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5 Indian Women Who Became Role Models Of Empowerment

Today’s young women are caught between generations, forced to choose from women who were housewives and those who had a full-time career. What they lack are role models of women who embody the principles of empowerment.

Here are 5 women of Indian origin, who became role models of empowerment when they decided to carve a niche for themselves in a man’s world.

  • Mother Teresa

    Mother Teresa

There is perhaps no more amazing Indian woman than Mother Teresa (now St. Teresa of Calcutta). Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, she is recognized as one the most selfless human beings in the world. In her honor many charities have been started in her name in over 123 different countries.

These charities work as hospices, homes for the dying, homes for those with HIV/AID and many other difficult diseases. Mother Teresa herself worked, walked, held and cried over the people that no one else would touch themselves.

She brought into light the suffering of many and challenged countless thousands to answer the call to defend the helpless in society. Mother Teresa was known for saying that the hunger for someone to love them is more difficult to overcome than the need for bread to feed their body.

  • Aishwarya RaiAishwarya Rai

Ms. Rai won the Miss World crown in 1994 and has been on the rise ever since. Aishwara certainly is glamorous and possibly one of the most beautiful working mothers today.

Madame Tussaud has fashioned a wax statue of her which is showcased in London. Even the Netherlands love her, where she has her very own tulip bearing her name.

Rai is the ambassador for the Eye bank association in India’s nationwide promotional campaign. This campaign is to raise awareness for eye donations in Indiana. She has been greatly involved in campaigns to help eradicate polio in India.

In other news Rai has gotten involved with the International Year of Microcredit, in an effort to raise awareness of the UN’s poverty alleviation efforts.

  • Kalpana ChawlaKalpana Chawla

She will always be remembered as the first Indian-origin woman to become an American astronaut. She was onboard the tragic flight of Columbia that ended in an inflight explosion February 2003.

For her service to the United States she was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Chawla served on one other previous space flight also in the Columbia space vessel.

Many of the projects that Chawla worked and participated in can be found in various technical papers and journals.

  • Indra NooyiIndra Nooyi

India-born she attended IIM Calcutta and the Yale SO Management. Nooyi rightfully claimed the world’s attention when she became CEO of the world’s second largest corporation, PepsiCo.

Forbes has named her 4th on the 2008 and 2009 most powerful women in business. She has been named one of America’s Best Leaders.

Nooyi has 2 daughters and has been ranked and the 3rd most powerful Mom in the world.

  • indira gandhiIndira Gandhi

She served as the third prime Minister of India. She gained notoriety as she continued to serve for 3 consecutive terms, and then went on to serve an unprecedented fourth term. She was the only Prime Minister to declare a state of emergency to “rule by decree”.

To the end she was has also been the only prime minister to have been placed in prison for her decisions. Her arrest gained her great sympathy and popularity of many people.

Her life was cut short by her very own bodyguards in retaliation for ordering the army to enter the most famous Golden Temple to remove insurgents inside the temple.



Being an Empowered Woman

The following ideas are taken from Louise L. Hay’s book, Empowering Women, Every Woman’s Guide to Successful Living. Hay is the author of 18 books, including You Can Heal Your Life.

The smallest positive change in your thinking can begin to unravel the biggest problem. When you ask the right questions of Life, Life will answer.

There are many ways to make our changes. We could also begin to honestly look at our flaws NOT by looking at what is WRONG with us, but to see the barriers that we have put up that keep us from being all that we learned in childhood.

They never were true for us. We merely accepted someone else’s belief system. If we learned these thoughts once, then we can now unlearn them. We acknowledge that we are willing to learn to love ourselves. And then we develop a few guidelines.

1. Stop All Criticism

It is a useless act; it never accomplishes anything positive. Don’t criticize yourself; lift that burden from yourself.

Don’t criticize others either, as the faults we usually find in others are merely projections of the things we don’t like in ourselves.

Thinking negatively about another person is one of the greatest causes of limitation in our own lives. Only we judge ourselves, not Life, not God, not the Universe.

2. Don’t Scare Yourself

We all want to stop that. Too often we terrorize ourselves with our own thoughts. We can only think one thought at a time. Let’s learn to think in positive affirmations. In this way, our thinking will change our lives for the better.

If you catch yourself scaring yourself again, immediately say, “I release the need to scare myself. I am a divine, magnificent expression of life, and I am living fully from this moment on.”

3. Be Committed to the Relationship You Have With Yourself

We get so committed to other relationships, but we tend to toss ourselves away. We get around to ourselves now and then.

So, really care for who you are. Be committed to loving yourself. Take care of your heart and soul.

4. Treat Yourself as Though You Are Loved

Respect and cherish yourself. As you love yourself, you will be more open to love from others.

The Law of Love requires that you focus your attention on what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. Focus on loving you.

5. Take Care of Your Body

Your body is a precious temple. If you are going to live a long, fulfilling life, then you want to take care of yourself now.

You want to look good, and most of all, feel good and have lots of energy. Nutrition and exercise are important. You want to keep your body flexible and moving easily until your last day on the planet.

6. Educate Yourself

Too often we complain that we don’t know this or that and we don’t know what to do. But we are bright and smart, and we can learn. There are books and classes and tapes everywhere.

If money is a consideration, then use the library. Find a self-help group. They are listed under Community Services in the yellow pages of the telephone book. I know I shall be learning until my very last day.

7. Build a Financial Future For Yourself

Every woman has a right to have money of her own. This is a significant belief for us to accept. It is part of our self-worth.

We can always start on a small level. The important thing is that we keep saving. Affirmations are good to use here.

8. Fulfill Your Creative Side

Creativity can be any activity that fulfills you. It can be anything from baking a pie to designing a building. Give yourself some time to express yourself.

If you have children and time is short, find a friend who will help you take care of your children, and vice versa. You both deserve time for yourselves. You are worth it.

9. Make Joy and Happiness the Center of Your World

Joy and happiness are always within you. Make sure you are connected with this place inside of you. Build your life around this joy. When we are happy, we can be creative, we don’t sweat the small stuff, and we are open to new ideas.

10. Have Integrity; Keep Your Word

In order to honor and respect yourself, you must have integrity. Learn to keep your word. Do not make promises you will not keep even to yourself.

Don’t promise yourself you will start the diet tomorrow or exercise every day unless you know you will follow through. You want to be able to trust yourself.


Empower Yourself: Take Responsibility For Your Life

The way we deal with our pain and let it transform us makes the difference between winning and losing the battle. When you realise that and act on it, you are truly the master of your own destiny.

Have you ever gone through a difficult time in your life? A period when you felt helpless and powerless to deal with your circumstances and destiny? We all have.

Many of us have experienced the tragedy of abusive childhoods, broken relationships or the loss of a loved one. The easiest thing to do in times like these is to blame other people or circumstances for your life, your state of mind, your finances and career.

It’s so easy to blame an abusive parent for the way you are today, or a broken relationship for destroying your ability to love again. But blame is a very disempowering emotion.

It places on others the responsibility for your life, your emotions, your self. It disempowers you because you cannot change people or circumstances. The only thing you can change is yourself and the way you react to them.

Some people go through their lives blaming others, living in hopelessness and despair. But, with the exception of child abuse or losing someone you love, no one can do anything to you that you do not give them the permission to do.

By choosing to let things happen they way they do, you are as much to blame for the consequences. It takes a lot of courage to accept that you’re the way you are because of the choices you made. But it can be very empowering indeed.

The simple act of taking responsibility for your self and your life is the first step towards picking up the pieces and moving on. When you shift the onus of change to yourself, the constraints of the past are lifted and you can be anything you choose to be.

True empowerment is not about taking control, passing laws, fighting injustice or changing the world. Empowerment starts from within. It comes from your willingness to be responsible for what is happening to you, your life and your world.

At some point in our lives we all face adversity. Some of us blame others, while others own responsibility and get on with their lives.

The way we deal with our pain and let it transform us makes the difference between winning and losing the battle. When you realise that and act on it, you are truly the master of your own destiny.

Copyright © Priya Florence Shah

This is an extract from the book, Step Into Your Feminine Power And Rule Your World: 24 Empowering Ideas for the Modern Indian Woman, authored by Priya Florence Shah and available on Amazon and Flipkart.

Empower Yourself - Take Responsibility For Your Life. The way we deal with our pain and let it transform us makes the difference between winning and losing the battle