Avabai Wadia: The lawyer who became India’s family planning pioneer

Avabai Wadia played a major role in India becoming the first country to officially promote family planning.


In 1933, a sari-clad teenager made international headlines.

Avabai Wadia, 19, became the first woman from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to pass the bar exam in the United Kingdom. Her success encouraged the Ceylonese government to allow women to study law in the country.

This was not the only time Wadia spurred government policies on women’s rights. By the time she died in 2005, she had become a globally respected figure in the family planning movement, combining a lawyer’s acumen with a dedication to socially uplifting women.

Wadia was born in 1913 in a progressive Parsi family in Colombo. After qualifying as a lawyer, she worked in both London and Colombo despite omnipresent “masculine prejudice”.

Click Here to read this interesting story written by By Parinaz Madan & Dinyar Patel for BBC

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