MORE THAN STORIES
BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year.
They create documentaries, features, and interviews about their lives, giving more space for stories that put women at the center.
Among those 100, in 2020 there is 29 leadership inspiring women.
Supporting the theme of #IWD2021 I have shortlisted 10 whom I found most connecting most of the women out there.
#10 RIDHIMA PANDEY
Climate activist, India
Ridhima Pandey is a climate activist who, at the age of nine, filed a petition against the government of India in response to its inaction to mitigate climate change. In 2019, along with 15 other child petitioners, Ridhima filed a lawsuit against five countries at the UN.
Ridhima is currently participating in international conferences and helping to empower other students, at all levels, to fight for their future for the biodiversity of the world. Ridhima is working to save her future and that of coming generations.
“Now is the time for us to be strong and united, and to prove how capable we can be in difficult times. If a woman is determined to achieve something, no-one can stop her.”
#9 GULNAZ ZHUZBAEVA
Disability activist, Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan, there are more than 5,000 people living with visual impairment, but many important governmental documents remain inaccessible to them. Gulnaz Zhuzbaeva, the founder of the Kyrgyz Federation of the Blind, has been working tirelessly to make these materials available in Braille and improve access to those with visual impairment.
Her team runs a program for blind people to provide them with the skillset needed to enter the job market. Of the 22 adults who completed the program in 2020, six are already successfully employed and two are enrolled at university.
“Life is full of challenges; just take it as a given.”
Protest leader, India
At 82, Bilkis was part of a group of women who peacefully protested against a controversial citizenship law.
She became the face of a long-running protest at the capital’s Shaheen Bagh, the Muslim locality where the protests were held. Indian journalist and author Rana Ayyub described her as “the voice of the marginalized”.
“Women should feel empowered to step out of their homes and raise their voice, especially against injustice. If they don’t leave their homes, how will they showcase their strength?”
#7 ARUSSI UNDA
As Mexico faces rising femicide rates, Arussi and her feminist collective Brujas del Mar (“Witches of the Sea”) have emerged as a voice for women.
This year they inspired women across the country to stage a national strike on 9 March, when women stopped work and their other activities and stayed at home.
“At the moment there are so many slogans and mottos like “The revolution will be feminist” or “The future is feminist” – but the future is already here. We must be brave and keep rising.”
#6 SVITLANA TSIKHANOUSKAYA
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is a former presidential candidate in Belarus, where she led a national democratic movement. In August 2020, President Alexander Lukashenko claimed a landslide victory in the leadership election, sparking protests across the country amid widespread accusations of vote-rigging.
Shortly after the election, fearing for the safety of her children, Sviatlana fled Belarus for Lithuania. She continues to lead the democratic movement in exile.
“Never, for one second, believe anyone who says you are weak. We often don’t realize how strong we are.”
#5 NASRIN SOTOUDEH
Human Rights Activist, Iran
Nasrin Sotoudeh is an Iranian lawyer advocating for the rule of law and the rights of political prisoners, opposition activists, women, and children in Iran. She is serving a prison sentence for standing up against the country’s such-criticized justice system.
Despite her imprisonment and the constant threats to her family, Sotoudeh remains a defiant advocate for the rule of law.
“The hijab is obligatory [in Iran] – and if they can force this half-meter of fabric on us, they can do anything with us.”
#4 MANSI JOSHI
Manasi, an Indian para-athlete, is the current para-badminton world champion. In June 2020, the Badminton World Federation ranked her world number two in the SL3 singles. Manasi is also an engineer and a change-maker.
She aspires to drive a shift in how disability and para-sports are perceived in India. She was recently listed as a “Next Generation Leader” by Time magazine and appeared on the cover of its Asia edition as an advocate for the rights of disabled people in India.
“This year has been challenging for women in so many ways. Don’t let the tough times get the better of you: keep exploring every possibility. Give yourself some time off every day.”
#3 OKSANA PUSHKINA
State Duma Deputy, Russia
Oksana Pushkina is the deputy vice-chairwoman of the Committee on Family, Women and Children Issues, at Russia’s State Duma.
In 2018, when several dozen female journalists made sexual-harassment claims against Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Oksana was the only parliamentarian to come forward and publicly support the journalists.
“The world has changed a lot in 2020, but besides the trauma and crisis, one thing I’ve learned is that new challenges always bring out the best in people.”
#2 NEMONTE NENUIMO
Waorani leader, Ecuador
Nemonte Nenquimo is an indigenous Waorani woman committed to defending her ancestral territory, culture and way of life in the Amazon rainforest.
She is co-founder of the indigenous-led non-profit organization Ceibo Alliance, the first female president of the Waorani organisation of Pastaza prov,ince, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
“As women, we carry the strength needed to forge a path out of these dangerous times, when the survival of our planet and humanity is in peril. Now is the time for women to unite.”
#1 SANNA MARIN
Prime Minister, Finland
Sanna Marin is Prime Minister of Finland and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland. The coalition government she heads has been formed with four other parties, all led by women: Maria Ohisalo (Green League), Li Andersson (Left Alliance), Anna-Maja Henriksson (Swedish People’s Party), and Annika Saarikko (Centre Party).
Finland has been hailed for its handling of Covid-19, with one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, as of November 2020.
“We as women leaders can show that it is possible to fight the virus and at the same time tackle climate change, invest in education, and make socially just reforms in society.”
WOMEN AT THE CENTER, CREATE MORE THAN JUST STORIES
THE HUSTLE WOMAN
Are you that lady who’s fucking loving the woman she’s becoming, your evolution is giving you chills, you know your worth, you have head-strong boundaries, thoroughly motivated, and ready to make it all fall in place?
YOU ARE THE ONE, A BOSS LADY…
“Sometimes you gotta be a beauty and a beast.” — Nicki Minaj
A Boss lady is a woman who gets life done, whether that be at work, at home, with their family and friends, etc. … Boss ladies know the elegance in balance.
Then you’re not unaccustomed to the typical remarks from some people who ask us to tone down our assertiveness and aggressiveness and to curb our desire for leadership positions, i.e being a boss.
BOSSY VERSUS BOSS
To begin with, boss people have a sense of confidence and awareness about where they stand in this world.
What if you are in a workspace-
⚡Where you are being ordered what to do
⚡Where you are expected to perform according to their wish.
⚡Where your comfort is not invited.
⚡Where your skill (in general life, your most distinct characteristic) is overshadowed.
⚡Where your proficiency (in general life, your point of view) is overlooked.
That’s being in a BOSSY setting.
Now, what if you are in a workplace-
✨Where your opinionated attitude is acknowledged as participation.
✨Where your convenience is asked with a perspective to delivering your fullest.
✨Where your comfort is respected.
✨Where your skill is asked to be put into play.
✨Where your proficiency is approved despite its success rate.
That’s being in a REAL BOSS setting.
Now, if the workplace I’m talking about is OUR LIFE and the boss is whosoever we share our life with, but at a lower position.
The most vital part of this versus trick is:
‘Where did the boss definition include gender characteristics?’- IN YOUR PERCEPTION
CONFLICT IN PERCEPTION
I think a lot of it has to do with being a woman in a society that doesn’t necessarily always favor us. For example, a man and woman can be doing the same thing but a man is a boss and a woman is just bossy. But it’s high time we own that boss babe title.
Where a MALE BOSS, is considered- authoritative, decisive, strong-minded, powerful, potent, and determined.
Where a LADY BOSS, is considered-
Difficult, stubborn, headstrong, fussy, complicated, and dominating.
Certainly, we are ready to take orders from a male leader than from a female leader.
The truth is it’s impossible to please everybody. The most you can do is to make yourself happy. You have to take ownership of your own life. Do you.
“I’m building a brand, I’m always busy.”
That is what a girl boss means. Being yourself and pursuing your ambitions with confidence.
TRAITS OF A GOOD BOSS
Before I straight away jump onto that how to be a boss lady, let’s firstly get to:
Who may be a real boss?
✨Get in learning mode
✨Be transparent about your motives
✨Don’t just welcome feedback—seek it out
✨Praise in public; correct in private
✨Tell staff what to do, not how to do it
✨Breathe: You’ve got this
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A BOSS LADY?
Some boss ladies are born naturally. For the rest of us, we have to learn along the way. Check out the traits if you hope to be a BOSS LADY:
✨Self-love is the key.
✨Don’t let anyone dictate your worth.
✨Follow through with the “out there” ideas.
✨You don’t have to be everything to everyone.
✨Surround yourself with other inspirational women.
“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” — Hillary Clinton
A BOSS LADY WILL ALWAYS TURN PAIN INTO POWER BECAUSE THE QUEEN HUSTLED.
SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD SO SHE DID
Women are an incredibly molded creature of courage, strength, stability, comfort, and backing. GIRL POWER is a reference to an attitude of independence, confidence, and empowerment among young women.
POWER OF A WOMAN
She is powerful as in, she possesses:
✨Strength to bleed
✨Courage to breed
✨Potential to feed
Suppose, if a person puts up with something belonging to us, without any consent, who should be blamed for the act?
PERSON WHO TOOK IT WAY.
But what if you hand over something belonging to you, without your consent, then who shall stand as guilty?
And what if that SOMETHING I’m talking about is your POWER.
POWER is an inside thing that has an outer impact, that can’t be lost or even used without our consent.
LOSING POWER IS SELF-SABOTAGING
Power is our characteristic, power takes our courage to use itself. No one has the authority to take it away from you…and when I say NO ONE…I mean it.
Women are considered physically weak, fragile, soft, unstable, delicate, and emotional. Which is completely unjustified to consider here powerless.
You lose your power:
⚡When you let other take decision for you.
⚡When you let another person control your power.
⚡When you let yourself down by not working at the mark of others’ expectations.
⚡When you look into the mirror, don’t see yourself but what you have been told about yourself.
⚡When you let the other person, to gate crash your boundaries.
POWER IN HER VOICE
The voice of a woman is a deterrent for those, who unauthoritatively claim an implied right upon their lives.
It would be beneficial for those, who hamper her voice to cross-check :
⚡Who gave you the right to hamper a woman’s liberty?
⚡Who gave you the authority to permit a woman to do something or not?
⚡Who gave you the right to decide on access to the education and employment of a woman?
⚡Who gave you the right to set boundaries for a woman?
⚡Who gave you the right to dominate a woman’s voice?
⚡Who gave you the right to touch a woman unethically?
⚡Who gave you the authority to harm a woman who does not follow rules made by you?
Did you hear that, yes that what your conscious letting you know- NO ONE…
WHY SHE’s BEING HAMPERED?
There are situations that we never understand until the situation itself is flipped.
Earlier when women were not so exposed to the real world, not much mindful to be decisive on their part and completely dependent; the domestic environment was quite at peace (at least materialistically).
Today, a woman is accelerating in what so ever field she is, like hell. Now the domestic environment has drastically changed (separations within few years, socially recognized as lack of adjustment, LOL!).
Until a woman was not smart enough, not sensable enough, completely dependent, and within the set boundaries; it was digestible for the boundary setters.
By the time a woman became smart, sensible, independent, started setting boundaries according to their own will( obviously, boundary setters were out of their new boundary); those boundary setters found this immensely difficult to digest.
DEPICTS; lack of control, woman independence arouse the boundary setter’s insecurities regarding their existence.
REACTION TO AN ACTION IS ALWAYS FAIR
Dear women out there, never hold your voice back, though there may be many who will try to shut you up and others may not even listen to you.
Have anyone ever told you that- “You can’t do something because you are a woman?”
Give it a damn, we ‘as women’ don’t owe anything to anyone. If anyone tries to hamper our rights, I believe in giving them back and with interest, it would be ultimately fair to ourselves.
NO ONE POSSESSES YOU TO LET YOU KNOW, WHAT YOU SHOULD POSSESS ONLY BECAUSE “YOU ARE A WOMAN”.
I have always adored (and I mean adored by: jot it down in my journal) quotes ever since I was in school.
Mind you, back then the majority of them were related to my soul search…buttttt there was some life-inspiring ones (pulling my better version) thrown into the mix.
Over the years my collection has grown, and now some of my very favorites center around kindness and sisterhood: aka, women supporting women.
REAL ME + INSPIRATIONAL BACKING= STRONG WOMAN
Sometimes, all you need is a good quote to kick some inspiration into your day.
Who doesn’t want to feel inspired?
Here are my top 21 women supporting women quotes that inspire me, give me goosebumps and make me wanna go gather a tribe of women, cheer each other on, lift each other and I hope they have this effect on you too!
“Do not wait for leaders, do it alone person to person.”
“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”-Susan B. Anthony
“My mother told me to be a lady, and for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”
-Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” -Maya Angelou
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll Rise.”
“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told that she has leadership skill.”
“At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to use the word “fuck off” much more frequently.”
“My favorite thing about girl power is that over time it turns into women power.” -Cleo Wade
“The point is not for women simply to take power out of man’s hand, since that won’t change anything about the world. It’s a question precisely of destroying that notion of power.” -Simone De Beauvoir
“Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman’s power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon.” —Ursula K. Le Guin
“But there’s wisdom in women, of more than they have known,
And thoughts go blowing through them, are wiser than their own.”
“Be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway.” -Glennon Doyle. Melton
“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.”
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe you must become its soul.”
-Coretta Scott King
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” -Nora Ephron
“There is a stubbornness about me that can never bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” -J.K.Rowling
“The success of every woman should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.” -Serena Williams
INSPIRATION IS A BAR, NOT A LIMIT, WHICH NEEDS TO BE RAISED.
It’s time for her- the need for more women at the political table.
A topic like this (women in politics) requires views than statistics. A few years back I have heard a TED talk about- ” why we have too few women leaders?”. It came to my mind when I heard Meghan Markle talking at UN Women few years back.
I started my research work, listening to some more TED talks, I look what I found.
I heard a TEDx Trinity College Dublin, by Martina Fitzgerald, where she was talking over a question, a radio presenter asked her, that –
‘do you think that more women are progressing in politics without sufficient knowledge and experience, hinting that women are there only because of their gender’?
Unhesitant Martina counter questioned him in the reply-” have you ever asked that of a man.”
I think if I would have been at Martina’s place, I would have done the same, undoubtedly.
In 1916, the American essayist Agnes Repplier wrote that
“democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements.”
For advocates of gender equality, this tension feels familiar.
THE CHANGE- wave of democratization.
LEAD BY WOMEN
Women around the world have made major political strides at unprecedented rates:
✨ Running political offices
LEAD BY STATES
Countries have adopted:
(establishing a de facto ceiling on women’s representation that has proven difficult to breakthrough)
✨Modifying social norms
(eg. Americans of both political stripes prefer gender-balanced decision-making bodies.)
THE STAGNATION- inflicts hardships
Women’s increased presence in political institutions has not necessarily led to meaningful change, as in:
⚡Fundamental problems in women’s everyday lives
(financial hurdles and unequal caregiving burdens to gender stereotypes and violence)
⚡Women’s continued underrepresentation
(as in suggestions that female candidates lack confidence, skills, or networks)
WHAT DOES GENDER EQUAL DEMOCRACY TAKE?
⚡Transforming institutions that have been built on exclusion.
⚡Tackling the entrenched barriers that discourage women from engaging in electoral politics and make it harder for them to succeed.
⚡Viewing the political participation of marginalized groups not as a desirable add-on but as a central benchmark of democratic health.
WHAT WOULD SHIFT LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE?
I. HIGHLIGHT MEN’S POLITICAL OVERREPRESENTATION
It would redirect attention from women’s underrepresentation to the processes and networks that perpetuate men’s political misrepresentation.
II. BRIDGE BETWEEN POLITICAL and SOCIO-ECONOMIC POWER
Policymakers would pay greater attention to the links between political and socio-economic power.
Initiatives promoting women’s economic empowerment that sidesteps women’s rights and political mobilization are unlikely to bring about much-needed systemic change.
III. HAVE BACK OF THE WOMEN MOVEMENTS
Women’s movements would receive much more significant and sustained support.
Over the past few years, women have been at the forefront of political change around the world:
✨From protesting discriminatory citizenship laws in India
✨To rallying against gender-based violence in Mexico and Chile.
Now it’s time for politics to make some changes for women.
CHANGE IS NEVER BEEN EASY, and EVEN INEVITABLE.
IT’S TIME FOR US TO STAND AS AN INDIVIDUAL- FOR OURSELVES, FOR THE ONE WE SHARE OUR WORKSPACE WITH AND FOR OUR DAUGHTERS (UPCOMING GENERATION).
Child marriage is a legal marriage or informal union where one or both parties are children under the age of 18.
⚡Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights.
⚡While the practice of “child marriage” is more common among girls than boys, it is a violation of rights regardless of sex.
⚡Child marriage is a truly global problem that cuts across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities.
⚡Child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe.
FACTORS ATTRACTING CHILD MARRIAGE
⚡The perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’
⚡Associating it with family honor
⚡Social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice
⚡An inadequate legislative framework
⚡The state of a country’s civil registration system
REPERCUSSIONS OF CHILD MARRIAGE (for girls)
⚡Limit her opportunities for career
CHILD MARRIAGE AROUND THE WORLD
Who is affected?
⚡Globally around 21% of young women were married before their 18th birthday.
⚡12 million girls under 18 are married each year.
⚡650 million girls and women alive today are married as children.
Where does child marriage happen the most?
✨SUB- SAHARAN AFRICA
37% of young women in sub- Saharan Africa married before age 18.
What is the risk factor?
⚡#ENDchildmarriage (or any other drive against child marriage) is serving desired outcomes but the progress must accelerate.
⚡Otherwise, more than 120 million girls will marry before their 18th birthday by 2030.
⚡2030 is the Sustainable Development Goals’ target date for all countries to end child marriage.
If child marriage had continued at the 2015 rate, by 2030, there will be 960 million women alive who married as children.
Is there any hope to curb the shooting graph?
Yes, of course, it’s even evident over here:
✨25 million child marriages have been prevented in the last decade.
✨South Asia had the highest decline during this time, from 49% to 30%.
STRATEGIES TO CURB CHILD MARRIAGE
TO SOCIETY: Serve with knowledge, regarding-
✨Benefits of education
✨Factual consequences of child marriage
✨Promising relationship goals
TO GIRL CHILD: Server with resources-
✨Motivate them to study
✨Build enthusiasm to be decisive about their life occurrences.
✨Donate for her education.
STOP BEING THE RULER OF HER LIFE. YOU ARE BLESSED WITH ONE, SO AS HER.
AND GIRLS, YOU POSSESS ALL THE RIGHT AVAILABLE (and even not available) UPON YOURSELF.