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Pandita Ramabai, The High-Caste Hindu Woman (1888)

Originally published in Marathi, The High-Caste Hindu Woman by Pandita Ramabai (alternatively spelled Pundita Ramabai) was translated into English for this 1888 edition. Ramabai was born in 1859 in Maharashtra to a Chitpavan Brahmin family. Her parents, her brother, and eventually her husband died within a four year span (1876-1880), after which Ramabai became a lecturer and founded the Arya Mahila Somaj to promote women's education and prevent child-marriage. She converted to Christianity, and under the sponsorship of a missionary traveled to England where she and her daughter were baptized by the Church of England in 1883. Eventually, she traveled to the U.S., her accounts of which became the subject of another travelogue. Throughout The High-Caste Hindu Woman, Ramabai presents a sharp critique of caste and gender divisions in Hindu society.

This edition opens with a portrait and the obituary of Anandibai Joshee, who graduated from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1886 and became the "first Hindu woman to receive the Degree of Doctor of Medicine in any country." An introduction that reflects on the biographies of both Joshee and Ramabai is attributed to "R.L.B."

Early Women Students

Date: 1888
Language: English
Creator: Pandita Ramabai
Contributor: Rachel L. Bodley
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Item History: 2012-02-03 (created); 2013-05-03 (modified)

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