Who told Women are the Weaker Gender?Dec 17, 2018
Indian society is at crossroads right now. Various groups of empowered individuals are rising above social norms and breaking the shackles of tradition to bring about positive changes. On the other hand, many areas of the society that are still stuck in irrelevant confusions is only making the people suffer and practical solutions are needed to set such issues right.
In such times, social reformers play an important role in bringing about the right kind of changes in the country. When such reformers happen to be women, it is an even more heartening sight as it shows how much power the country’s women have in their hands. Let us look at a few such women leaders who are creating a positive impact in our society today.
Irom Sharmila is the ultimate face of fighting for justice by laying down one’s life. She has been protesting against the violence in Manipur that led to the Malom Massacre that killed 10 civilians. She started a hunger strike as a way of demanding justice and has since remained without taking food and water for more than 500 weeks. She has also been arrested for such protests multiple times. She continues to fight like a true Iron Lady till date. Her demand for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the north-eastern parts of India is a fight for civil rights and human rights.
Shaheen Mistri is the founder and CEO of Teach For India, which is an organization that bridges the gap between poverty and quality education. With a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Manchester, Shaheen works to bring equality through education. She first started Akansha Centres where children from low-income neighbourhoods were tutored after school in order to compete with the rest of the population for jobs and higher education. She then started the Teach For India organisation that allows Fellows from all over the country to educate children from various kinds of backgrounds.
Laxmi Agarwal is an acid-attack survivor who is working for the rights and lives of other acid-attack survivors. Victims of this horrific crime are isolated and ignored by the society at large and it is people like Laxmi who are beacons of hope for the survivors. Laxmi’s life took a sharp turn when a 32-year-old man whose advances 15-year-old Laxmi had rejected had thrown acid on her face as a revenge. Since her recovery, she has been actively getting petitions signed to curb sales of acid and to highlight the issue in the Supreme Court. She leads Channv Foundations, which is an NGO that helps acid-attack survivors in India.
Aruna Roy is a powerful woman who has been instrumental in promoting transparency in government procedures to curb corruption in the country. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Right To Information Act in 2005. In her professional life, she started off as a teacher and changed course to write the Indian Administrative Services exam to become a civil servant. She played a prominent role and led the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan which is an organisation that empowers farmers.
Manasi Pradhan is an epitome of determination and grit. From walking 15 kms everyday to go to the nearest school to becoming the first woman from her village to earn a law degree, she has defied odds to do what she has wanted to. She hails from Odisha and has fought for women’s rights extensively. She founded many social ventures such as the Nirbhaya Vahini and the OYSS women. She also actively takes forward many strategies that empower women and heads the Honour for Women National Campaign. As a panel member, she is a part of many organisations that protect the rights of women as well.