A Salute to Women Power!

Every year on 8th March, we all come together to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). The day marks a common day globally, for applauding and recognizing women’s achievements. Also, the day highlights gender inequalities and other women-related issues. Many fearless individuals and organizations work tirelessly to support these issues through a multitude of actions, causes and initiatives.

Let’s celebrate the power of womanhood by discovering the works of few fearless women – women who did not bend to the conforms of the world! They had the courage of conviction to stand up and make their voices heard! They fostered a new generation! I feel so proud and gratified to write about these inspirational women. They are the torchbearers who are not afraid to break the mold and strive for success. Here’s my ode to these powerful and fearless women!

Hawa Abdi – Somalia
Dr. Hawa Abdi studied medicine in a land far away from home – Ukraine. She returned to her homeland to become the one of the first female gynecologists. Later, she did her graduation from law school at Somali National University. She then opened a one-room clinic which later emerged as the Hawa Abdi hospital and camp. In her hospital, nearly 100,000 Somalis receive food and medical care. Surprisingly, most of them are treated as refugees in their own country. No matter to which clan they belong, everyone is treated equally with love and respect!

Jill Abramson – U.S
While working as managing editor of The New York Times, Jill used to vocally support the female employees of the newspaper. She quietly used to encourage their goals and ambitions as well as throw parties to celebrate their promotions. She became hugely popular with the women staff; however, her support alienated her from many men. Still, she became the first female executive editor last fall!

Adele – U.K
Touched by her heartfelt renditions of “Someone Like You” and “Rolling In the Deep?” Well, the British-born soul-singer has created a sensation. Not only she values her role as a musician, but she has become an inspiration for women worldwide. Raised alone by a single teenage mother, the amazing singer has released two widely acclaimed albums. Both were named after the age while she was making them – 19 and 21. She has remained a favorite on the Billboard Charts. She recently won six Grammys for her outstanding work. She is a major supporter of Sands, a U.K.-based charity that raises awareness about neonatal deaths and stillborn babies. She ensures that fans who get free concert tickets to her performances do some kind of donation to the group.

Kori Cioca et al – U.S
Coast Guard Seaman Kori Cioca never imagined that she will become a helpless victim one day! She was not even 21 when she was violently assaulted and raped by her direct supervisor. The incident left her with a broken jaw so severe that her dentist thought she had been involved in a car accident! Even after reporting the incident, Kori was forced to work beside him, even serving coffee to the debauch man. She is now a lead plaintiff in a historical lawsuit which wants to hold the Department of Defense responsible for not curbing sexual assaults. Her case is creating a major turbulence, as outrage is pouring in from all corners.

Na Li – China
This tennis ace fearlessly broke away from her country’s controlled sports system in 2008. She refused to take part in a program in which the Chinese government accumulates 65% of all endorsement earnings. By rebuking the government, Li lost support from the government. However, she remained unfazed and won the French Open last year. She became the first Asian to win any Grand Slam event. She has not given up and strives to become an even more successful tennis player!

Aung San Suu Kyi – Burma
Finally released from house arrest in 2010 which totaled 15 years, Suu Kyi has become a beacon of hope and freedom for the Burmese people. She has become an international figure of power by implementing peace as her weapon. A peace activist and political heavyweight who denounces “corruptibility of fear,” she never succumbed to the military junta. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is now actively contesting for the upcoming elections in Myanmar. Her humanitarian efforts were recognized and she was given the Wallenberg Medal.

Pink Brigade – India
The Pink Brigade, popularly known as the Gulabi Gang, is a group of powerful and fearless women who are fighting injustices like political corruption and abuse. The members adorning vibrant pink saris first came into the limelight when they physically attacked women abusers in 2006! Since then, the group has grown steadily and now includes more than 20,000 women activists. Recently, they included a new chapter in Paris! A few members have been successfully elected to the government office; however, most of them prefer to remain outside the system. They want to avoid any sort of violence which can happen from speaking out.

Irom Sharmila – India
Popularly known as the “Iron Woman of Manipur,” this frail activist has been force-fed by the Indian authorities since 2000. She is protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which gives the Indian military unbridled power to use lethal force, detain or search against civilians. She started fasting when 10 civilians were brutally killed while waiting at a bus stop. Government officials claim that the attack was a pure retaliation, whereas others believe that the victims were not all involved. Among the victims was an 18 year old boy who had won a National Bravery Award!

My Tribute!
It’s such an overwhelming feeling to read and acknowledge the work of such fearless women. Their lives have become a source of inspiration for millions across the world. Let us be fearless and strong like these amazing personalities.

This women’s day, let us join hands and work towards achieving equality and dignity in every sphere of our lives. Let us celebrate the power of womanhood! Margaret Thatcher once said, “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” Happy Women’s Day!

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