• Swagat Patel

Is breaking the glass ceiling END GOAL?

Gone are the days when there were debates on independence, sovereignty, freedom, rights, choice, duties, responsibilities, and activities of women. India along with other countries of the world has come a long way since there were fights for existence and survival.

But the question that still haunts is, Are women finally equal to men?

We all have seen eye to eye, how women in the world have made progress, and what a fabulous ride it has been!

Let's revisit the success stories of the first Indian women in their respective fields.

-Arunima Sinha as the first female amputee to climb Mountain Everest

-Gita Gopinath as the International Monetary Fund's chief economist.

-Avani Chaturvedi as the first Indian woman to fly the Mig-21.

-Aruna Reddy winning a medal at the Gymnastics World Cup.

-Indu Malhotra raised to the post of a senior advocate at the Supreme Court.

-Sudha Balakrishnan appointed as the first woman CFO of RBI.

-Seema Rao as the first woman commando trainer.

-Mary Kom as the first boxer to win 8 medals at AIBA World championships.

-Hima Das as the first Indian athlete to win gold at the IAAF World Under 20 Athletics Championships.

-Nirmala Sitharaman as the first full-time Woman Finance Minister of India.

-Pratibha Patil as the first woman president of India.

-Saina Nehwal as the first Indian woman to rank 1 in world rankings in badminton.

But was it all just to grab a job opportunity, or just to prove it to the world that women can take up high paying or physically tough jobs and excel at it no matter what.

Did they put in all the effort to prove a point to men? Is there anyone of us who thinks this way?

No, they succeeded because of their burning desire to do good and not to overcome any men.

Now, are we all taking this as the only definition of women's excellence??

What about gender equality when it comes to household chores, responsibilities of the children, worrying about food, decor, and managing the whole house altogether. The workload of a working woman in this era is far more than a housewife and a working man.

So if you ask me, what needs to be changed?

According to me, we need to see the broader picture here. Decide on parameters and benchmarks that impact millions.

Firstly, the household load needs to be equal. I know there has been enough debate on this to finally reach a conclusion supporting this.

For example, why maternity leaves are only given to women, what about paternity leave?

Surprisingly some companies have given a choice to men to apply for paternity leave if they wish to, Why isn't it a compulsion? The newborn baby is the responsibility of both the parents and, probably this is the stage where a woman's dreams and career go sideways.

A world full of empowered women isn’t one where men are marginalized. It’s a world where everyone thrives.~ Purnima Mane,

Then, we would need a monetary valuation of woman's work as homemakers, so that capitalists and morons demanding dowry could understand a woman's sacrifices of a lifetime.

The next goal would be quality education and woman safety. While major steps have already been taken for education, the government should make it mandatory for all schools to teach self-defense to girl children till matriculation.

This might be an endless topic of discussion but at the same time, this is also one of the most important topics to discuss.

I would end with a piece of advice for young girls and a quote.

Advice- Don't try to overcome just anybody, rather try to set an example of excellence for everybody without bias. Even if that needs backing off for once.

Quote-'Because before a few trying to break the glass ceiling, it is equally necessary to make millions of women aware of the glass ceiling by getting them involved in deciding their own fate.'

Co-written by

Aishwarya Badoni & Swagat Patel


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Dist- Purulia, West Bengal

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