She Walks, She Leads – A Book Review

By Charul Negi in Reviews 23/09/2016

She Walks, She Leads is an anthology of biographies of 24 inspirational women achievers in India. Penned by Gunjan Jain, this book narrates the stories of struggles and milestones of women who defied all odds to make their way through the patriarchal society.


The book includes names like Neeta Ambani, Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar, Priyanka Chopra, Mary Kom. What sets this book apart is the fact that the writer has not just put down factual information about the achiever but wrote about what gave her internal strength to fight the low days. In a patriarchal society, women are the systematically oppressed gender and therefore their struggles by default become heroic. What amazes the author is the fact that in a world where a man is not expected to prove his allegiance to his family in pursuit of his career, a woman has to demonstrate that she can balance  both in every step.


“The genesis of the book lies in my admiration for the woman achiever who has peaked summits in every field – finance, media, Bollywood, arts, corporate and sports. But more importantly, I wish to tell the story of how they got there”, Gunjan says.


When she sat down to list the names of women who inspired her, the list ran into 200 names! Sorting it out, these 24 women were chosen on two grounds, one – how has she contributed to the change in the larger social context and two – what can the reader learn from this achiever’s story that cannot be learnt from anyone else in her field.


The book has been written in an interesting format. The achievers are categorized in  groups, and friends and family are supplementing the story of the achiever, giving more weight to the narrative.


“I chose the anthology format as it can be both capacious and concise in the time-starved era”, she says in the introduction. The reader can either read the book from cover to cover or directly dive into the section which attracts him most.


An increasing number of women are breaking the shackles of misogyny. In such times, the book is a great read to introduce yourself to stories that will keep the fire to achieve success within you burning.


Charul Negi

Associate Editor.
She dreams of an egalitarian world and feels it’s her duty to give it back to the society. You’ll often find her discussing world poverty, economics and politics over tea at a dabha. Other times, she’s eating. She’s a confident public orator and food is her only weakness.


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