Indra Nooyi to Malala Yousafzai: 6 women who have been an inspiration to many
On August 26, the World is observing Women's Equality Day. Women's Equality Day commemorates the passage of the United States Constitution's 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Here are some of the many women who have been an inspiration to many.
The Women’s Equality Day, which is observed annually on August 26, strives to empower women and serve as a reminder to society of a woman's strength. The first Women Equality Day was observed in 1973. Let’s take a look at some of the many Indian women who have been an inspiration across different fields.
Kiran Bedi, Indian social activist who was the first woman to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) and who was instrumental in introducing prison reform in India. She joined the IPS in 1972 and has since held a number of positions, including administrator, antiterrorist expert, and drug officer. Bedi earned recognition for the work she did as inspector general of prisons, beginning in 1994. At that role, she addressed the corruption and human rights violations she discovered in one of the largest jails in the world, the Tihar prison complex in Delhi.
She launched new literacy and addiction treatment initiatives there as well as targeted sanitation and nutrition issues in Tihar. In 2003, Bedi became the first woman and the first Indian to be appointed United Nations civilian police adviser. She was the recipient of numerous awards in India and abroad. She was also an accomplished tennis player and won several Asian championships.
Indra Nooyi, an American entrepreneur of Indian descent born in Madras on October 28, 1955, played a key role in the successful reorganisation and brand diversification of soft drink producer PepsiCo, Inc. Nooyi served as the company’s CEO (2006–18) and chairman of the board (2007–19). She was consistently ranked as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
Malala, the youngest Nobel Laureate in history, received the honour when she was just 17 years old. She is well recognised for her support of human rights, particularly for women's and children's education. But when the Taliban seized control of the community in Swat Valley, everything changed. The extremists imposed harsh punishments on anybody who disobeyed their commands and outlawed various activities, including possessing a television and playing music. Girls could no longer attend school, they added.
A masked shooter approached her school bus in October 2012 as she was returning from class and said, "Who is Malala?" He shot her in the side of the head on the left. Ten days later, she found myself in a Birmingham, England, hospital.
Later, she started the Malala Fund, a nonprofit organisation committed to enabling every girl to pursue the destiny she chooses. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 in acknowledgment of our efforts, making me the youngest-ever recipient of the award.
Kalpana Chawla became the first woman of Indian descent to travel into space in 1997. Chawla passed away on February 1, 2003, six years later, when the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entering the atmosphere, killing all seven men on board.
Her talent and dedication in particular have encouraged young people in India and all across the world to explore careers in spaceflight.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an Indian amateur boxer, politician, and incumbent Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. Since the beginning of the AIBA World Boxing Championships in 2001, Kom has won a medal at each of the eight competitions (six golds, one silver, and one bronze, most recently in 2019), advanced to the top of the flyweight AIBA world rankings, and participated in the London 2012 Olympic Games, where she lost to eventual champion Nicola Adams but still earned a bronze medal. She is also the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games (2018) and the Asian Games in 2014. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, in 2020.
Shakuntala Devi (1929–2013) was dubbed "the human computer" for her prodigious mental speed when performing complex computations. In one instance, she extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1977, according to her New York Times obituary. A Univac computer needed 62 seconds to complete the task.
At Imperial College London in 1980, she multiplied two 13-digit digits successfully in under 28 seconds. She was given credit for the accomplishment in her obituary and in the 1982 Guinness Book of World Records.