Be it politics, sports, business, or any other sphere, women have been at the forefront in every parts of the world. Women have constantly challenged the stereotypes and emerged powerful. As we near 2021, it’s clear that women’s liberties and roles vary greatly, depending what part of the world you live in. In some countries, females are still fighting for fundamental rights. But thanks to reputable media outlets, social media and outspoken activists, atrocities and female-centric issues have seen more of an international stage and a call to action than ever before.

On this International Women’s Day, it’s important now more than ever for women to support each other. Utilizing the power of community is truly the catalyst that will evoke change and equality, helping women flourish in their careers and personal development. It is through these bonds that we learn to appreciate and become inspired by the stories shared of the women we call “Female Role Model”.

Below is the list of some powerful women who had set a great example of women empowerment-

1) Michelle Obama- During Michelle Obama's time as the first lady, she focused on the issues of poverty, healthy living, and education. Obama attended Princeton University, where she graduated in sociology. She later attended Harvard Law School. Michelle Obama was thrust into the national spotlight after her husband was elected as a senator for Illinois, and he later won the Democratic nomination for president. Michelle Obama gave a number of powerful speeches during her time as the first lady and is regarded as an excellent public speaker. Her speech always empowered young girls to become independent and successful in life with their hard work.

2) Kalpana Chawla- The First Indian woman in space and a role model for those who dream of shattering glass barriers and shooting for the stars, Kalpana Chawla’s achievements have, without a doubt, made India proud. Born in Haryana, Kalpana had always been fascinated by the stars and was an inquisitive girl. She came from a poverty-stricken family, but neither that nor the fact that no Indian woman had been in space before, stopped her from achieving her dreams.  On sultry summer days, while her family slept on the roof of their small house, the little girl would stay awake for hours to watch the twinkling stars in the night sky. Her story is one of true resilience, determination and a testimony to the fact that no dream is too far if a person gives their all to chase it.

3) Priya Jhingan- She was the first woman to join the Indian Army. An aspiring police officer and later a law graduate, Jhingan’s dream was to join the army. In 1992, she wrote a letter to the Army Chief himself, asking him to let women in. A year later, he did, and Jhingan and the other 24 new female recruits began their journey. From this point onwards, they were referred to as 'Sirs' and thrown into the same bathrooms, swimming pools and training regimes as the men. At a time when sexual inequality was still highly prevalent in the working and domestic spheres, Jhingan's ambition to promote equality in the armed forces was certainly ahead of its time.

4) Hima Das-  The daughter of a rice farmer, Hima Das became a national sensation at the age of 18, thanks to her phenomenal performance at the IAAF World U20 Championships. She comes from a very humble background, but neither her performance nor her attitude towards opponents reflects this fact. When she won the 400m race at the Federation Cup, qualifying the Assam girl to represent India at the Commonwealth Games, her mother responded to the news saying, “Commonwealth Games? What’s that? Will you be on TV? Then it’s probably a good thing”. From a competitive girl in a village in Assam to a national hero, Hima Das has indeed scripted an awe-inspiring story for herself.

5) Indra Nooyi- She is a business executive and former CEO of PepsiCo. She has consistently been ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. She also featured on the Fortune List in 2015 as the 2nd most powerful woman in the world. In 2018, Nooyi was named as one of the ‘Best CEOs in the World’ and has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan and the CNN-IBM Indian of the year- Global Indian award 2019. She serves as a board member of Amazon currently and is the 2nd woman to be part of the board at Amazon.

All these women, and many more not named here, have broken stereotypes and have stood up for their rights. They are an inspiration not only for this International Women’s Day but for every day to both men and women, having displayed exemplary dedication in their respective fields.

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