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Exploring the role of Indian suffragettes

Opening of the International Alliance of Women congress in Berlin in 1929. Herr Severing seated with Margery Corbett Ashby and surrounded by delegates of many nations surrounded by flags. LSE Library

Press release issued: 25 May 2018

In a year when the UK celebrates the centenary of women first getting the right to vote, a new book will look at the role of Indian women in the global suffrage movement.

Dr Sumita Mukherjee, from the Department of History at the University of Bristol, explores the topic in Indian Suffragettes: Female Identities and Transnational Networks, to be published by Oxford University Press in April 2018.

The book looks at the activities of Indian campaigners for the female vote in Asia, Europe, USA, Britain and other parts of the British Empire, and how they had an impact on campaigns in the Indian subcontinent.

Dr Mukherjee, a historian of the British Empire and the Indian Subcontinent, said: "The suffrage movement was a truly global enterprise, not solely confined to Britain or America, involving and affecting women from a range of diverse backgrounds.

"In this book, I discuss the experiences of the Indian suffrage campaigners who travelled around the world to lobby the British parliament, attend international women’s conferences, and conduct speaking tours to gather support for Indian women.”

"I explore the ways in which race, gender, and geographically-tied identities had an influence on debates around citizenship and political participation. The ways in which Indian women contemplated these issues have contemporary relevance for today's feminist movements."

In addition to her book, Sumita held an event at Westminster for historians, social scientists and campaigners to share their knowledge of women's suffrage across the world and look to the future of women in power. Read more on the History & Policy website.

And on 6 February 2018, the centenary of some women getting the vote in the UK, Dr Mukherjee’s research was cited in articles by BBC News, Broadly, Refinery29, TIME, and she was also interviewed by Al Jazeera.

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