American author and politician, Clare Boothe Luce once said, “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” Sadly, in an age when ISRO has launched 104 satellites in a single mission, this still holds true. The journey might be difficult but there’s nothing a woman can’t overcome if she puts her mind to it.
This Women’s Day, we take a look at inspirational women who fought bravely and stood for what they believed:
Geeta and Babita Phogat: The Phogat sisters deserves a special mention. These two girls from Balali village in Haryana, became world-class wrestlers but more than their tournament wins, it was the phenomenal success of the Bollywood film ‘Dangal’, starring Aamir Khan, which brought them more fame, a cardinal truth they acknowledge with wry bemusement. Geeta was quoted saying to a leading website, “It feels odd not to be recognised for our wrestling achievements, but for a film on us.”
Life has it’s own way of working out and these two sisters have definitely come a long way. In an environment where women are reared for domesticity and motherhood, it was kind of brazen on their part, or to be precise on their father’s Mahavir Singh Phogat’s part to defy stereotypes. Geeta won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she also became the first Indian female wrestler to qualify for the Olympics. While , Babita won a gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Today, after years of training, they are the poster girls for a new breed of Indian woman who seeks to stand strong and give their life a meaning.
Priyanka Chopra: The actress has been an inspiration to many, both within Bollywood and women outside the fraternity. Even though Chopra started her film career in 2002 with Thamizhan, a Tamil film, she made her Bollywood debut with the spy thriller The Hero: Love Story of a Spy. The film bombed at the box-office but she made both critics and filmy buffs take notice. Today, through sheer hardwork and perseverance, she has become one of the highet paid actress in B-Town – she also has two big Hollywood projects, Quantico and Baywatch up her sleeve. Currently, she is also enjoying being Hollywood’s favourite sensation and raising her voice against racism and slamming Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim immigrants as a part of her UNICEF’s global ambassador duties.
Namrata Soni: As Kangana Ranaut aptly puts it in the latest season of Koffee With Karan, “nepotism and sexism” are the ugly truth of the industry. Even though Bollywood beauties enjoy fandom, sadly for them, sexism is still rampant. And it’s the same for celebrity make-up artists as well. For those who don’t know, there was a 60-year-old ban on women make-up artists by the film industry union. It was only in 2014, Supreme Court removed this ban and discrimination but stylists like Namrata Soni braved through the Union’s law and has been working in the industry for almost 15 years now. Other than being Sonam Kapoor’s go-to artiste, she is also considered as a make-up gurus in Bollywood.