The steady change in their position can be highlighted by looking at what has been achieved by women in the country: 1848: Jyotirao Phule, along with his wife Savitribai Phule, opened a school for girls in Pune, India. Savitribai Phule became the first woman teacher in India. 1879: John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune established the Bethune School in 1849, which developed into the Bethune College in 1879, thus becoming the first women's college in India. 1883: Chandramukhi Basu and Kadambini Ganguly became the first female graduates of India and the British Empire. 1886: Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi became the first women from India to be trained in Western medicine. 1905: Suzanne RD Tata becomes the first Indian woman to drive a car. 1916: The first women's university, SNDT Women's University, was founded on 2 June 1916 by the social reformer Dhondo Keshav Karve with just five students. 1917: Annie Besant became the first female president of the Indian National Congress. 1919: For her distinguished social service, Pandita Ramabai became the first Indian woman to be awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal by the British Raj. 1925: Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress. 1927: The All India Women's Conference was founded.
1944: Asima Chatterjee became the first Indian woman to be conferred the Doctorate of Science by an Indian university. 1947: On 15 August 1947, following independence, Sarojini Naidu became the governor of the United Provinces, and in the process became India's first woman governor. 1951: Prem Mathur of the Deccan Airways becomes the first Indian woman commercial pilot. 1953: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly 1959: Anna Chandy becomes the first Indian woman judge of a High Court (Kerala High Court) 1963: Sucheta Kriplani became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the first woman to hold that position in any Indian state. 1966: Captain Durga Banerjee becomes the first Indian woman pilot of the state airline, Indian Airlines. 1966: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay wins Ramon Magsaysay award for community leadership. 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first woman Prime Minister of India 1970: Kamaljit Sandhu becomes the first Indian woman to win a Gold in the Asian Games 1972: Kiran Bedi becomes the first female recruit to join the Indian Police Service. 1979: Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Indian female citizen to do so. 1984: On 23 May, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest. 1989: Justice M. Fathima Beevi becomes the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India. 1997: Kalpana Chawla becomes the first India-born woman to go into space. 1992: Priya Jhingan becomes the first lady cadet to join the Indian Army (later commissioned on 6 March 1993) 1994: Harita Kaur Deol becomes the first Indian woman pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), on a solo flight. 2000: Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal (bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney). 2002: Lakshmi Sahgal became the first Indian woman to run for the post of President of India. 2004: Punita Arora became the first woman in the Indian Army to don the highest rank of Lieutenant General. 2007: Pratibha Patil becomes the first woman President of India. 2009: Meira Kumar became the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, the lower house in Indian Parliament. Crimes against women
Police records in India show a high incidence of crimes against women. The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that by 2010 growth in the rate of crimes against women would exceed the population growth rate. Earlier, many crimes against women were not reported to police due to the social stigma attached to rape and molestation. Official statistics show a dramatic increase in the number of reported crimes against...
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