At a time when women’s issues were considered unimportant and secondary, newspapers started by Dr. B R Ambedkar, Mooknayak and Bahiskrit Bharat predominantly used to cover issues related to women. Not many are aware of Babasaheb’s unequivocal determination to work for women’s empowerment apart from annihilating caste.

Oppression doesn’t function in isolation and neither should feminism. Hence, Dalit feminism recalls the joint oppression of caste and gender faced by multiple Dalit women. As the late Sharmila Rege, director, Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre at Pune University and a feminist sociologist, said during the 6th Ambedkar Memorial Lecture she delivered at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS),

“There is an urgency for feminist discourse to turn to Ambedkar. A category of women undifferentiated by caste does not exist for feminists to mobilise. Now the pressure is not to talk about gender in isolation, but to include class, caste and other factors. Therefore, there is a need to reclaim Dr. Ambedkar’s writings as feminist classics.”

On Babasaheb’s 125th birth anniversary, we bring you thirteen quotes of Dr. B R Ambedkar which truly show that he was a feminist and strove hard for women’s education and equality. The Indian feminist movement is incomplete without the contribution of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Savitribai Phule and Mahatma Jotiba Phule.

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Image Credit: Feminism in India

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