March 8th, famously known for celebrating women’s day honoring and remembering iconic and inspirational women throughout history and all over the world. On this day many countries set an official holiday in order to respect women of their country. It is practically celebrated by men praising their mothers, wives, daughters, colleagues with flowers, gifts chocolates etc. Women’s day is dedicated to achievements of women in political, social, economic and cultural sectors.
Off course there is no age barrier for women to achieve a position and for the world to acknowledge their achievements, in today’s era women are not any less than males be it any field or department. There is no such cold war or trend of comparison between men and women on the basis of their achievements or professionalism or talent. But simultaneously it is also very important to highlight women’s accomplishments for the society which demean women on basis of their gender. Not only today, but also women have created history and made their marks on the walls of fame. There are uncountable number of attainments earned by women all over the globe.
Why is International Women’s day celebrated on 8th March?
It was back 111 years ago in New York, in 1909 the socialist party of America firstly observed 15,000 women protesting for low pay, lack of voting rights and tedious working hours in New York, USA. This gigantic movement was spread across the globe in 1911 and Russia was the first country to highlight the March 8 trend. However, Russia declared this day as an official holiday in 1913.
Women in Russia were still facing difficulties caused by World War 1 with men fighting at war and women facing deficit of food and shelter. Women of Russia came to the streets on March 8th, 1917 to revolt against the government demanding change. This consolidated howl granted voting rights to women of Russia soon after the revolt.
This world has seen many great women icons, It will be a vast list if we start listing down each and every women idol. Here we are listing few women icons from recent news who have made their mark and created history.
1. Anjali Gupta :
Anjali Gupta was the first female flying officer in the Indian Air Force to be court martialled. She used to work for the Aircraft Systems and Testing Establishment unit in Bangalore. Anjali completed her Masters of Philosophy in Sociology from the Delhi University and was first posted at Belgaum in 2001. Her dedication and strong will and a step towards women empowerment will always be remembered.
2. PV Sindhu :
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is a professional Indian badminton player. She made her international debut in 2009, and achieved a rank 2 position in her career in April 2017. Throughout her career, Pusarla has won medals at several tournaments including Olympics and on BWF circuit also a gold at the 2019 World Championship. She is the first Indian to become the Badminton World Champion.
Pusarla was into the top 20 of the BWF World Ranking in September 2012 at a young age of 17. Initially in 2013, Pusarla won a medal at every world championship, except in 2015. She is the second woman after Zhang Ning to win five or more medals at the world championships. Pusarla represented India in 2016 Summer Olympics, becoming the first Indian badminton player to reach a final. She won the silver medal after losing out to Spain’s Carolina Marin.
Pusarla won her first super series title at the 2016 China Open and lined it up with four more finals in 2017, winning the titles in South Korea and India. She has won a silver medal each at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asia Games, and two bronze medals at the Uber Cup.
With earnings of US$8.5 and $5.5 million respectively, Pusarla made into the Forbes list of Highest-Paid Female Athletes in 2018 and 2019. She also received the sports honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and India’s fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri. She was also honoured with Padma Bhusan, the third highest civilian award in India, in January 2020.
3. Koneru Humpy :
Humpy Koneru is an Indian chess grandmaster and current World rapid chess champion. In October 2007, she became the second female player, after Judit Polgár (in 2002), to exceed the 2600 Elo rating mark.
This record was subsequently broken by Hou Yifan in 2008. Not only as a chess champion, the young woman has been appreciated for her intelligence and wit. She is now in her 20s and is already an inspiration for millions of Indians.
4. Greta Thunberg :
Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist on climate change whose campaigning has gained international recognition. Thunberg is known for her straightforward speaking manner, both in public and to political leaders and assemblies, in which she urges immediate action to address the climate crisis.
In August 2018, at age 15, she started spending her school days outside the Swedish parliament to call for stronger action on climate change by holding up a sign reading Skolstrejk för klimatet (School strike for climate). Soon, other students engaged in similar protests in their own communities. Together, they organised a school climate strike movement under the name Fridays for Future.
Her sudden rise to world fame has made her both a leader and a target for critics. Her influence on the world stage has been described by The Guardian and other newspapers as the “Greta effect”. She has received numerous honours and awards.
5. Malala Yousafzai :
Malala, is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to former Pakistani Prime Minister, she has become “the most prominent citizen” of the country.
In 2012, Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban after publicly speaking out about her fight to protect girls’ education. After surviving the attack, she went on to share her story around the world and launched the Malala Fund in 2013 with her father to raise awareness. Her will power and urge to fight for justice is truly an inspiration to people around the globe.
6. Smriti Mandhana :
Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana (born 18 July 1996) is an Indian cricketer who plays for the Indian women’s national team in June 2018, the (BCCI) named her as the Best Women’s International Cricketer. In December 2018, the ICC awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year. She was also named the ODI Player of the Year by the ICC at the same time.
- Sportswoman of the Year (Cricket) at the Sportstar ACES Awards 2020
- 2019 ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year
- 2019 ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year
- 2018 Women’s Cricketer of the Year
- 2018 Women’s ODI Player of the Year
- Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award, 2018
- ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016
- Ceat International Cricket’s International Woman Cricketer of the Year award.
- Navbharat Times Awards, 2019
- Arjuna Award for Cricket, 2018
7. Shefali Verma :
In September 2019, she was named in India’s Women’s T20 International squad for their series against South Africa She made her WT20I debut for India, against South Africa, on 24 September 2019. She was the youngest woman to play for India in a T20I match, and in November 2019 against the West Indies, became the youngest woman for India to score a half-century in international cricket. Against the West Indies, she scored 158 runs in five matches, and was named the player of the series.
In January 2020, she was named in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, and was awarded with a central contract by the (BCCI).
8. Dipa Karmakar :
Dipa Karmakar (born 9 August 1993) is an Indian artistic gymnast.
Karmakar first gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She also won a bronze medal at the Asian Gymnastics Championships and finished fifth at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, both firsts for her country.
Karmakar represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics, and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years. She attained fourth position in Women’s Vault Gymnastics event at Rio, with an overall score of 15.066, becoming the first Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games.
9. Hima Das :
Hima Das (born 9 January 2000), nicknamed the Dhing Express, is an Indian sprinter from the state of Assam. She holds the current Indian national record in 400 metres with a timing of 50.79 s that she clocked at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships.
10. Laxmi Agarwal :
Laxmi Agarwal (born 1 June 1990) is an Indian acid attack survivor, a campaigner for rights of acid attack victims, and a TV host. Agarwal was attacked in 2005 at the age of 16, after rebuffing the romantic advances of Naeem Khan. In 2019, she was honoured with the International Women Empowerment Award from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, and UNICEF for her campaign of Stop Sale Acid. In 2014, she received the International Women of Courage award at the hands of First Lady Michelle Obama.
The movie Chhapaak is based on her life and stars Deepika Padukone in her role.