Women have come a long way from overcoming social issues, discrimination and legal bias to today’s strong and independent self. Women have now stepped up and challenged the so called patriarchal societal norms with their achievements in every aspect of their lives. Women like Chanda Kochar, Shobhana Bhartia, Kiran Majumdar-Shaw, Priyanka Chopra have made it to Forbes most powerful women list. Recently, Avani Chaturvedi and Bhawana Kanth have become India’s first-ever women fighter pilots to fly solo MIG-21 flights. In our life, we have come across many such souls, who have represented the strength of being a woman through their work.
Shilani Sadh, Fashion Stylist
So, to celebrate the occasion of international women’s day, Fashion Stylist Shilani Sadh went to elanstreet’s top style icons to get to know what women empowerment means to them.
GEETIKA ANAND GUPTA
Geetika, who is A Gold medalist, MBA and a scholarship holder, is the perfect example of Beauty with Brains. Through her Career journey she has achieved amazing success and has launched numerous products. This young CMO and Founder of Danke Beer is taking India by storm with her new line of craft beers. She believes the most important step of women empowerment in this country is to assure their safety first. “Safety of women leads to their empowerment. So, create that society which is safe for women. Create that system which is safe for women. Love your women and empower them with your respect for them. Empowering Women is also a feeling along with an action, not only by others but by women themselves too. Every women should find that one spark in herself which she can light for the world to see and experience.”
GARGI BANERJEE KOUL
Former banker and now the Founder and CEO of elanstreet and a proud mother of two adorable kids, Gargi is the engine that keeps elanstreet running. “Today’s woman is an exceptional blend of strength & vulnerability . She has always been a multi-tasker, a skillful negotiator, an empathetic listener with a hidden core of steel. But it is only recently that the world has started to appreciate the unique skill sets that she brings to the table in any given situation.” is what she thinks of modern women.
Being from a financial marketing background, she has worked her way up as a successful entrepreneur. To her, women empowerment is to give them their rights. “Women empowerment therefore to me would be to help her recognize, nurture and fulfill her dreams – to remind her that she is an individual in her own right and her identity is not tied to being a daughter, wife or mother. What she makes of it – the good or bad, success or failure should be on her own terms and HER CHOICE. To dream big and not be afraid of failure. To take a deep breath and jump in, take risks. To know that there is an entire ecosystem out there to help her along the way, as long as she takes the effort to reach out.”
After being asked about how a woman should balance their work life and domestic life, she said “She needs to decide what are the few non-negotiable areas in her life, on which she would like to focus her energies and reach out for help with all other aspects. It’s also important to cut herself some slack. It’s not possible or necessary to be the best in everything, so concentrating on the current priorities (and this changes with time!) at home or work front would help her achieve the right balance between personal ambitions and familial responsibilities.”
“Additionally the road to success is never going to be easy but we will have to stand up for ourselves when no one does” is what she believes. Vinita Bhatia works as the National Head of Media & Sports with The Times of India. Her take on women empowerment is quite clear-cut. “On this International women’s day, my message to all is to imbibe the quality of ‘courage’ at all times. We will be faced with many challenges throughout our life. However by only having the spirit of ‘never being defeated’ will we truly become victors. For that we must also try to have a mentor. I have a great mentor, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda , a noble peace laureate and honorary president of Soka Gakkai International. when we follow a great mentor we can become our brilliant selves. To explain, when a blue fly attaches itself to a thorough bred horse, it can cover many miles.”
Payall Gupta is a marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the client servicing, marketing communications, launches, events and media relations. She is the founder of KIARA Marketing & Lifestyle. “In today’s era women empowerment is important for the development of our country and society in every way. Women are dominated at every phase of life because of gender. They have to face atrocities like physical harassment, rapes, dowry killings, human trafficking, acid attacks etc.” she said. She holds strong opinion on gender equality. “Women empowerment is giving rights to women in personal, social, political, economic and all judicial fields. Women can be good leaders or managers if they are given opportunities and platform to prove themselves. They are having qualities better than men. Women empowerment does not mean to discriminate men and worship women but it is about equality. Women should have equal rights in social, political, economic and other judicial things. Women can lead the country to a higher level of development and success.”
She is the director of one of most royal beauty pageants in Indian History – Mr and Mrs King and Queen and Mr and Miss Prince and Princess. She is also the founder of Fizza Intl. She has got the best-voted fashion brand award from Indian Association of Entrepreneurs & Service Providers. When asked about the importance of empowering women; she replied “I always say when woman empowers woman wonders happens. Women empowerment is the much-talked about issue today. Women are increasingly getting empowered to decide the course of their life and professions and realize their fullest potential. Sky is the limit for women today, as in history we have many examples of woman who made our country proud. Mrs Indra Gandhi is an example of the most powerful woman on top. Women empowerment has become the strength today with every woman who wants to live her life.”
This former Miss Delhi Femina Miss India, has tried her hand at everything, starting from modelling, television chat shows, compering, writing to social activism. She was keen to share a note she had once written at a journalist association. “Sadly women pull women down. Women by nature are jealous and insecure of themselves; insecure at a new entrant at work, home or in family. A confident woman needs no recognition as she appreciates herself and knows her accomplishment and achievements. A WOMAN WHO IS RAISED IN APPRECIATION, LEARNS TO APPRECIATE AND THUS APPRECIATES EFFORTLESSLY. On this occasion of women’s day, be the kind of woman you would like to meet.”
Rita Gangwani has mentored hundreds of girls to become successful models and beauty pageant winners. She was one of the first lady officers from Himachal Pradesh in the MNS (Military Nursing Service, Indian Army) Core. She believes that the best teacher of a woman can be the woman herself. She has a very strong message on how to empower ourselves. “Whats the Point of having everything, if you don’t have yourself? Stand up and take charge of yourself. Do not get lost in the crowd. Keep moving forward. No one and nothing should stop you. There is no instruction manual available on how to live your life.” She said. “Discover yourself! Dress yourself in self esteem, adorn yourself with praise, and slip into joy. When you are clothed in self love, you will always succeed. Life’s gifts don’t come from being perfect. Take that first step even if you are Imperfectly perfect. Go find yourself. The only thing stopping you from being great is YOU. Happy women’s Day!”
She is the director to Seema Gumber-Star buzz events and also director of Mrs India Ethnic 2017. She has won many beauty pageants and has collaborated with them as a jury and guest of honour. We asked her what woman empowerment means to her. “To me, it means encouraging all those women who aspire to reach the top and want to give meaning to their life and existence in the world. We, in India, live in a very discriminated society, where many things fall easily on the lap of men; however for females they have to work hard to achieve the same. So there is the need to hold their hand and lead them to the path of success and make them empowered.” When asked about what we can do in our daily lives to empower someone, she said “I always ensure that any place or subject which is connected to empowering another woman, I get it done at the earliest. I feel that we are blessed , as we have always got support from our family and society where we live and carry the image of empowered women. So the same blessings and wishes should be showered on those who need it badly.”
Bharti Tenaja is the founder of Bharti Taneja’s ALPS Beauty Group. She has pioneered several innovations and is credited for bringing the latest technology in make-up and beauty care to India. She started her journey with a small one-room salon, and has now reached to a chain of 45 beauty centers around the country. We asked her about how women today can achieve their dream. “For a happy & successful life- Love yourself, believe in yourself, dream big & work hard for it. No one can stop you to achieve what you wish for.” is what she said.