representative roles in the INC.
    •   There the delegates appeared as the equals of men, but their true
        significance was symbolic. They sang in praise of Mother India and
        posed as regenerated Indian womanhood.
    •   In the protest movement against the partition of Bengal, women did
        not do the same things as men. Instead, they used their traditional
        roles to mask a range of political activities.
    •   While the public and the private continued to exist as distinct
        categories usual definitions of appropriate behaviour in each sphere
        were redefined and given political meaning.
Gandhi’s Role in Mobilizing Women
Gandhi’s Early Advice Soon after Gandhi’s return to India from South
Africa and introduction to Bombay society, he met women who belonged to
women’s social reform organisations. He was invited to talk to one of these
groups, composed of middle-class women, about the poverty of the masses.
He told his audience the India needed women leaders who were “pure, firm
and self-controlled” like the ancient heroines Sita, Damayanti and Draupadi.
It was these heroines Gandhi recalled when he told women to wake up and
recognise their essential equality with men. Only when they appreciated the
strength of their ancestresses, would women comprehend their right to
freedom and liberty.
Development of a Program for Women With the end of World War I and
renewed demands for self-rule, Gandhi began to develop a program for
women. On April 6, the day marked for a general strike throughout India, he
addressed a meeting of “ladies of all classes and communities,” and asked
them to join the satyagraha movement to facilitate the total involvement of
men. Within a week, hundreds of peaceful protesters were massacred in a
walled garden in the city of Amritsar. Men, women, and children were killed
in this brutal massacre, unmasking forever, Britain’s “civilizing mission.”
Gandhi called off the campaign, but it was already clear that women had
joined the fight against the British. Gandhi urged them to take the swadeshi
vow to give up foreign goods and spin every day. India’s poverty, he
explained, was caused by ignoring      indigenous crafts and purchasing foreign-