Hansa Jivraj Mehta
1897 - 1995

 

Hansa Mehta was Born to Dewan of Baroda, Manubhai Mehta, she went on to study in Baroda University and London. She married Jivraj Narayan Mehta who went on to become the first Chief Minister of Gujarat. She was the President of the All India Women’s Conference for a year in 1946.

Hansa Mehta was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bombay Province and was a part of the assembly between 1946-1949.  She was one of the 15 women members of the Constituent Assembly. .As a member of Advisory Committee, Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights, Provincial Constitution Committee she  advocated for equality and justice for women in India. The passage of the Sarda Act (also known as Child Marriage Restrain Act, 1929), which abolished child marriage, is  credited to her.

Hansa Mehta played a significant role in ensuring that Article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (‘UDHR’) was made inclusive and is credited to changing the phrase “All men are born free and equal” to “All human beings are born free and equal”. Hansa Mehta and Eleanor Roosevelt ensured marriage equality to women through Article 16 of UDHR.

She was a part of the Drafting Committee of Hindu Code Bill. 

She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959.

Committee Memberships:

  1. Member, Advisory Committee;
  2. Member, Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights;
  3. Member, Provincial Constitution Committee.

  1. On December 19, 1946 she addressed the issues of equality and social, economic and political justice for women in India.
  2. On August 14, 1947 she presented the Indian flag to the Constituent Assembly.
  3. On November 22, 1949 she advocated for uniform civil code and made an intervention on the issues of minorities, abolition of “purdah” and prohibition of liquor.