We've talked a lot about the history of important women' right movements but how well are we doing in the 21st century? In recent times, women have truly made a mark and stood up for their rights. Let's take a look at some important movements and some remarkable women!
The #MeToo Movement
Activist Tarana Burke came up with the 'Me Too' phrase back in 2006 with which she intended to empower young and vulnerable women. The movement truly picked up in late 2017 when actress and activist Alyssa Milano used the hashtag to encourage women to speak up about their experiences. This came in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for alleged sex crimes against women in the film industry.
Across the globe, many women took to social media to talk about their experiences and emotions. The #MeToo movement has been truly remarkable as it helped tackle the stigma surrounding victims. Sexual harassment is a traumatizing experience and it requires great courage and strength to come forward. The #MeToo movement has, in a way, empowered women to come forward. Why should anyone be victim-shamed? If there is anyone who deserves to be isolated and guilt-laden it should be the perpetrator of these crimes.
Often people believe that the #MeToo movement is against men but that is not true at all. The #MeToo movement targets those individuals who feel they can get away with harassing someone or taking advantage of a person's trust and vulnerability. There is no place in society for anyone who chooses to indulge in this kind of behaviour; no matter their gender.
Women in the Armed Forces
The armed forces, even in India, have certainly taken their time in including more women. But slowly and surely, young women have persevered and made history. In 2019, the then defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman that inclusion of women inductees in the military police will be done in a graded manner, and will eventually comprise of 20 percent of its total strength. The decision to induct women in the military police to enhance their representation in the armed forces was announced by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat a year prior.
The Indian Air Force, in 2015, announced new combat roles for women adding to their existing role of helicopter pilots. Avani Chaturvedi (who is also the first woman to fly a fighter aircraft – the MiG 21 Bison – solo), Mohana Singh Jitarwal, and Bhawana Kanth became the first 3 women fighter pilots in 2019. Wing Commander Shaliza Dhami became the first woman officer to be given a permanent commission with the Indian Air Force in the same year while Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal became the first woman to receive a Yudh Seva Medal.
“Any air force is defined by its fighters. My dream is to become a good fighter pilot, on whom my seniors can rely when it comes to flying live operations. I want to fly the best fighter aircraft and learn more and more each day.” — Avani Chaturvedi
It has been heartening to see women in the army, navy and military. These are the kind of examples we should set for the generations to come. One's gender should never be a barrier and being a woman doesn't mean we're not strong enough!
Women in Science, Finance and Politics
In recent times, we've seen women become more financially and emotionally independent than ever before. Across industries, we now see women take on roles that have been traditionally for men. Take politics for example. India has had a female President, Prime Minister and Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Today, our finance minister is also a woman. This is a very significant change because politics is traditionally seen as an occupation that requires a lot of groundwork and is thought to be not suited to women. Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, Gita Gopinath, and Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, are also an inspiration to every little girl who aspires to study economics, mathematics or finance. We've also seen several women win Nobel Prizes such as Alice Munro, Malala Yousafzai, Donna Strickland, Frances Arnold and Nadia Murad among many others. These remarkable women have all been passionate, driven and undeterred by society's stereotypical judgement of women.
It is as Hilary Clinton said - the future is female. Societies only flourish when women are respected. Be it a boy or a girl, a man or a woman, we are all human beings and we can all achieve whatever we set our hearts to! Let us always remember that the colour of our skin or our gender or our race should never take precedence over our personality, talent, hard work and passion!
At Myra Veda, we believe in empowering women which is why we contribute a portion of our profits to the Nanhi Kali foundation which aims to provide education to under-privileged young girls. We aim to inspire women to be themselves, to own their originality and quirkiness and to be fearless in the pursuit of success and happiness! Our organic, toxin-free and cruelty free products are for the woman of today! Shop our collection *here*