Justice Fathima Beevi, the first woman judge of the Supreme Court, died in Kollam, Kerala on 23 November at 96.

The trailblazer paved the way for female judges in higher courts in India and inspired young girls to choose law.

She was born in Pathanamthitta, Kerala, in 1927 and obtained her Bachelor of Law degree from Government Law College in Thiruvananthapuram.

In 1950, she became the first woman to receive a Bar Council gold medal when she topped the Bar Council exam.

Starting her legal career in Kollam, she worked as a magistrate and grew to become a district sessions judge in 1974, and Kerala High Court Judge in 1983.

She broke the glass ceiling in 1989 when she became the first woman appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court.

After retiring in 1993, she served as a member of the National Human Rights Commission and then as Governor of Tamil Nadu.

In fact, she was the first woman to become a Supreme Court Justice in any Asian country.

PTI reports that Kerala Health Minister Veena George said, "She was a brave woman who had many records to her name. She was a personality who, through her own life, showed that willpower and a sense of purpose can overcome any adversity."