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Cornelia Sorabji: India’s First Woman Advocate And A Carrier Of Justice

The woman who drew a line in the stand, refusing to bow to the patriarchy and the first woman advocate who prejudiced role of women in her time.

The patron of justice, and social equality for woman made her maiden name in hall of fame of remarkable and great women. Born on 15th of November 1866 in Deolali, she was a great student. Since the inception of her education, Sorabji was the premier female graduate of the Bombay University. With the help of National Indian Association, Cornelia came to England to learn the Law at oxford.

Being a woman Cornelia faced many injustices, for instance she was refused the degree for law because getting a degree that time being a woman was just not considered. It was until 1923 when she received her degree from Oxford when women were allowed in the legal profession and emerged to be India’s first woman advocate. Sorabjee became a torch bearer for women’s rights and she advocated for rights of pardanashi women, abolition of child marriages, education of the female child and became a supporter of widow remarriage. Though this journey was not easy as she faced opposition in Indian courts due to gender bias. In her legal career Sorabji helped over 600 women and children, she was only limited to give her opinion as women were not allowed to plead in the court of law at that time.

 Cornelia Sorabji: First Woman Advocate

She was associated with the Bengal branch of the National Council for Women in India, the Federation of University Women, and the Bengal League of Social Service for Women. For her services to the Indian nation, she was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal in 1909.

Early in her career, Sorabji had supported the campaign for Indian Independence, relating women’s rights to the capacity for self-government. Although she supported traditional Indian life and culture, Sorabjee promoted reform of Hindu laws regarding child marriage and Sati by widows. She often worked alongside fellow reformer and friend Pandita Ramabai. Nevertheless, she believed that the true impetus behind social change was education.

Cornelia Sorabji became the first Indian woman advocate and the world remembers her for all the needful steps that somehow changed zillions unethical restrictions of Indian women.

Also read: Out Of World’s 142.6 Missing Females, India Reports 45.8 Million

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