Oftentimes, women’s contributions are overlooked because, for the most part, it is men who write history.

In India, women of the Sikh faith have fought, ruled, taught and served for centuries. They have managed organizations, guided communities and led revolts. These accomplishments are admirable in their own right, and they are even more impressive when viewed in the context of the intense patriarchy and cultural misogyny against which these women were working.

We know about some women, but there are others whose stories have been lost to time.

Here are 10 badass Sikh women of history who have shaped our world and whose legacies inspire us today. Armed with the Sikh belief in social justice and gender equality, these women paved the way for a more just and compassionate world.

(Note: Many of the women have the last name Kaur. They are not necessarily related. Many women of the Sikh faith share the name Kaur as a way to indicate equality and sisterhood. The 10th Sikh Guru, or prophet, asked all Sikhs to adopt a collective name reserved for royal families to signify the inherent equality and nobility of every individual: Kaur for women and Singh for men. This challenged the Indian caste system, in which traditional family last names were used to signify one’s social status, and undermined the patriarchal practices of taking the husband’s name.)

1) The Freedom Fighter: Gulab Kaur (1890–1941)

Coming from a poor family, Gulab Kaur and her husband, Man Singh, sought a better future. So, from Punjab, India, they went to Manila, Philippines, with the ultimate aim of migrating to America. In Manila, Gulab Kaur heard lectures by the Ghadar Party, an organization founded by Punjabi Indians abroad with the aim to liberate India from British Rule.  She was inspired to join the movement and, with a press pass in hand and disguised as a journalist, she distributed arms to Ghadar Party members. Gulab Kaur also encouraged others to join the Ghadar Party by distributing independence literature and delivering inspiring speeches to Indian passengers of ships. She was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison in Lahore (present-day Pakistan) for seditious acts.

the rest of this fascinating article over at  :MSblog a blog well worth perusing for all kinds of interesting things 🙂