In a world that is still somehow treats women as second class citizens and sexism that’s still very ripe, it can, at times, be nearly impossible for a woman to chase her dreams (without being apologetic about it.)This year saw a big leap in feminism. Here are just a few of the many women who turned patriarchy on its head, tackled challenges head on and inspired us big time!
 

Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik

She was the first female wrestler from the country to win a medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also the first to win a wrestling medal for the country. As most sports that are not cricket, hers was a tough road. When she signed up for the sport her parents had to face a lot of criticism, given she was a girl and wrestling is considered a man’s sport in India. With perseverance and sheer grit, she made the country really proud!

 

Kareena Kapoor Khan

Kareena Kapoor Khan

The new mommy flaunted her baby bump with sheer joy and pride throughout her pregnancy. She shut down all the speculation regarding a maternity break by asking the media to not treat her any differently. She lived up to each word she said by walking the ramp as a showstopper for Sabyasachi just a few months ago and signing a film.

 

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra

Since bagging the lead role in the American TV series ‘Quantico’, she has been unstoppable. She is the first female Bollywood celebrity to carve a niche for herself in the white-dominated world of global entertainment. This year she became the first Indian ambassador for Guess, shot for her Hollywood debut ‘Baywatch’ and was honoured by Time magazine.

 

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone

Deepika’s bold move to talk about her long battle against depression was one of the highlights of this year. With the launch of her ‘Live Love Laugh Foundation’ she began raising awareness about depression, an effort that everyone sat up and took notice of immediately. She heralded the launch of the country’s first public mental health awareness campaign to recognize and legitimize depression as an illness that is more common than perceived and how to deal with it.

 

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen is a stand-up comedian who has been setting benchmarks for women worldwide since the last three decades. This year was extraordinary for her as she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Obama reiterated that she was one of the few people brave enough to announce that she was a homosexual almost two decades ago when being gay was not a norm and rights were very few. Since then her support for equality and LGBTQ acceptance has been phenomenal.

 

P.V. Sindhu

P.V. Sindhu

In the 2016 Rio Olympics another female made India proud. P.V.Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a Silver medal. The 21-year-old from Hyderabad beat the world champion from Spain and proved the country’s mettle in the field of badminton. With the spirit of a fighter this wonder woman is someone we look forward to seeing biting the Gold medal soon.

 

Madonna

Madonna

Madonna won Billboard’s Woman of the Year Award this year and gave a heartfelt acceptance speech that addressed sexism, misogyny and feminism in the music industry. Bringing notice to how the industry views ageing as a cruel joke, she spoke about surviving in the industry for 34 years as one of her biggest conquests. She concluded by thanking her haters for all resistance she faced thus making her a stronger and a true fighter. She emphasized on creation of solidarity amongst women for a better future.

 

Simone Biles

Simone Biles

The 4 feet 9 inch American gymnast won 5 medals in Rio demonstrating talent that had no comparison. She made history by becoming the first gymnast to be flag bearer for Team U.S.A. at the Olympics closing ceremony garnering praise from the likes of Serena Williams.