Dr. Rukhmabai (1864 –1955) was an Indian physician and feminist. She is best known for being one of the first practising women doctors in colonial India as well as being involved in a landmark legal case involving her marriage as a child bride between 1884 and 1888.
She was married off at the young age of eleven with Dadaji Bhikaji, who was nineteen years old. She stayed at her parent’s house and she educated herself under the guidance of her stepfather. In 1885, after 12 years of marriage, Bhikaji filed a petition in the court and sought “restitution of conjugal rights”.
Rakhmabai Defense Committee was formed by Behramji Malabari and Pandita Ramabai in her defence. The case continued for 4 years until Dadaji was compensated in 1888, outside of court. The case was instrumental in the drafting of the Age of Consent Act in 1891.