Hansa Mehta was one of the 15 women Constituent Assembly Members who championed the cause of women’s rights in Indian and International forums.
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. She was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bombay province and was a part of the assembly between 1946-1949.
As a member of Advisory Committee, Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights, Provincial Constitution Committee she had vociferously 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 also 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 and was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1959.
- Member, Advisory Committee;
- Member, Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights;
- Member, Provincial Constitution Committee.