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Exclusive: Meet Indian Superwomen who broke the glass ceilings in the face of every stereotype

Barring the alleged clichés on the gender difference women are now spotted with limitless strength from crossing oceans to hiking the lofty mountains.

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Women performing Stunts

March 18, 2017: Within the world of superheroes, we forgot to recognize the actuality of superwomen in the same world. A lot has been said about the women’s ineptness – Women are fragile, or even for that matter they say – Women can’t handle pain. Repudiating the alleged clichés on the gender difference women are now spotted with limitless strength from crossing the oceans to hiking the lofty mountains. While the superhero is known for saving other’s lives, a superwoman is the one who fights with the demons of society.

Newsgram brings to you the story of two heroic women who shun every stereotype and made through the top. Reporter Naina Mishra got in touch with Geeta Tandon (an Indian stuntwoman) and Anam Hashim (the youngest professional bike stunt performer and rider) to get a glimpse of their superlative skills.


 GEETA TANDON 

Geeta Tandon is an Indian stuntwoman. She came into the glare of publicity in Khatron Ke Khiladi 5

Geeta was too naive and docile when she got married to a brutal man. At the age of 15, she faced the tumultuous fits of her in-laws who spared no effort to rip her apart. Her husband once declared her ill fortune into ending up as a sex worker if she chooses to leave him. Notwithstanding, she escaped with her two children one night and never came back. It was until now Geeta thought about herself for the first time in her life and swore by nevermore to look behind.

NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.

Geeta is a Bollywood stunt woman and has body doubled for popular actresses including Kareena, Alia Deepika Padukone. Nevertheless, her journey has not been smooth. From sexual abuse of her husband to a performer in Bhangra group and finally making it through a stunt woman, Geeta has shunned every stereotype reaching her way. For her, suicide was never an option and henceforth through an austere painstaking character, she entered the hall of fame.

“A Stunt woman is strong and the one who wants to accomplish something in life. She is equally competitive to the men. There comes not a single day when she doesn’t feels the agony, but she keeps moving for herself. 

(Geeta Tandon defined the sentiment of a Stuntwoman to Newsgram)

“In the industry also, people come up and tell us that a particular work can’t be done. But the confidence of attaining the unattainable lies within ourselves. One day I asked my master to give me a chance to prove myself, it was presumed by everyone out there that the stuntwomen will be incompetent for the action sequence, but I picked up with the pace and completed the task”, commented Geeta Tandon on gender differences.

“our society tries to wither the spirit of the person. There will be doubters and there will be people who will try to bring you down but what keeps you going is the invincible spirit.”

There was a time she had to seek out for living in slums, but somehow she knew that she doesn’t have to give up at the helm of the doldrums. She now owns a flat in Mumbai. The Bollywood stunt woman aspires to be an ‘Action Film Director’.

ANAM HASHIM

Anam came into the glare of publicity right after a video of her performing ‘Christ’, which is a type of stunt went viral.

Anam Hashim is the youngest stunt rider of the nation. The 21-year-old is known to be the first woman who had ridden to Khardung La on a TVS Scooty. Being born into a Muslim family, her journey has not been loose either.

“I had to fight with my family and leave everything in pursuit of my dreams. My dad taught me how to right a motorcycle and later on, I told him that I want to do stunts.”

‘Breaking barriers’ is exorbitant nowadays but our youngest female street bike freestyle athlete opposes the term “breaking-barriers” while speaking to Newsgram.

“It’s never about breaking barriers as the barriers are just in the head. The problem with people is that they are living with preset limitation for women decided a millennium ago. They don’t try to explore. I think like this way – I ride a Motorcycle; Motorcycle doesn’t know your gender.”

Anam Hashim is invited to world’s biggest platform TEDx – IIT Hyderabad (March 19) to inspire youth and inculcate a sense of individualism in youngsters. She aspires to ace the stunt riding championships across the world and grow her own company dreamsmotorsports.


 

The mindset that girls cannot perform what men are capable of is a thing of a past now. Most of the women start loathing their own self and lose faith in times of despairs, however, to abandon hope should be the last thing on your mind because not many live a life of warrior but those who do are the most fortunate ones. It is so easy to break the glass ceilings if we know the strength of our arms.

– Reporting by Naina Mishra, Twitter: Nainamishr94

 

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Fight For Gender Equality Faces Resistance From The United Nations: Study

Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was sworn in December 2016 after a campaign in which many countries urged selection of a woman.

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U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses delegates during the opening session of a UN Migration Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Dec.10, 2018. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has inched up slightly in the eyes of women’s groups who said on Wednesday he has delivered on some promises to make the global organization a feminist institution but faces a major backlash and resistance.

The Feminist U.N. Campaign, a coalition of women’s rights groups, advocates and U.N. staff, gave him a grade of B-, up from the C+ it gave him a year ago.

The coalition launched its report card after the secretary-general said he would be a feminist leader when he took office two years ago.

United Nations, Global warming, climate change
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses during the opening of COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Global movement

In that time, the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment and assault has become a global movement.

Guterres has promoted women’s rights and equality publicly, sought gender parity in leadership and rolled out efforts against sexual harassment and gender-based violence, the report said.

But an internal backlash and bureaucracy threaten his progress. His efforts to make structural changes have met “considerable resistance” from staff and member states that resist women’s rights, it said.

Lyric Thompson, an author of the report and a director at the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, said she thinks Guterres has “a genuine intent and interest in being a champion” of women’s rights.

Women's March,
People carrying signs join hundreds of demonstrators in the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles, Jan. 20, 2018. VOA

“The question is can he do everything in his power to be a feminist leader who enables that transformation and who makes it the new normal?” she said to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The U.N. is “years away” from being a feminist institution, and attitudes of immunity and privilege operate to scuttle equality efforts, she said.

Just last week, a U.N. survey showed one third of its staff and contractors experienced sexual harassment in the past two years.

More than 30,000 people answered the survey, complaining of offensive jokes, remarks and sexual stories and of being touched in ways that made them uncomfortable.

The U.N. has tried to increase transparency and strengthen how it deals with such accusations over the past few years after a string of sexual exploitation and abuse accusations against U.N. peacekeepers in Africa.

The head of the U.N. agency for HIV and AIDS is stepping down in June, six months before his term ends, after an independent panel said his “defective leadership” tolerated “a culture of harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying, and abuse of power.”

Women
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, center, address the human rights conference titled “Protecting Health Rights of Women and Girls Affected by Conflict,” during the U.N General Assembly, Sept. 24, 2018 at U.N. headquarters. VOA

‘Considerable progress’

The secretary-general’s office said it was pleased that the women’s groups saw improvement in Guterres’ handling of gender issues and agreed that more needs to be dome.

Also Read: Women Living in Countries with Gender Equality have better Cognitive Test Scores: Study

“At the same time, we believe the secretary-general has achieved considerable progress within the complex U.N. system at achieving real reforms to make the U.N. a better workplace for women and men alike,” his office said.

Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal, was sworn in December 2016 after a campaign in which many countries urged selection of a woman. The U.N. has not been headed by a woman since its creation in 1945. (VOA)