COURAGEOUS AND FEARLESS WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD: INSPIRATION FROM 2018

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NEELIMA SINGH :

NEW DELHI: What do bravery and endurance look like? Talking for the women- It should be the ability to inspire, the clout to change the conversation, the will to rise again and again, the courage to raise your voice against the suppression and above all it’s the eye-watering level of achievement, regardless of your age. But what they all have in common? Well, they are us.

2018 has been a great year for women. From Michele Obama and Oprah Winfrey of the U.S.A., Avani Chaturvedi of India, Me Too movement to Nadia Murad, a sex-slave of ISIS in War-torn Iraq who won Noble Peace Prize winner of 2018, women all around the world are defying the odds and proving that they are the Real Fighter. Here are some inspiring women to look for in 2018.

When the sky is not the limit-when it’s for giving wings to the dreams Avani Chaturvedi is the first Indian woman pilot to fly a fighter jet. In a predominantly male workforce, Avani is a true inspiration for women in India who aspire to join defense services. Combat roles in Indian armed forces is still off-limits for women, but Avani has broken all the shackles to ‘touch the sky’, quite literally!

The Kenyan woman who fought for dignity during childbirth
In August 2013, Josephine Majani came to on a hard hallway floor in the Bungoma District Hospital in Bungoma, Kenya. Majani’s experience of giving birth to child in the hallway and then getting yelled and slapped for it, was captured on video. In February 2018, the Kenyan court issued a landmark ruling awarding Majani $25,000 in damages, requiring that hospital staff formally apologize to her and setting a precedent that demands women be given quality care and treated with dignity during childbirth.

The 101-year-old Indian runner who inspires women to do the impossible

Man Kaur is 101, but her routine could tire most 20-somethings.Every day she wakes up at 4 a.m.,bathes, washes clothes, makes tea, recites prayers until about 7 a.m. And then she goes to the track for an hour of sprinting practice. And she's not just doing it for fun. A competitive runner, Kaur is a world record holder in her age group for several categories. Although Kaur doesn't have proof of her age but her oldest child does. When her baby birth certificate was issued 81 years ago, Kaur was 20, so you do the math.

Man Kaur of India celebrates after competing in the 100-meter sprint in the 100+ age category at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in April.

The centenarian is a role model for women and runners everywhere.

The woman who inspired others to speak up about sexual harassment at Mecca What you would do if you experienced the worst possible nightmare at the Holiest place of your religion? The mind will go numb and the blood may ran dry in the veins. That’s what happened with Mona Eltahawy of Egypt. The Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, called hajj, was supposed to be the holiest moment of Mona Eltahawy's life. She was dressed in a hijab and covered from head to toe, she felt something. Someone — a man — had grabbed onto her butt and would not let go. "Who wants to talk about sexual assault at a holy place? No one would believe it," she says, recalling the encounter, which took place in 1982. Muslims circle the Kaaba, located in the Great Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of their
Islamic pilgrimage.

In early February,  Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American activist and journalist  and the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, shared this story on Twitter. It was in response to a viral Facebook post by a Pakistani woman who shared her own experience of being sexually assaulted at hajj. The post inspired an outpouring of similar testimonies from Muslim women around the world. Once the sex-slave by ISIS — Now an women right activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Nadia Murad, from the Yazidi community in Iraq, is the co-winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. She was enslaved for three months by ISIS and sexually assaulted. Now she speaks out for victims of sexual enslavement.

In August 2014, Nadia Murad was one of thousands of women from the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq who were captured by ISIS and forced into sexual slavery. Three months later, she escaped through a door that a captor left unlocked. She has shared her painful story with international media outlets to show the world what happened to Yazidis. She has become a voice for captive women and girls in the process. Murad urges women who have faced sexual violence to reclaim their lives. "The hope of ISIS was to break the Yazidi community," she says. "But for survivors especially, going back to their lives and getting married and making a life and working, it's basically making sure ISIS did not succeed." In 2016, she was named the U.N.'s first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. In 2018, she became the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Dr. Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who treats victims of rape.

The Mexican activist who wants to see more women with disabilities on TV Maria Garcia Ramos has been using a wheelchair since she was 14 due to a neurological disorder that damaged her spine. Maryangel Garcia Ramos, 32, is a disability activist from Mexico.

The founder of a nonprofit called Mexican Women With Disabilities, she advocates for policy and legislation that advance rights for women with disabilities. In 2017, she represented Mexico at the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In March, she attended SXSW, a technology, film and music conference in Austin, Texas, to speak on a panel to help break stereotypes about women with disabilities.  She wants people to know that yes, people with disabilities do have sex. And at a panel on women and television, she called out the panelists – which included the president of Paramount and executives from Warner Bros. — in the Q&A portion for not including people with disabilities on their TV shows. She shares the biggest misunderstanding of people with disabilities: "People instantly think that a person [with disabilities] is broken or missing something — that as humans we are not complete.

When age is just a number even if it’s about Martial Art

Meenakshi Gurukkal is the oldest woman practitioner and teacher of Kalaripayattu, an ancient martial art form of Kerala. At the age of 76, her agile moves with the sword are powerful enough to give youngsters a run for their money.She is running a school to pass this priceless art form to the younger generation. Fitness freaks, take note!

It’s not who you are, It’s what you want to be-that matters

SINEAD BURKE a Writer and academic, 3ft 5in tall, who was born with achondroplasia, is acutely aware of the limits of design – and how to shift them. In 2018, the author and campaigner became a sensation, sitting front row at London Fashion Week and being photographed in Burberry and Dior for magazine covers, while her TED talk Why Design Should Include Everyone racked up 1.2 million views online. Her mission is clear: to educate designers on how to be fully inclusive in fashion and beyond.

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