Women First

Women First: Let Them Have Their Chance! #Sheroes

“Let Greeks be Greeks, and Women what they are.

Men have precedency and still excel;

It is but vain unjustly to wage war.”

While I was deciding upon the title of this article, many permutations and combinations flashed through my mind. Of the few was “Women First: What if They Are Given That Chance?” In my mind, this title made absolute sense and I was quite happy with my decision. Then suddenly, when I glanced back at it again, I questioned myself, “who are we to provide opportunities to women?”, “what agency do we have?” Yes, unarguably, we come from a position of privilege where we are allowed or rather encouraged to take up any office of work, take up any piece of literature to read, but are we allowed to spend the rest of our lives in absolute leisure and do nothing? Might not! Freedom isn’t absolute and keeping this in mind, every woman must draw her boundary. 

This is when I was reminded of the poem “Prologue” by Anne Bradstreet. A tongue-in-cheek approach to teach the male-dominated arena of poesy during her time that males have precedence, they are way ahead of females already from the start line, yet they fear their dominance. Anne Bradstreet equivocated through her pen, and these Indian Sheroes proved their mettle on the field. Here’s a comprehensive list of ten women leaders who didn’t wait for someone to provide them with the opportunity they deserved:

  1. In 1887, Indian physician Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi became the first woman in India who was trained in Western medicine and the first to visit America.
  1. Arunima Sinha is the first woman to reach the top of Mount Everest with no legs. She’s also the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.
  1. Shila Dawre became the first woman auto-rickshaw driver in 1988 when she decided to enter the male-dominated profession.
  1. In 1959, Arati Saha became the first Indian and Asian woman to swim across the English Channel.
  1. Mithali Raj is hands-down one of India’s best cricket players. She’s the pioneer among female batsmen when it comes to Test Cricket and the first woman in the world to score a double century.
  1. When Sarla Thakral was still in her teens, she received her pilot’s license and became the first woman in India to fly an aircraft.
  1. Kalpana Chawla was India’s first woman in space. As a mission specialist and the primary robotic arm operator, she went into space in 1997.
  1. Former IPS Lieutenant, Kiran Bedi became the first woman officer in India in 1972. Later in 2003, she would also become the first woman to hold a position as a U.N. Civil Police adviser.
  1. Justice M. Fathima Beevi is a former judge who became the first female justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court of India in 1989.

Wish we could name each and every woman out there who fight each day of their lives to fend for their family, to take care of their children, to make other happy while sacrificing their own happiness. Each of them is #Sheroes for Varnan! Beyond words could ever describe, and emotions could ever feel, we should at least come to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and sheer love our mothers, daughters, grandparents, friends, sisters, and house help have for us. Let them fly, let them fall, but never let them stop!

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