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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Evaluate the role of Indian women in the Indian National Movement. (150 words)

    13 Feb, 2023 GS Paper 1 History


    • Start your answer by briefly describing Indian National Movement.
    • Discuss the role of women in national movement and challenges faced by them.
    • Conclude accordingly.


    • The Indian National Movement was a political and social struggle aimed at securing independence for India from British colonial rule. The movement was a long and complex struggle that lasted for several decades, from the late 19th century to 1947.
    • Indian women played a significant role in the Indian National Movement. Their contributions have been instrumental in shaping the course of the movement and securing independence for India.


    • Role of Indian women in Indian National Movement:
      • Non-violent resistance: Indian women actively participated in non-violent resistance movements, such as the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India Movement.
        • For example, women like Aruna Asaf Ali and Sucheta Kriplani were prominent leaders in the Quit India Movement and played a crucial role in organizing mass demonstrations and strikes.
      • Mass demonstrations and strikes: Indian women were involved in mass demonstrations and strikes, and organized boycotts of British goods as a form of protest against colonial rule.
        • For example, women like Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mahatma Gandhi, participated in the Salt Satyagraha and was imprisoned for her activism.
      • Underground activities: Indian women were involved in underground activities, such as the production and distribution of anti-colonial literature, which played a crucial role in spreading awareness about the independence movement.
        • For example, women like Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, who was part of the Indian National Army, played a key role in the underground movement.
      • Support to political prisoners: Indian women provided support to political prisoners and participated in fundraising activities to support the independence movement.
        • For example, women like Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay played a crucial role in organizing relief efforts for political prisoners and their families.
      • Social reform movements: Indian women became involved in social reform movements during the independence struggle, working towards issues such as women's rights, education, and poverty alleviation.
        • For example, women like Sarojini Naidu and Annie Besant were prominent leaders in the women's rights movement and played a key role in advocating for women's empowerment.
    • The role of women in India’s freedom struggle is immeasurable and significant, but there were some challenges that were faced by them which are mentioned below:
      • Patriarchy and cultural norms: They posed a major challenge for Indian women who wanted to participate in the national movement.
        • Women were often viewed as second-class citizens.
        • Cultural and social barriers limited women's mobility and participation in public life.
        • Lack of education and political representation.
      • Economic and social constraints: They also played a role in limiting women's involvement in the national movement.
        • Poverty and financial circumstances.
        • Social stigma and discrimination.
        • Physical violence and abuse.


    • Despite facing numerous challenges, Indian women made significant contributions to the Indian National Movement.
    • Their efforts and sacrifices have been instrumental in securing independence for India and shaping the course of the movement.
    • The role of Indian women in the national movement serves as an inspiration and a testament to the strength and resilience of women in the face of adversity.

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