From the ancient times wherein the women did not have any standing in the society to the medieval times wherein women were just used to serve the men and bear children, India has come a long way today. The government shapes the mentality and our country’s government today is such that it just doesn’t talk about women empowerment, but actually follows it. The prime examples of women in power are Sushma Swaraj, Smriti Irani and Nirmala Sitharaman. These women are not just important political public figures but represent India internationally, speaking volumes regarding women empowerment at a global level.
Sushma Swaraj is an Indian politician and a former Supreme Court lawyer. Currently, she is serving as the Minister of External Affairs of India since 26 May 2014. Sushma Swaraj has been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. At the age of 25 in 1977, she became the youngest cabinet minister of the north Indian state of Haryana. She also served as the first female Chief Minister of Delhi. Sushma Swaraj was called India’s ‘best-loved politician’ by the US daily Wall Street Journal. She has been the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting with additional charge of the Ministry of Telecommunications. Her most notable decision during this period was to declare film production as an industry. Apart from this, she has served as the Minister of Health, Family Welfare and Parliamentary Affairs during which she set up six All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) all over the country. Moreover, she is the Indian Parliament’s first and the only female MP honoured with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. On 19 February 2019, Swaraj accepted the prestigious Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit, which was conferred by the Spanish government in recognition of India’s support in evacuating its citizens from Nepal during the earthquake in 2015. Sushma Swaraj has always done justice to the post she has been appointed to throughout her political career. Presently, as the Minister of External Affairs, she has held round-table meeting with all Indian heads of missions to the SAARC region, ASEAN region and Middle East. Moreover, Sushma Swaraj has also stressed on the need for an Act East Policy. She has a tremendous record of having rescued 90,000 Indians in distress in various foreign countries in the past four years. Presently, she is dealing with most important global crisis that is terrorism in an unprecedented manner.
Nirmala Sitharaman is an Indian politician, serving as the Minister of Defence since 2017 and has served as Member of the Rajya Sabha, upper house of the Indian Parliament, since 2016. She has served as the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs under the Ministry of Finance and the Minister for Commerce and Industry with independent charge. Prior to that, Nirmala Sitharaman served as a national spokesperson for the BJP. She also served as a member of National Commission for Women. Apart from her political interests, Nirmala Sitharaman also served as a Senior Manager (R&D) for Price Waterhouse and even been associated with the BBC World Service. Believing education to be at the apex and the most intrinsic requirement of a developing country, she founded a school called Pranava in Hyderabad. As the present Defence Minister, she has proved her worth to the utmost extent. Not only has she been involved in the security and defence measures of the country during the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strikes, but has also successfully resolved the Doklam issue between China and India. Nirmala Sitharaman has also made the purchase of new equipment for the defence forces possible under her able guidance. Moreover, her role in the removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya has been invaluable.
Smriti Irani is an Indian politician, and former model, television actress and producer. She is a Member of Parliament, being elected to the Rajya Sabha from the state of Gujarat. She is the current Textiles Minister in the Government of India. Smriti Irani, over the course of her varied career, has proved how versatile a woman can be in her choice of profession. Nothing is a distant dream if one sets their heart in it and it is never too late to switch into something more suitable. She holds the record of winning five consecutive Indian Television Academy Award for Best Actress – Popular and four Indian Telly Awards. Politically, Smriti Irani has been the vice-president of the Maharashtra Youth Wing. She has been the National Secretary of BJP has been appointed as the All India President of the BJP’s women’s wing, BJP Mahila Morcha. In 2014, she had contested against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi and had increased BJP’s vote share from a mere 5% to a phenomenal 34%, while reducing Congress from a 71% vote share to a meager 41%. Soon afterwards, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed her as the Minister of Human Resource Development in his cabinet. Smriti Irani has also handed the additional charge of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 2017. As a textiles minister, her achievements have been tremendous. Focusing on development of the ‘seven sisters’ of India, not only has she pushed Sericulture but has also set up 21 ready-made garment manufacturing units, the focus being on the development and modernization of textile sector. She has also introduced several welfare schemes for the handloom weavers, handicraft artisans and silk reelers. Moreover, being a true patriarch for women’s rights and equality, Smriti Irani has voiced her concerns about the safety of women in the capital and advocated capital punishment for rapists as a deterrent.
These women are nothing short of strong role models for every young woman in India to look up to. With their intellect and hard work, they have made India extremely proud. Our three superwomen have no familial political connections and hail from different backgrounds, different professions and work in different spheres. But one thing remains in common, that is, unconditional service for the betterment and progress of the country.