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At this very moment, there is a woman out there, somewhere in the world, desperately praying to the gods to bless her with a baby boy. Because if the baby turns out to be a girl, her family might not let the child live.
The little girl might be destined for greatness but she might not live to find that out.
So, while she does that, while the woman tries to manipulate the gods into changing the sex of her baby, let’s try to make sense of a world without strong empowered women. This Infant Protection Day, let’s try to envision a world where all the female global influencers, who we look up to every single day, fall prey to the practice of female infanticide which is common in many countries across the world.
Beyonce: Close your eyes and imagine a world without the Queen B, a woman who has managed to transform so many lives with her art form. Can you imagine a world lacking her magic?
Being a strong-willed and outspoken feminist, Beyonce conveys her ideas and opinions through her music. Many of her tracks have become anthems for strong women. Cue the music – “Who Run the World? Girls!”
In the world of size zero, Beyonce has unapologetically hogged headlines for her curvy figure and jaw-dropping outfits. The term ‘Bootylicious’ rings a bell?
One look at her, and you know the woman was destined for greatness and we can witness that only because her parents let her live. They cherished and nourished her with all that they had. They stood by her side and watched her bring about a cultural change, not just in the music industry, but in the world.
Zoya Akhtar: Can you picture Bollywood without ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘Gully Boy’? That’s right! A world without our favourite millennial catchphrase “Apna Time Aaega,” which went viral overnight.
Without Zoya, we would not have a female director who knows how to strike a balance between meaningful content and good business, something that experts believed only male directors could do.
With a mind-blowing creative outlook and unmatchable movie direction, Zoya has already carved a pretty deep mark in the male-dominated Indian film industry. It takes skills, patience, craft, and consistency to achieve what Zoya has achieved. Let’s not forget that out of all the directors, it was her film that was selected as India’s official entry to the 92nd Oscars this year.
Priyanka Chopra: As you watch her grow into this global icon, who is changing the world one step at a time, remind yourself that she is from a country that is struggling to balance its sex ratio. A country with an alarming record of female foeticide and infanticide. A girl child is either killed in the womb or, if she manages to survive, is killed before her innocent eyes can make sense of the world around them.
Priyanka is an example of what those little girls can grow up to achieve if you just let them live and follow their passion. Working in movies, both Bollywood and Hollywood, producing her movie, and creating her music, the ‘Desi girl’ has done it all.
In addition to her remarkable record in the entertainment industry, Priyanka has been working with UNICEF for over a decade, empowering those who sometimes get ignored in the rapidly growing world.
Sunita Williams: An American astronaut and United States Navy officer who formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman. Imagine that!
Born in Euclid, Ohio, to Indian American neuroanatomist Deepak Pandya, Sunita is today a global icon and an inspiration to all those who want to make it big. Here is a woman who enjoyed the “privilege” of breathing and chasing her dreams. And look what she did! NASA would not have been the same without the contributions that Sunita made to the world of science.
In her interviews, she always refers to her parents as her role models. Parents that gave her everything she needed and everything they had and made her believe that she could aim for the universe.
Ellen Degeneres: A global influencer with a hat full of feathers. This multi-faceted human being is a TV host, stand-up comedian, humanitarian, and an animal rights activist, all in one. Imagine a world without this absolute superstar who uses her influence and power and talent to simply spread joy and love. Imagine a world without all that positivity and inspiration.
Most of us know Ellen for her uber-popular reality TV show ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’. Those who have seen this show, on television or YouTube, will attest to the fact that it is designed to give you hope and make you happy, even if it is just for a few moments. In today’s world, sometimes that’s all that one can ask for.
Not just human beings, Ellen has set an example for all the animal lovers in this world by heading a foundation called ‘The Ellen Fund’ that supports global conservation efforts for endangered species. See? Even the animals need her.
Mary Kom: Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, who has become a household name, thanks to her remarkable journey as an athlete. If back then, Mary’s parents had followed the popular trend and decided to not have a girl child, who would have represented India in her place?
She is known for her strength, achievements, and as the woman who seems to have mastered the art of balancing personal and professional life. Proving that a woman can be both a mother and a professional athlete. We don’t have to choose between our family and work.
Defeating the common belief that “your body changes after pregnancy” she resumed boxing post-pregnancy and please note that she has two kids! Even today, when she enters a boxing ring, you know she is there to win, every single time.
Shereen Bhan: Managing Editor of CNBC-TV18, Shereen worked her way up to the top by being consistent with her content. In a world without her, India would have missed out on a great journalist, who is loyal to her profession and honest with her audience.
Shereen is also the anchor & editor of Young Turks, one of India’s longest-running shows on Indian start-ups culture, which has inspired several aspiring entrepreneurs across the country.
She is a perfect example of an Indian woman, who fights all the odds to transform into this independent, successful and influential personality, whose goal is to empower others.
Oprah Winfrey: Those who follow her know that she is a special soul, one that is cherished and loved by millions. Not to mention she is the first black woman billionaire and the richest African-American woman.
She has her own reality television show that is insanely popular for its inspirational content and is considered to be one of the most influential women in the world. See? That’s what a girl child is capable of doing if only you let her live.
How did a woman who was sexually abused at the age of nine and got pregnant when she was just 14, managed to make a mark this deep? The answer is – because she is a warrior.
American media executive, Oscar-nominated actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist, Oprah is everything that a naïve society would not expect a woman to be, and more!
A world without the fire that burns bright inside these women, would be a darker version of the world we live in today. The question is, are we ready to settle for darkness?
Every child is precious and should be treated that way. People can’t pick and choose the sex of their children like they pick and choose their ice cream flavours. It is inhuman on a cellular level.
Stop female infanticide because your little girl will change the world someday.