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Feminizing empire: The Association of Medical Women in India and the campaign for a women’s medical service

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samiksha Sehrawat


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© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Biswamoy Pati and Mark Harrison; individual chapters, the contributors. The Association of Medical Women in India (AMWI) was an important medical body, which despite the important role it played in the formation of the Women’s Medical Service in India in 1913 and in shaping colonial medical discourses regarding women in the twentieth century, has been historiographically neglected. This chapter examines the AMWI’s early criticism of the Dufferin Fund within the broader context of the colonial gender order and the rise of experts in the early twentieth century. The AMWI sought to improve the position and working conditions for British women doctors by asserting their racial and professional superiority to Indian female sub-assistant surgeons and their professional equality with British male Indian Medical Service officers. The AMWI also argued that their professional expertise and access to Indian women placed them in a unique position to represent the needs of Indian women. By doing this, British women doctors sought to shape nascent ideas of colonial development, initiating a process of ‘feminization of empire’ much earlier in India than in other parts of the British Empire.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sehrawat S

Editor(s): Biswamoy Pati and Mark Harrison

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Society, Medicine and Politics in Colonial India

Year: 2018

Pages: 252-270

Print publication date: 13/02/2018

Online publication date: 13/02/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: London


DOI: 10.4324/9781351262200

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781138286337