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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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UN Launches Campaign to Bring Young Generation into Gender Equality Fight

UN Women announced its new "Generation Equality: Realizing women's rights for an equal future'' at a news conference

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gender equality
FILE - Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of U.N. Women, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in New York, March 7, 2018. VOA

The U.N. women’s agency launched a campaign Monday to bring a young generation of women and men into the campaign for gender equality ahead of next year’s 25th anniversary of the conference that adopted the only international platform to achieve women’s rights and empowerment.

UN Women announced its new “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” at a news conference where it also made public events planned to mark adoption of the 150-page platform for action to achieve gender equality by 189 governments at the 1995 Beijing women’s conference.

“Today, nearly 25 years after the historic Beijing conference, the reality is that not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality,” said a statement from UN Women’s executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “Despite some progress, real change has been too slow for most women and girls in the world, and we see significant pushback in many places.”

“Women continue to be discriminated against and their contributions undervalued,” she added. “They work more, earn less and have fewer choices about their bodies, livelihoods and futures than men – and they experience multiple forms of violence at home, at work and in public spaces.”

gender equality
Chinese women delegates walk together to pose outside the Great Hall of the People after attending a plenary session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, Thursday, March 8, 2018. VOA

Mlambo-Ngcuka said the General Equality campaign is aimed at speeding systematic change “on the laws, policies and outdated mindsets that must no longer curtail women’s voice, choice and safety.”

UN Women’s deputy executive director, Asa Regner, said at the news conference that there have been positive results since Beijing. She pointed to a record number of girls in school, better access to health care, a decrease in maternal mortality, more women in top positions in the business world and fresh efforts to address violence against women and to put women at peace negotiating tables. But she said the biggest challenges are to change male-dominated “power structures” that leave far more women and girls facing poverty and violence.

Ahead of next year’s anniversary events, UN Women has asked all 193 U.N. member nations to submit details and data on what their countries have done to implement the 1995 Beijing platform, Regner said. As of Friday, she said, it had received 22 responses but hopes the entire membership will answer.

The Beijing platform called for bold actions in 12 critical areas for women and girls including combatting poverty and violence, improving human rights and access to reproductive and sexual health care, and ensuring that all girls get an education and that women are at the top levels of business and government, and the top table in peace negotiations.

Events leading up to next year’s anniversary include the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women’s annual meeting in March 2020 devoted to Beijing’s implementation, a high-level meeting when world leaders gather for the annual General Assembly session in September 2020, and a “Global Gender Equality Forum” co-hosted by France and Mexico in France bringing civil society representatives and activists of all ages together to look to the future. No date has been announced yet for that event.

gender equality
UN Women announced its new “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future” at a news conference. VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at Monday evening’s opening of an exhibition on women who were part of the Soviet Union’s military effort in World War II that “we will not achieve peace” or any of the U.N.’s development goals for 2030 “without the full and equal participation of women.”

“Yet we all know that there is still a stark imbalance of power around the world, and we are even seeing a backlash in some areas against women’s rights,” he said.

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Regner said the majority of countries favor progress on gender equality, but there is “pushback.” There are governments and movements, she said, that value “so-called traditional family values and other ideas around women’s and men’s roles both in families and in societies which do not correspond to international agreements, and which would not necessarily give women the space and possibility to decide over their own lives, bodies, economic empowerment, etc.”

Regner, a former Swedish minister, said UN Women’s task is to spur implementation of Beijing and other agreements – and “we will never back down.” (VOA)