Author: Aparna Basu
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8173044767
The All India women’s Conference completes seventy-five years in 2002. Little work has been done on the contributions of women’s organizations to women’s development in India. The first edition of this book was published in 1990. This revised edition brings the story right up to the present and makes a detailed study of the history of AIWC and its multifarious activities.
Founded in 1927, at the initiative of Margaret Cousins, the first session of the conference was held in Pune. It brought together women of different regions, religions and castes. Among the pioneers who shaped the organization were Sarojini Naidu, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Muthulakshmi Reddy, Lakshmi Menon, Renuka Ray, Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, Hansa Mehta and Vijayalakshmi Pandit.
The book focuses on the efforts of AIWC in the fields of education, social legislation and social reform. It also outlines the various socio-economic programmes and other activities undertaken by the nearly 500 branches of AIWC stretching all the way from Kerala to Jammu & Kashmir and from Goa to Tripura and Manipur. It examines the changing nature of these programmes and how far the conference has been also to respond to the needs of Indian women through the years. It also deals with the involvement of AIWC in the United Nations, its affiliated agencies and other international organizations.
The younger generation may not be fully aware of the historical roots of the Indian women’s movement in India. This study sheds light on this important aspect and seeks to bring about a realization that AIWC is their heritage bequeathed to them by the pioneers who strove to build up.