Google Doodle celebrates India's first female lawyer Cornelia Sorabjee's 151st birth anniversary

Cornelia Sorabji

Google on Wednesday paid its tributes to Cornelia Sorabji, India's first woman lawyer, through a dedicated doodle on the occasion of her 151st birth anniversary. She received education at home and at mission schools.

She joined the Somerville College in 1889 and cleared the Bachelor of Civil Law in 1892, but was not awarded a degree as she was a woman-she only got the official degree after 1920, when they agreed to give degrees to women. Sorabji, who was a bright student, was entitled to a scholarship for higher studies in England, which she was denied. She then took up a temporary job as an English professor at a men's college in Gujarat.

Cornelia Sorabji was a trailblazing figure who notched several firsts - the first woman to graduate from Bombay University, the first Indian woman to read law at Oxford, and the first woman to become an advocate in India.

This day in History is very important from the point of view of India as it is the 151st birthday of India's first woman to study law at Oxford university.

After completing her education at the Oxford University, when Sorabji returned to India, she began providing legal support to women known as purdahnashins, who weren't allowed to have any communication with men, according to religious texts. She participated in social and advisory work and met the British agents of Kathiawar and Indore principalities, on behalf of the purdahnashins. And practised law in one of the prestigious University of UK.

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On her return she observed that women who owned considerable property did not have the necessary access to defend it.

- In the next 20 years of service, it is estimated that Sorabji helped over 600 women and orphans fight legal battles, sometimes at no charge.

Almost 58 years after her death, a statue of her bust was unveiled at the historic Lincoln's Inn in London. She was not recognized as an advocate in the Allahabad High Court even after passing the exams for it, until 1923, when the laws finally changed. Oxford University started awarding degrees to women only since 1922.

Her contribution to the betterment of the society brought her the Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal in 1909. So, in 1888, she asked the National Indian Association for help in completing her education.

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