The history of India and the women of India is full of Pioneers who have broken barriers like gender biases and worked hard for their rights to make progress in fields like politics, science, arts, law, etc.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, we are sharing the stories of 5 women who in a decidedly gender unequal world made their way and empowered and inspired many lives. With the work they do and their lives, they have shown us how we all can come together to #Breakthebias which is the theme of this year’s Women’s Day.
These SheTheHeros have shown us that women are capable just as men can achieve anything they put their heart and mind to. These women have not just achieved individual milestones but have also contributed significantly to society to impact it positively.
Let’s celebrate this day with these women who have dared to dream big and imagined a more gender-inclusive and diverse world.
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Women who changed the face of Biotechnology in India
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw was nominated in the #WomenInLeadershio Campaign for Gender STIs, which celebrates women leaders in the field of technology, science, and innovation by the Euro India Research Centre in India.
She is the Executive Chairperson of India’s largest biopharmaceutical company ‘Biocon’. The first generation entrepreneur and global business leader with over experience of four decades in biotechnology. She started this journey of passion in 1978 from her small garage in India and today that journey is changing lives for the better across the world.
She had a strong sense of purpose to make a difference and the determination to buck the trend of Indian women who run a corporation. She had started a group of companies that are engaged in serving millions of patients across the globe by enabling affordable access and providing cutting-edge research services to leading global life sciences companies.
- Mithali Raj - The Pride of Indian Cricket Team
Raj said in a statement on her Twitter handle that “Women in sport are powerful catalysts of change and when they get the appreciation they deserve, it inspires change in several other women wanting to achieve their dreams" "I sincerely hope that my journey inspires young girls all across the country to pursue their dreams and know that only when you dream can you make it happen."
Mithali Raj having captained the women in blue has become synonymous with Women’s cricket in India. This women cricketer has wowed the world with her finesse in a sport that was rather considered male-oriented. She became an inspiration for each and every woman cricketer dreaming of wearing a blue jersey and the chance to represent India on the international platform.
She has also quotes that the biggest challenge that she faces while starting her journey into cricket in the 90s was that her immediate family members were not very keen that she has got into sports.
But there was no looking back for her once she started her Journey with Cricket.
- Priyanka Chopra Jonas - Not just a Star for Bollywood & Hollywood but a star of India
Priyanka’s journey from a beauty pageant to a famous celebrity looks glamorous but she has fought her fights whenever there was inequality whether it be for the education for her maid’s girl child or be it supporting UNICEF or even be it inequality on the sets of film or people judging her on her looks. She stood for herself and for others.
As a woman and Indian immigrant, Priyanka has been specifically active in supporting the campaigns that are surrounded by adolescent girl’s rights in India where she has also helped UNICEF publicize the Dare to Care campaign where the moment was aimed to demand improvement of the lives of marginalized young women. Bein an ambassador of UNICEF she also voices her support for the “End Violence against Children” campaign which raises awareness about child marriages and physical, emotional, and sexual violence that young women in India face.
- Kiran Bedi - A fearless Women
Kiran Bedi has many titles to her name that have otherwise considered not a good fit for a woman because it's a field of men.
She is an Indian politician, former tennis player, social activist, and retired police officer. Kiran Bedi was the first woman IPS officer of India who won the President’s police medal in the year 1979. She is a woman of many accolades who inspired millions of young girls to take a stand and not let anyone else reign their lives.
Apart from this journey, this courageous woman has also won the Magsaysay Award. Closing it on the sentence that she has proven that women are not just meant for the household work.
- Captain Radhika Menon - First Female Merchant Navy Captain
Captain Radhika Menin started her journey as a radio officer which progressed o a deck office and later she was appointed as Master of the Sampurna Swarajya.
In the year 2012, Radhika Menon broke the stereotype and became the first Indian woman captain in the Merchant Navy. After she saved seven fishermen who got lost at the sea she was facilitated by the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea from the International Maritime Organisation in 2016.
Not just these 5, but India has many incredible women who have broken the bias and made their presence in the field where only men used to rule. It is not about Men or Women but it is about equality and growing together to become strong.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated to recognize women around the world, regardless of their culture, political affiliations, linguistic, national, ethnic, or economic, for their personal and professional achievements. Now it's time to recognize the value and impact of a woman. The happiness they bring into our lives, the achievements made across history, and the future we can look forward to changing.
The theme of this year's International Women's Day is #BreakTheBias which is a global campaign that has been initiated to raise awareness around bias and encourage action toward women's equality. The campaign seeks to elevate the visibility of women creatives with a focus on building workplaces where women thrive. Inspires women to pursue their goals without barrier, celebrate women solidifying change, forge women's equality in tech and empower women's healthcare choices.
Now it's time for all the leaders to uplift the voices of women everywhere for those who hesitate to speak up about bias outside and in the workplace and for those who are actively advocating against it.
International Women's Day is a beautiful moment for all of us to reflect and celebrate the strides that are made in women empowerment globally, regardless of gender. Together, we can make more progress in support of women's rights economically, socially, politically, and culturally to take it further.
It may not be noticeable to many but gender biases and stereotypes have been deeply ingrained into our working norms by influencing the way we work straight from the hiring processes to our daily lives.
We hope that this information has inspired you to join in the process of challenging bias and spark change everywhere.
Interesting things that you may not have known about Women's Day.
Most of us are aware that March 8 is dedicated to celebrating women and women's rights and is known as International Women's Day. But don't forget that while celebrating 1 day out of 365 where women are honored it doesn't mean that we forget about supporting the women around you the remaining 364 days of the year. We strongly believe that each and every day we should support the people around us irrespective of their gender. So, keep an eye out and be there for them when they need a helping band or a strong shoulder to lean on.
Hurrah for each and every woman we love and those that we don't know buy who work hard to make a better world each and every day.
- The first National Woman's Day was observed on 28th February across the US in 1901. However, it was only in the year 1975 that the United Nations began celebrating it on March 8 as International Women's Day.
- The Official flower for Women's Day is Mimosa.
- The color for Women's Day is Purple.
- Women's Day was first declared as holiday elegance in Russia in 1917.
Happy International Women's Day!