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Distributed for Zubaan Books

We Also Made History

Women in the Ambedkarite Movement

Translated and with an Introduction by Wandana Sonalkar
Originally published in Marathi in 1989, this contemporary classic details the history of women’s participation in Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Dalit movement for the first time. Focusing on the involvement of women in various Dalit struggles since the early twentieth century, the book goes on to consider the social conditions of Dalit women’s lives, daily religious practices and marital rules, the practice of ritual prostitution, and women’s issues. Drawing on diverse sources including periodicals, records of meetings, and personal correspondence, the latter half of the book is composed of interviews with Dalit women activists from the 1930s. These first-hand accounts from more than forty Dalit women make the book an invaluable resource for students of caste, gender, and politics in India. A rich store of material for historians of the Dalit movement and gender studies in India, We Also Made History remains a fundamental text of the modern women’s movement.

372 pages | 8 halftones | 5 3/4 x 8 3/4 | © 2008

Asian Studies: South Asia

Women's Studies

View all books from Seagull Books


“It is indeed a proud achievement that a book written originally in Marathi…has been made available in English so soon. The book has marked the paths trodden by the pioneers of the movement. It is a treasure to Dalit and Dalit feminist studies [and] throws open seminal issues in feminist historiography.”

A. Mangai | The Hindu

“[A] timely and elegant translation…”

Anupama Rao | The Book Review

Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction
Author’s Preface
Foreword by Y.D. Phadke

Part I
1. Social Background
2. Historical Background
3. Laying Down the Foundation for Education
4. From Slumber to Awareness
5. Organising Against Religious Prostitution
6. Dalit Women and the Tradition of Marriage
7. The Struggle for Equality
8. The Power of Organization
9. Consciousness of Political Rights
10. Babasaheb’s Views on Women
11. Enlightenment through Literature
12. Victory of the Dhamma
13. After the Conversion

Part II
Ramabi Ambedkar, Radhabai Kamble, Jaibai Chaudhari, Tulsabai Bansode, Anjanibai Deshbhratar, Sulochanabai Dongre, Bhikshuni Laxmibai Naik, Seetabai Gaikwad, Geetabai Gaikwad, Virendrabai Teerthankar, Ratibai Puranik, Geetabai Pawar, Meenambal Shivraj, Mukta Sarvagaud, Shantabai Bhalerao, Shantabai Dani, Sakhubai Mohite, Keertibai Patil, Indirabai Patil, Ramabai Gaikwad, Kausalyabai Baisantri, Nalinitai Ladke, Vimal Rokade, Parbatabai Meshram, Muktabai Kamble, Damayanti Deshbhratar, Laxmibai Kaakde, Shantabai Sarode, Babytai Kamble, Seetabai Thakur, Shashikala Dongardive, Chandrika Ramteke, Jayabai Bhalerao, Geetabai Bhagat, Chandrabhaga Jadhav, Shuddhamati Bondhate, Sumanbai Bandisode, Vithabai Pawar, Sonutai Lanjewar, Meerabai Ambedkar, Sudha Ramteke, Sarla Maurya, Bhikshuni Nandasheela, Bhikshuni Chandrasheela

14. Conclusion
Pamphlets, Reports, etc

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