counsel Rajani Iyer will speak about laws governing property, matrimonial laws and rights of women in the workplace.”
Swarn Kohli, chairperson of the centenary seminar committee, said, “Given the large number of women graduates in Mumbai I wish more of them became members. WGU takes keen interest in consumer affairs, sanitation, civic issues and traffic management. We also run one of the best hostels for working women where we only admit out-of-towners so they can come to Mumbai to seek better job opportunities.”
WGU was formed in 1951 by British women led by Dr Annette Benson, who worked at Cama Hospital. The founders were affiliated to the Association of British University Women in India. In 1888, Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman from Bombay Province to pass the Bachelor of Arts exam with a first class. More women graduates appeared in the 1890s, and by 1915, there were some 200. Many became members gradually.
WGU is affiliated to the Graduate Women International (GWI) and is an affiliate of the Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations (IFUWA).
As reported by Times of India