Who became the first trans person to become a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the India?

In 1998, Shabnam Mausi from Madhya Pradesh became the first trans person to become a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the India. She was elected from the Sohagpur constituency, which she retained till 2003.

She was born visibly intersex and was given a masculine name. Her father, a police superintendent of the Brahmin caste, gave her away shortly after she was born to protect his own social image.

She attended only two years of primary schooling but learned 12 languages during her travels.

Shabnam Mausi was elected from the Sohagpur constituency in Madhya Pradesh state's Shahdol-Anuppur district. As a member of the Legislative Assembly, her agenda included fighting corruption, unemployment, poverty, and hunger, as well as speaking out against discrimination against transgender people, hijras, eunuchs, cross-dressers and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.

In 2005, a fiction feature film titled Shabnam Mausi was made about her life. It was directed by Yogesh Bharadwaj, and the role of Shabnam Mausi was played by Ashutosh Rana.

Although she is no longer in public office, Shabnam Mausi continues to participate actively in AIDS/HIV with NGOs and gender activists in India.


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Who became the India's first openly lesbian athlete?

Holder of the women’s 100-metre spirit record in India, in 2019 Dutee Chand became the country’s first openly lesbian athlete. When she faced backlash from a few of her own family members following her announcement, she tweeted, ‘Everyone won’t be positive, but some of my family and fans have been supportive and said, “Your life is yours.” So, I haven’t paid attention to the rest.’

Ms Chand was the first Indian sprinter to reach a final at a global athletics event, the World Youth Championships in 2013.

In 2014, she was banned from competing by the Athletics Federation of India after failing a hormone test which found she had unusually high testosterone levels, a condition known as "hyperandrogenism".

South African Olympic athlete Caster Semenya has the same condition.

Ms Chand's legal team successfully argued the ruling was discriminatory and flawed at a hearing in March 2015.

The following year she qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics and in 2018 she won two silver medals at the Asian Games.

She currently holds the women's 100-metre sprint record in India.


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Who became first bowler in men or women's cricket to take four wickets without conceding a single run?

During a 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup match against the West Indies, South African skipper Dane van Niekerk became the first bowler in men or women's cricket to take four wickets without conceding a single run, in limited-overs cricket. The following year, during a Women’s World T20 match against Sri Lanka, when she and her spouse Marizanne Kapp (a record-holding cricketer) batted together, they became the first-ever married pair to bat together in the history of ICC tournaments.

Another quirky coincidence is the fact all three previous occasions featured Ireland. New Zealand’s Debbie Hockley finished with figures of 0/1 in 6 overs in 1988 and England’s Gill Smith picked up 0/2 in 5 overs in 1990 and both of them came against Ireland. The only other time before van Niekerk’s superhuman effort was when Ireland's Lara Molins finished with figures of 0/1 in 5 overs against Scotland in 2001.

Although a bowler has picked up a wicket without conceding a run on 66 occasions, this was only the fifth time a bowler had picked up more than one wicket and still failed to concede a run in the innings and the first South African to do so.


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Which was the first start-up feminist publishing in India?

Kali for Women was the first start-up feminist publishing in India. It was set up by writers Urvashi Bhutalia and Ritu Menon in 1984. It published several popular and seminal works on women, and continued for nearly two decades.

Another important work published by Kali in the early years was Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History, edited by Sudesh Vaid and Kumkum Sangari, (Kali for Women, 1989) which continues to be part of every reading list even today within the country and outside on gender and colonialism in South Asia. Butalia remembers ‘trapping’ the two editors in her flat and babysitting Sangari’s young child while they finally wrote up the introduction to the book which had been delayed for long. Another early book which established Kali’s reputation as a cutting-edge feminist press was a Hindi title called Sharir ki Jaankaari (The Knowledge of the Body) which was authored by 75 village women, and on their insistence, sold at a special price below cost to women from villages. Almost 70,000 copies of the book have been sold to date.

After running Kali for Women together for a little short of two decades and creating an enviable corpus of feminist titles spanning creative writing, activist tracts and scholarly texts, Butalia and Menon decided to go their separate ways in 2003. There has been much speculation about their decision in the book trade and outside; however, the lists that they subsequently developed at Zubaan and Women Unlimited put to rest any whispers about the ‘death of the feminist press’ in India. Both presses have grown beyond Kali for Women while keeping the original commitment to self-aware women’s writing intact.


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Who was the woman to have organised the first-ever Women’s Day?

In 1910, during the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, German feminist Clara Zetkin proposed that each year all the countries earmark the same day – a Women’s Day – for women to press for their demands. The conference, with over 100 women from 17 countries and various walks of life, offered its unanimous approval for the suggestion, and the International Women’s Day was born.

Zetkin was a personal friend of Vladimir Lenin, and in 1915 organised the first international women’s conference against World War I. In 1916, she co-founded the radical Spartacus League.

After World War I, Zetkin played a leading role in the German Communist Party, which she represented in the Reichstag (German parliament) from 1920 until 1933 — the year the party was banned by Adolf Hitler.

Zetkin died in Russia in 1933 shortly before Hitler came to power.

March 8 became the official date of IWD after a women's protest in 1917 led to the forced abdication of Nicholas II, the last Russian Emperor.

In the early years, the IWD was celebrated on February 28, according to the Julian Calendar observed by Soviet Russia. It was converted to March 8, as per the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most of the world.

The day was mostly considered a labour movement until 1967 — the year when the feminist movement adopted it.

In 1975, the United Nations celebrated March 8 for the first time and invited member countries of the General Assembly to proclaim it as International Women’s Day two years later.


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