Not all women dare to take the leap of faith past the boundaries of what is “expected” from a woman. Although slowly making a movement towards change and gender equality, the woman is in many cultures still an underappreciated gender. Women are expected to be dependable, passive, caring and obliging. What we seem to forget is that these social boundaries are not real. They are not a physical obstacle but more a mental block. Hence, International Woman’s Day is celebrated, and we at Livingit are celebrating it too!
You don’t need a specific level of education, a well-known status or an accepting environment to make a difference. You don’t need to depend on anybody but yourself to accomplish something great. Women empowerment is committed to helping women learn that they can achieve their ambitions. We want to close the gender gap – and hopefully, these inspirational women of today will inspire you to want to do so too.
Challenging the notion that Women “should not” Travel Solo in India
As a girl growing up in India, we have all too often been warned of the dangers of setting out alone, even within the boundaries of our own bustling cities. As we grow up, the warning stays consistent leading us to believe maybe it’s just better if we stay at home, experience the world from a safe distance.
Unconvinced, and now leading by example, 22-year-old Anahita Sriprasad took upon her bicycle to challenge the notion that India is an unsafe country for women to travel in. Inspired by the controversy she stirred up on a solo trip to learn how to ski, Sriprasad went a step further to highlight her message: India is safe for women, and women are fully capable of successfully completing large-scale tasks. Picking up her bicycle she cycled the entire length of India, from Leh to Kanyakumari promoting Women’s Safety in India, and doing her part towards women empowerment.
Breaking the Gender Stereotype with her Motorbike
Bikes are not just for boys. Breaking out of the gender stereotype, this woman isn’t holding on to the brakes. Urvashi Patole has played a huge role in getting women into the Indian biker scene. 27 years old, she’s the founder of ‘Bikerni’, an all-woman group of bikers that has grown to consist of an impressive 1100 members as well as also being the first rider to lead an all-woman group of motorcyclists on a Himalayan Odyssey.
Leaving the “housework” behind, Patoles’ spirit and passion for her set of wheels has never been dampened by the fact that woman riders are a minority, and why should it be?
Proving that Women are Independent
An introverted cyclist, passionate about her wheels, freedom and solo time, Priyanka Dalal took her love for cycle touring and went international, completely solo. Inspired by a man who had done the same, Dalal decided that taking her bicycle abroad was no more of a challenge as it was to a man, as it is to a woman. Taking things at her own pace, stopping wherever she liked, Dalal toured across Germany, Taiwan and Australia with her bicycle and camping kit. Stepping out of her comfort zone to travel miles away from home, Dalal only proved that women are just as independent as any other traveler with the will-power to take expand their wanderlust and travel abroad.
Demonstrating that Women can Fight for their Community
Making sure her voice is heard, Roshni Rai is a devoted marathoner from the mountains of Darjeeling who runs not only for herself and her passion but also for her cause and her community. Being an oppressed citizen of India in two senses, stemming from the little-known Gorkha community and being a woman, Rai has not let these perceived “disadvantages” stop her from making her cause known.
An inspiring story behind how she began to run and why she continues to do so. Rai is an ambassador for the Gorkha community in India, running her own foundation ‘Run with Roshni’ and also having published an autobiography, “From the Mountains to the Ocean.”
Displaying that Gender doesn’t play a Role in making a Difference
A name now synonymous with cycling, Diyva Tate has been the fire to the fuel behind the exponential growth of Ultra Cycling in India. Taking initiative, Tate’s passion for the sweat, grit, and muscle behind long distance cycling has led to the foundation of popular Indian Ultra Cycling races, including qualifiers for RAAM (the most challenging ultra cycling race in the world) such as the Deccan Cliffhanger among many others.
Her passion led her to make a difference in the cycling scene of India, bringing it to international recognition, demonstrating that her gender makes no difference her ability to achieve her goals and live her passion.
This International Woman’s Day 2017 we are putting an emphasis on Women Empowerment. Women are perfectly capable of fulfilling their dreams, their passions, or really anything they put their minds to. No less than a man, women across the globe are #livingit, and being “just a woman” is the exact opposite of an excuse.
Do share your passion, your story, with us at [email protected]