History has borne witness to powerful, resilient women breaking the glass ceiling time and time
again and more so in the past century. We have been fortunate to witness many firsts be it in the
field of medicine with fearless pathbreakers like Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi and Kadimbini
Ganguly, or with the likes of Harita Kaur Deol and Priya Jhingan fighting gender stereotypes in
our armed forces. We have pioneers in aerospace such as Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams and
Shirisha Bandla. An entire generation of young women has been inspired to follow their passion
for sports by the likes of Saina Nehwal, Mithali Raj, Mary Kom and countless others. On one
hand we have Sarla Thakral, Arati Saha, Arunima Sinha Bachendri Pal breaking barriers,
conquering submits, crossing channels and on the other hand we have Reita Faria Powel paving
the way for Priyanka Chopra, Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and many more to be bold and
beautiful. We have had prominent female figures as queens, freedom fighters and politicians.
The millennial women has no dearth of role models. The women we look upto, they not only
inspire us but also give us a true picture of their struggles and provide learnings on how to
traverse the pebbled streets of an emerging economy in a patriarchal society.
We have indeed come a long way but yet we have barely just scratched the surface. But what is
heartwarming is to see that the surface is not being scratched in isolation any more, rather we
have everyday women fighting the good fight and not just essaying the role of a good wife.
Leaders of industry are not the only ones clamoring to be heard, so is every girl child who insists
on an education; so is every young lady wanting to work; so is every women fighting for equal
pay and promotions; so is every unborn girl child struggling in the womb to survive; so is every
female go getter who gets labeled a bitch.
So how have we reached where we are today? Is it just all the women struggling, fighting, being
strong, persevering and reaching positions of power to influence change? No, it is also all the
women inculcating equal opportunities and equal rights in the next generation. Keep in mind it is
not an overnight change, it is a generational change that has been long time coming. It is social
change that starts in our households, societal change that affects our outlook on gender, caste
etc., political change that starts at gram panchayats and goes all the way to the President with
women not just being present as a token but actively being involved.
A famous quote says “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a
woman you educate a family (nation).” And that is exactly what it will take to continue on this