Bombay Girls School
Artist: Simpson, William (1823-1899)
This chromolithograph is taken from plate 11 of William Simpson's 'India: Ancient and Modern'. At this time high-caste Indian women were not usually seen in public, but were restricted to the Zenana, or female quarters. The philanthropist, Mary Carpenter (1807-1877), led a movement to bring formal education to Indian women. The drive had been initiated in Bombay 15 years earlier by some male students at Elphinstone College, who formed the Students Society to promote female education. Slowly Hindu and Parsee schools opened, but there were no female teachers. Carpenter suggested that English female teachers could fulfil this role until such time as Indian women could be trained to take their place.