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Google Honours India’s First Woman Advocate Cornelia Sorabji

Google Honours India’s First Woman Advocate Cornelia Sorabji

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]earch engine giant Google today paid tribute to Cornelia Sorabji, the first Indian woman student in Britain and India’s first woman lawyer, on her 151st birth anniversary with a special doodle.

Sorabji, born in Maharashtras Nashik in 1866, is also recognised as the first woman graduate of Bombay University.

Designed by illustrator Jasjyot Singh Hans, the Google homepage shows a white-wigged Sorabji, dressed in a lawyers black robe, in front of the Allahabad High Court.

Image: Google Doodle

 Sorabji, who was the first woman advocate to join the Allahabad High Court bar, fought tirelessly for the rights of purdahnashins — veiled women forbidden by social custom from communicating with men outside their families.

“On what would have been her 151st birthday, we celebrate Cornelia Sorabji for breaking that first glass ceiling and for her persistence in the face of great adversity,” Googles doodle page said.

She became a legal advisor to the government for purdahnashins after she was barred from practicing the profession, it said.

When widowed, purdahnashins were often entitled to their husbands estates, but their isolation prevented them from seeking legal help to enforce their rights, it said.

She also earned them the right to be trained in nursing, which gave them the opportunity to work outside their homes.

Sorabji studied law at Oxford University in 1892. However, women were not awarded degrees by Oxford in those days – a rule that changed 30 years later in 1922 – making her unable to practice law in England.

She returned to India in 1894 but was not allowed to practice till the early 1920s.

 


 

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