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Mary Roy

Mary Roy:

Mary Roy, educator and women’s rights activist, died at the age of 89.

  • She is known for winning a Supreme Court lawsuit in 1986 against the gender biased inheritance law prevalent within the Syrian Malabar Nasrani community of Kerala.
  • The judgement ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women as with their male siblings in their ancestral property. Until then, her Syrian Christian community followed the provisions of the Travancore Succession Act of 1916 and the Cochin Succession Act, 1921, while elsewhere in India the same community followed the Indian Succession Act of 1925.
  • Mary Roy was denied her share of the familial property due to the Travancore Succession Act of 1916. She sued her brothers after her father’s death.
  • This was the case that made its way through the Indian court system and which she won.
  • She was the founder-director of Pallikoodam (formerly Corpus Christi High School) at Kalathilpady, a suburb of Kottayam town in the state of Kerala.
  • Her daughter is the Man Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy.