First Woman Judge of High Court
Justice Anna Chandy, commonly known as Anna Chandy, occupies a significant place in Indian legal history. Her remarkable path, from being the first female judge in the British Empire to achieving the distinction of becoming the first female judge of High Court, exemplifies her pioneering accomplishments and steadfast dedication to advocating for women’s rights.
Early Life of Anna Chandy
Birth date: 5th April 1905
Birth place: Trivandrum, Travancore
Anna Chandy’s early life was marked by determination and academic excellence. Raised in Trivandrum, she belonged to the Anglican Syrin Christian community. Her pursuit of education led her to earn a post-graduate degree in 1926, setting the stage for her future accomplishments. In a significant milestone, she became the first woman in her state to obtain a law degree and subsequently, she was called to the Bar.
· Entry into Politics
Anna Chandy entered into political arena by contesting elections from the Shree Mulam Popular Assemble. In 1932, she was elected to the assembly for the term 1932-34, thereby becoming a part of the legislative process.
· Judicial Career
In 1937, Anna Chandy marked her entry into the judiciary, becoming the first woman judge in an Indian district court. This achievement was monumental, as it defied societal norms that had long excluded women from the legal profession.
· District Judge
Anna Chandy’s journey within the legal profession continued to ascend as she was promoted to the position of District Judge in 1948. Her dedication and competence propelled her forward, solidifying her reputation as a capable and successful jurist.
· First Woman Judge of High Court
Anna Chandy’s legacy reached new heights in 1959 when she was appointed as a judge to the Kerala High Court. This landmark achievement marked her as the first woman judge in an Indian High Court. Her elevation to this prestigious position was a defining moment that reflected not only her individual accomplishments but also the gradual shift towards greater gender diversity in the judiciary.
· Advocacy for Women’s Rights
Alongside her judicial pursuits, Anna Chandy was a fervent advocate for women’s rights. She founded and edited the journal “Shreemati,” the first woman’s magazine in the Malayalam language. Through this platform, she championed issues ranging from gender equality to education for women, fostering a space for discourse and progress.
Legacy and Impact
Justice Anna Chandy’s legacy continues to inspire the generations. Her journey from being the first female judge in the British Empire to becoming the first woman judge of a high court in India is an evident to her determination, resilience and commitment to breaking down gender barriers.