The journey to gender equality has been paved by women across geographies and generations. For every woman who spoke up, stood up, and challenged patriarchy, 10 others were inspired to do the same.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 by World Economic Forum states that women’s prominence in politics and other leadership roles has given way to ‘role model effect’ that inspires and encourages younger people. This has also played a huge role in lessening the time to attain gender parity by 8.5 years since a year ago.
In fact, former US President Barack Obama has expressed his confidence and stated that women are indisputably better leaders than men.
Speaking at a leadership event in Singapore just two weeks ago, he said, “I am absolutely confident that for two years if every nation on earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything.”
As we step into the new year and a new decade today, here are some uplifting quotes as a reminder that you can do anything.
Olympic medallist Dutee Chand on coming out, “They don’t know anything different from what tradition tells them so I am not angry with them. That doesn’t mean to say I am not going to follow my heart. I can’t spend my life worrying about others. No one can live without love.”
Sanna Marin, on becoming Finland’s and the world’s youngest Prime Minister, “I have never thought about my age or gender. I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”
Journalist Faye D’Souza on gender violence and equal opportunity, “Those arguing that women get equal opportunities in Urban India should realise that when one of us is raped and murdered at 9:15 pm, it basically keeps the rest from taking up jobs, travelling alone, riding bikes, pursuit of careers. That is not equal opportunity.”
Greta Thunberg, reminding the world of climate urgency, “I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones.”
P V Sindhu, on believing in oneself, “Your dreams are what defines your individuality. They have the power to give you wings and make you fly.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on leadership, “You can carve your own path, be your own kind of leader. We do not need to create a new generation of leadership.”
US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on making things happen, “You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be 100 percent committed.”
Facebook COO, author, and entrepreneur Sheryl Sandberg on staying determined, “You are not born with a fixed amount of resiliency. Like a muscle, you can build it, and draw on it when you need it.”
Actor Priyanka Chopra on compassion and helping those in need, “Be disruptive, show compassion and care, be catalytic in our actions and solutions. Giving back is no longer a choice, it has to be a way of life.”
Activist Sukhnidh Kaur, on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the violence against peaceful protestors in India, “I don’t want to be powerful. I want to be capable of love because love demands equality, and in doing this, love threatens fascism. It leads the way to solidarity and nothing weakens a divisive government quite like solidarity does.”
And finally, some words of wisdom by former First Lady of US Michelle Obama, “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”