Raising the bar
They are young, bold, and willing to take chances. Surviving all the odds and societal pressures, these women are an inspiration to all those who are fighting their own fights to prove themselves. Let’s have a look at these seemingly ordinary women who went against the flow in 2017 and the first two months of 2018 on this International Women’s Day, writes Shreya Das
Women in Blue
The Indian Women's Cricket Team made it to the ICC Women's World Cup finale. Although they did not win the title; but they won millions of hearts across the country. Punam Raut, Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jhulan Goswami and Deepti Sharma amongst others steered the way ahead for Team India.
An avid mountaineer and mother of two, Anshu Jamsenpa, in May 2017, became the first woman in the world to scale Mount Everest twice in a season. Anshu also made the record of fastest double ascent by a woman to the world's highest peak. While the 37-year-old is awaiting confirmation from the world record books, her story is even more impressive when you learn that she has climbed Mt Everest four times.
The five-time World Amateur Boxing champion clinched her fifth Gold (48kg) in November 2017 at the Asian Confederation Women's Boxing Championship. The only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships, Mary Kom became a household name after her namesake movie Mary Kom hit the silverscreen. Mary Kom is an Olympic Indian boxer hailing from Manipur. She is a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.
This 55-year-old banker started her career with ICICI as a management trainee in 1984 and rose up the ladder to become the CEO of the ICICI Bank. In 2017, Forbes Business Magazine released a list of world's Top 100 most powerful woman personalities and Chanda Kochhar stood at Rank 32nd, top amongst the leading Indian women.
Indira Banerjee was appointed the chief justice of the Madras HC in March 2017. She joined the ranks of Bombay HC's Justice Manjula Chellur, Delhi HC's Justice G Rohini and Calcutta HC's acting Chief Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatre. Madras HC has six women judges, including the chief justice, while there are 53 male judges.
Dr Neeru Chadha
Dr Neeru Chadha has been elected as the Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), becoming the first Indian woman to be elected to ITLOS. With this election, Dr Chadha has also become the first Indian woman to occupy a top UN position, after Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, who was the Indian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission.
India's Manushi Chhillar bagged the Miss World 2017 title through a total of 118 contestants – edging out top five contestants from England, France, Kenya and Mexico, in China's Sanya City Arena. The 20-year old medical student's winning answer, "Mothers deserve the highest salary for their love and sacrifices for their kids," to the jury's question, "which profession according to her deserved the highest salary, and why" won the hearts of moms all over. The gorgeous Manushi Chillar brought home the coveted Miss World Crown – 17 years after Priyanka Chopra won it in the year 2000.
Purvi Gupta is on an expedition to Antarctica this year. She is the only Indian among the 80-women strong crew who are engaged in critical science disciplines and bringing global awareness to the lack of women in leadership positions.
Jhulan Goswami is no stranger to breaking records. Last year, the 34-year-old scripted history by becoming the world's top wicket-taker in Women's ODIs, with 181. She attained the feat in a May 9 match against South Africa at the Women's Quadrangle Series.
Scripting history, Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo. Chaturvedi flew a MiG-21 Bison (het with the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340 kmph) in her first training solo sortie, in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Manu Bhaker, 16, etched her name in the history books by clinching women's 10m air pistol gold at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, on March 5, 2018. She became India's youngest and probably world's third youngest shooter to win a World Cup gold.
This list doesn't contain every woman achiever out there, but it just proves how women are progressing every year and standing at par with any man in their field of work.