I admired Indira Gandhi for her courage and strength. She took on the mantle when India was a young and vulnerable country. She made our country self-sufficient through Green Revolution. She nationalized banks and insurance companies. She authorized the development of nuclear weapons.
I was in my early twenties, when I came to know about Maya Angelou. I picked up Maya Angelou’s book, ‘Why the Caged Bird Sings?’, on one of my visits to the Chicago Public Library. The Library was celebrating ‘Black History Month.’
Maya Angelou became a mother out of wedlock, when she was 17. She wrote in her book that she had sex so that she would become more womanly.
Waris Dirie was the woman who triggered my feminist genes. When I read Waris Dirie’s biography, I was a young girl who was just acquainted with my body parts. The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) horrified me. Her incredible journey from the nomadic life in deserts of Somalia to the world famous catwalks, inspires me.
My friend, who is working for an MNC, made a flippant remark that her Manager is hiring more women, just to promote diversity in her team. I told her,’ Well, the woman must be qualified to do that job. Nobody gives you a job just because you are a woman. It is not that your Manager picked her off the street.’
This is the common opinion when it comes to promoting diversity, in any field. People often forget that women did not pass different exams to become Engineers (or any other profession).