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Role Models: Women of substance
Indian women have made their mark in various walks of life despite facing societal prejudices and institutional hurdles.
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2013 07:13
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India is a country of almost half a billion women, but the majority of them have to fight for space in a largely patriarchal and conservative society where the other half, men, wield insurmountable influence.

Despite the odds, many women have left their mark.

Modern India’s script cannot be complete without taking note of their contributions.

They are at the forefront of social movements, hold important political positions, and have boosted the corporate sector with their enterprise.

Women, including those in the diaspora, have also scaled the heights of success, winning leadership positions in various multinational corporations and charting their own entrepreneurial path.

Here is a list of women who have achieved remarkable success in their respective fields.


/RICK RYCROFT/AP

Arundhati Roy became first Indian woman to win the Booker Prize for her novel "God of Small Things", which sold about six million copies. She could have become a darling of the middle class, but instead chose to give her voice to India's marginalised groups. She has courted controversy with her writings on dams, Maoists and the Kashmir issue.

/Chong Jun Liang/Getty Images

Barkha Dutt is India's equivalent of Christiane Amanpour by virtue of being one of the most popular broadcast journalists. A taped conversation she had with a coporate publicist seemed to show her in poor light. But Dutt remains a huge draw for viewers of NDTV channel.

/

Chanda Kochhar is the CEO of ICICI Bank, India's biggest private bank. She is largely recognised for role in shaping India's retail banking sector. Fortune magazine has listed her among the top Powerful Women in Business. [EPA]

/YOUSSEF BADAWI/EPA

Ela Bhatt is best known for starting the Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA), a trade union for women which has now more than 1,000,000 members. She is a pioneer of such grass-roots movements as microfinance and cooperatives. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1977.

/

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, the chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage company in the world, is one of the biggest success stories among India's diaspora. Last year, her pay package was worth $12.6 million. She has been ranked among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. [EPA]

/

Irom Sharmila is a civil-rights activist based in the Indian state of Manipur. She has been on hunger strike since 2000, demanding the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a legislation that controversially grants immunity to Indian troops in "disturbed areas". Force-fed since then, Irom refuses to give up her struggle.[EPA]

/

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the first biotech entrepreneur and one of India's richest women, with a net worth of $625m. She started Biocon, a biotech company, in the garage of her rented house in the southern city of Bangalore at the age of 25. Financial Times newspaper included her in its Top 50 Women in Business list. [EPA]

/

Mamata Banerjee is the current chief minister of West Bengal state and a regional heavyweight. Popularly known as Didi (sister), her slogan of paribortan (change) led her party Trinamool Congress to end leftist rule of more than 30 years in the eastern state. She is a mass leader, but has been criticised for being erratic and short-tempered.

/PIYAL ADHIKARY/EPA

MC Mary Kom, also known as Magnificent Mary, boosted India's sparse medal tally when she won the bronze medal in Women Boxing at last year's London Olympics. She has punched her way to five World Boxing champion titles and won a medal in each one of the six world championships. [EPA]

/

Mayawati is an icon of Dalits - Hinduism's former untouchables. In 1995, she became India's first Dalit woman chief ministe when she won elections in Uttar Pradesh. She stands accused of squandering public money while in office for constructing her own statues. Currently out of power, she is plotting her return.

/JAIPAL SINGH/EPA

Nirupama Rao is currently India's Ambassador to the US. She became the second woman foreign secretary (after Chokila Iyer) of India in 2009. She was the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs when she was appointed to the post in 2001.

/STR/EPA

Saina Nehwal won Bronze medal at the London Olympics last year, becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. Saina has risen to the top in a nation starved of sporting heroes. She was the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She attained a career best ranking of number 2 in December 2010. [EPA]

/

Sonia Gandhi, the widow of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is said to be the most powerful person in the country. The Italian-born leader heads the Congress party, which rules the country as part of a coalition. [EPA]

/SANJEEV GUPTA/EPA
Aruna Roy is social activist and a pioneer of right to information movement. She resigned from Indian Administrative Services to work for social and political campaigns. She was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2000. [Photo by Vijay Pandey/Tehelka]
/

Soni Sori, a tribal school teacher working in a remote village in India's Chhattisgarh state, was arrested in 2011 on charges that she worked for the Maoists, who are fighting against the government. Still held in jail, Amnesty International describes her a prisoner of conscience.

/

Teesta Setalvad is a civil-rights activists and journalist. She gained national prominence after she took up the cause of the victims of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat state. She is a lightning rod of crticism by powerful leaders she wants booked for the violence. She pursues them unfazed.

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This feature is a part of our ongoing special India coverage. To read more stories click here.


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Arundhati Roy became first Indian woman to win the Booker Prize for her novel "God of Small Things", which sold about six million copies. She could have become a darling of the middle class, but instead chose to give her voice to India(***)s marginalised groups. She has courted controversy with her writings on dams, Maoists and the Kashmir issue.

;*;

Barkha Dutt is India(***)s equivalent of Christiane Amanpour by virtue of being one of the most popular broadcast journalists. A taped conversation she had with a coporate publicist seemed to show her in poor light. But Dutt remains a huge draw for viewers of NDTV channel.

;*;

Chanda Kochhar is the CEO of ICICI Bank, India(***)s biggest private bank. She is largely recognised for role in shaping India(***)s retail banking sector. Fortune magazine has listed her among the top Powerful Women in Business. [EPA]

;*;

Ela Bhatt is best known for starting the Self-Employed Women(***)s Association of India (SEWA), a trade union for women which has now more than 1,000,000 members. She is a pioneer of such grass-roots movements as microfinance and cooperatives. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1977.

;*;

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, the chief executive officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage company in the world, is one of the biggest success stories among India(***)s diaspora. Last year, her pay package was worth $12.6 million. She has been ranked among the World(***)s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. [EPA]

;*;

Irom Sharmila is a civil-rights activist based in the Indian state of Manipur. She has been on hunger strike since 2000, demanding the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a legislation that controversially grants immunity to Indian troops in "disturbed areas". Force-fed since then, Irom refuses to give up her struggle.[EPA]

;*;

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the first biotech entrepreneur and one of India(***)s richest women, with a net worth of $625m. She started Biocon, a biotech company, in the garage of her rented house in the southern city of Bangalore at the age of 25. Financial Times newspaper included her in its Top 50 Women in Business list. [EPA]

;*;

Mamata Banerjee is the current chief minister of West Bengal state and a regional heavyweight. Popularly known as Didi (sister), her slogan of paribortan (change) led her party Trinamool Congress to end leftist rule of more than 30 years in the eastern state. She is a mass leader, but has been criticised for being erratic and short-tempered.

;*;

MC Mary Kom, also known as Magnificent Mary, boosted India(***)s sparse medal tally when she won the bronze medal in Women Boxing at last year(***)s London Olympics. She has punched her way to five World Boxing champion titles and won a medal in each one of the six world championships. [EPA]

;*;

Mayawati is an icon of Dalits - Hinduism(***)s former untouchables. In 1995, she became India(***)s first Dalit woman chief ministe when she won elections in Uttar Pradesh. She stands accused of squandering public money while in office for constructing her own statues. Currently out of power, she is plotting her return.

;*;

Nirupama Rao is currently India(***)s Ambassador to the US. She became the second woman foreign secretary (after Chokila Iyer) of India in 2009. She was the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs when she was appointed to the post in 2001.

;*;

Saina Nehwal won Bronze medal at the London Olympics last year, becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. Saina has risen to the top in a nation starved of sporting heroes. She was the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She attained a career best ranking of number 2 in December 2010. [EPA]

;*;

Sonia Gandhi, the widow of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is said to be the most powerful person in the country. The Italian-born leader heads the Congress party, which rules the country as part of a coalition. [EPA]

;*;Aruna Roy is social activist and a pioneer of right to information movement. She resigned from Indian Administrative Services to work for social and political campaigns. She was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2000. [Photo by Vijay Pandey/Tehelka];*;

Soni Sori, a tribal school teacher working in a remote village in India(***)s Chhattisgarh state, was arrested in 2011 on charges that she worked for the Maoists, who are fighting against the government. Still held in jail, Amnesty International describes her a prisoner of conscience.

;*;

Teesta Setalvad is a civil-rights activists and journalist. She gained national prominence after she took up the cause of the victims of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat state. She is a lightning rod of crticism by powerful leaders she wants booked for the violence. She pursues them unfazed.

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India: Women of substanceIndia's women have made their mark in various walks of life despite facing societal prejudice and institutional hurdles.http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substanceen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:37:03 GMTCrusaderhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/crusader/455b32acd0621bf4852c31940e0bbfa8

Arundhati Roy became first Indian woman to win Booker Prize for her novel "God of Small Things", which sold about six millions copies. She could have become a darling of the middle class, but instead chose to give her voice to the marginalised groups. She has remained in controversy for her writings on dams, Maoists and Kashmir.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/crusader/455b32acd0621bf4852c31940e0bbfa8RICK RYCROFT/APCrusader

Arundhati Roy became first Indian woman to win Booker Prize for her novel "God of Small Things", which sold about six millions copies. She could have become a darling of the middle class, but instead chose to give her voice to the marginalised groups. She has remained in controversy for her writings on dams, Maoists and Kashmir.

Media gloryhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/media-glory/44f0a401b5ff68c700c61ca5b40b7225

Barkha Dutt is one of India's most popular broadcast journalists. She came into prominence during her reporting of the Kargil war. She has won a number of national and international awards, including the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association award for Journalist of the Year, 2007.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/media-glory/44f0a401b5ff68c700c61ca5b40b7225Chong Jun Liang/Getty ImagesMedia glory

Barkha Dutt is one of India's most popular broadcast journalists. She came into prominence during her reporting of the Kargil war. She has won a number of national and international awards, including the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association award for Journalist of the Year, 2007.

Brain behind retail bankinghttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/brain-behind-retail-banking/2cb4a9e799bcfa2596e014483452a0b8

Chanda Kochhar joined the ICICI bank, country's biggest private bank and overall second largest bank, as a management trainee, rising to become its Chief Executive Officer. She is largely recognised for role in shaping India's retail banking sector. Fortune magazine has listed her among the top Powerful Women in Business. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/brain-behind-retail-banking/2cb4a9e799bcfa2596e014483452a0b8Brain behind retail banking

Chanda Kochhar joined the ICICI bank, country's biggest private bank and overall second largest bank, as a management trainee, rising to become its Chief Executive Officer. She is largely recognised for role in shaping India's retail banking sector. Fortune magazine has listed her among the top Powerful Women in Business. [EPA]

Grassroots pioneerhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/grassroots-pioneer/6146b317aabb15aaac538c6ad763d8e0

Ela Bhatt is best known for starting Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA), a trade union for women which has now more than 1,000,000 members. She is a pioneer of grassroots movements such as microfinance, cooperative. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including Roman Magsaysay Award in 1977.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/grassroots-pioneer/6146b317aabb15aaac538c6ad763d8e0YOUSSEF BADAWI/EPAGrassroots pioneer

Ela Bhatt is best known for starting Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA), a trade union for women which has now more than 1,000,000 members. She is a pioneer of grassroots movements such as microfinance, cooperative. She has been awarded a number of prestigious awards, including Roman Magsaysay Award in 1977.

Success storyhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/success-story/d6a6071c9713ce8ff8377d7825243c60

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, as the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and Beverage Company in the world, is one of the biggest success stories among India's diaspora. Last year, her pay package was worth $12.6 million. She has been ranked among World's 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/success-story/d6a6071c9713ce8ff8377d7825243c60Success story

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, as the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and Beverage Company in the world, is one of the biggest success stories among India's diaspora. Last year, her pay package was worth $12.6 million. She has been ranked among World's 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. [EPA]

Symbol of resistancehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/symbol-of-resistance/56780aac51dcdbf77bd3d5e0f6081f1b

Irom Sharmila is a civil rights activist based in the Indian state of Manipur. She is on hunger strike since 2000 in protest against the killing of a group of civilians by security forces. She has been calling for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a draconian legislation that she says grants immunity to troops. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/symbol-of-resistance/56780aac51dcdbf77bd3d5e0f6081f1bSymbol of resistance

Irom Sharmila is a civil rights activist based in the Indian state of Manipur. She is on hunger strike since 2000 in protest against the killing of a group of civilians by security forces. She has been calling for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, a draconian legislation that she says grants immunity to troops. [EPA]

Story tellerhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/story-teller/5aeb3ec1ac9b9a3e02f212aabf418305

Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Her first novel, The Namesake, was a New York Times Notable Book and was adapted into a film of the same name. Her writings have mainly focused on Indian immigrants in the West. Her latest novel, the Lowland, has been published this year. [AP]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/story-teller/5aeb3ec1ac9b9a3e02f212aabf418305Story teller

Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American author. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Her first novel, The Namesake, was a New York Times Notable Book and was adapted into a film of the same name. Her writings have mainly focused on Indian immigrants in the West. Her latest novel, the Lowland, has been published this year. [AP]

Biotech entrepreneurhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/biotech-entrepreneur/8c49365895fe69bd115204e6a0466f4f

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the first biotech entrepreneur and one of India's richest women with a net worth of $625m. She started Biocon, a biotech company, in the garage of her rented house in southern city of Bangalore at age of 25. Financial Times newspaper included her in the top 50 women in business list. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/biotech-entrepreneur/8c49365895fe69bd115204e6a0466f4fBiotech entrepreneur

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the first biotech entrepreneur and one of India's richest women with a net worth of $625m. She started Biocon, a biotech company, in the garage of her rented house in southern city of Bangalore at age of 25. Financial Times newspaper included her in the top 50 women in business list. [EPA]

Left's nemesishttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/lefts-nemesis/2be829b365b4847630749de62e69cf12

Mamata Banerjee is the current Chief Minister of West Bengal state and a regional heavyweight. Popularly known as Didi (sister), her slogan of paribortan (change) led her party Trinamool Congress to end Leftist rule of more than 30 years in the eastern state. She is a mass leader, but has been criticised for being erratic and short-tempered.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/lefts-nemesis/2be829b365b4847630749de62e69cf12PIYAL ADHIKARY/EPALeft's nemesis

Mamata Banerjee is the current Chief Minister of West Bengal state and a regional heavyweight. Popularly known as Didi (sister), her slogan of paribortan (change) led her party Trinamool Congress to end Leftist rule of more than 30 years in the eastern state. She is a mass leader, but has been criticised for being erratic and short-tempered.

Magnificent Maryhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/magnificent-mary/4a48e0d37d061e1c5cccc85800895220

MC Mary Kom, also known as Magnificent Mary, boosted India's sparse medal tally when she won Bronze medal in Women Boxing at London Olympics last year. She has punched her way to five World Boxing champion title and has won a medal in each one of the six world championships. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/magnificent-mary/4a48e0d37d061e1c5cccc85800895220Magnificent Mary

MC Mary Kom, also known as Magnificent Mary, boosted India's sparse medal tally when she won Bronze medal in Women Boxing at London Olympics last year. She has punched her way to five World Boxing champion title and has won a medal in each one of the six world championships. [EPA]

Dalit iconhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/dalit-icon/cb4156105e23c11d52feb8844803fc57

Mayawati is an icon of Dalits - Hinduism's former untouchables. In 1995, she became India's first Dalit woman Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh. She has been criticized for building hundreds of Dalit memorials during her four stints as Chief Minister of India's most populous state. Mayawati has publically said her main aim is to become India's Prime Minister.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/dalit-icon/cb4156105e23c11d52feb8844803fc57JAIPAL SINGH/EPADalit icon

Mayawati is an icon of Dalits - Hinduism's former untouchables. In 1995, she became India's first Dalit woman Chief Minister in Uttar Pradesh. She has been criticized for building hundreds of Dalit memorials during her four stints as Chief Minister of India's most populous state. Mayawati has publically said her main aim is to become India's Prime Minister.

Foreign servicehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/foreign-service/c108a5d48a57d69afcbcb568e0775f63

Nirupma Rao is currently India's Ambassador to the US. She became only the second woman foreign secretary (after Chokila Iyer) in 2009. She is also the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs when she was appointed to the post in 2001.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/foreign-service/c108a5d48a57d69afcbcb568e0775f63STR/EPAForeign service

Nirupma Rao is currently India's Ambassador to the US. She became only the second woman foreign secretary (after Chokila Iyer) in 2009. She is also the first woman spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs when she was appointed to the post in 2001.

Olympics gloryhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/olympics-glory/c0bc551b918e66e9629f44c12debaa72

Saina Nehwal won Bronze medal at the London Olympics last year, becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. A nation starved of sporting heroes, Saina was the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She attained a career best ranking of number 2 in December 2010. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/olympics-glory/c0bc551b918e66e9629f44c12debaa72Olympics glory

Saina Nehwal won Bronze medal at the London Olympics last year, becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics. A nation starved of sporting heroes, Saina was the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She attained a career best ranking of number 2 in December 2010. [EPA]

Actor par excellencehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/actor-par-excellence/f4394aba8b1b35a03cb01ecd71faa6b7

Shabana Azmi is a veteran Bollywood actress. She won national award for best actress in her debut film Ankur. She has proved her versatility in over 100 films she has done, winning five national awards, the most by an actress. She has lend her support to various social causes.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/actor-par-excellence/f4394aba8b1b35a03cb01ecd71faa6b7SANJEEV GUPTA/EPAActor par excellence

Shabana Azmi is a veteran Bollywood actress. She won national award for best actress in her debut film Ankur. She has proved her versatility in over 100 films she has done, winning five national awards, the most by an actress. She has lend her support to various social causes.

Power womanhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/power-woman/426cd3fb6ae75c9b634e26ce7946f233

Sonia Gandhi, widow of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is said to be the most powerful person in the country as the head of the ruling Congress party. The Italy-born leader wields immense political power ever since she chose Manmohan Singh, a technocrat, as Prime Minister in 2004. [EPA]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/power-woman/426cd3fb6ae75c9b634e26ce7946f233Power woman

Sonia Gandhi, widow of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is said to be the most powerful person in the country as the head of the ruling Congress party. The Italy-born leader wields immense political power ever since she chose Manmohan Singh, a technocrat, as Prime Minister in 2004. [EPA]

Fighting for workers' rightshttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/fighting-for-workers-rights/00719bce5636a8608fac6f869cad22ce

Aruna Roy is social activist and a pioneer of right to information movement. She resigned from Indian Administrative Services to work for social and political campaigns. She was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2000. [Photo by Vijay Pandey/Tehelka]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/fighting-for-workers-rights/00719bce5636a8608fac6f869cad22ceFighting for workers' rights

Aruna Roy is social activist and a pioneer of right to information movement. She resigned from Indian Administrative Services to work for social and political campaigns. She was awarded Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2000. [Photo by Vijay Pandey/Tehelka]

Prisoner of consciencehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/prisoner-of-conscience/b0739f54d3f39ed202b873d3a124d0d5

Soni Sori, an Adivasi school teacher and activist working in a remote village in India's Chhattisgarh state, was arrested in 2011 on charges that she worked for the Maoists, who are fighting against the government. She has alleged that she was sexually tortured during her detention. Amnesty International has called her a prisoner of conscience.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/prisoner-of-conscience/b0739f54d3f39ed202b873d3a124d0d5Garima jainPrisoner of conscience

Soni Sori, an Adivasi school teacher and activist working in a remote village in India's Chhattisgarh state, was arrested in 2011 on charges that she worked for the Maoists, who are fighting against the government. She has alleged that she was sexually tortured during her detention. Amnesty International has called her a prisoner of conscience.

Combating communalismhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/combating-communalism/528c8eeebd7dfda79074ef5963c647a1

Teesta Setalvad is a civil rights activists and journalist and runs an advocacy magazine Communalist Combat along with her husband. She came into national prominence after she took a fight against western Gujarat state government over communal riots in 2002 in which members of Muslim minority community was most affected. She is recipient of numerous awards, including International Nuremberg Human Rights Award in 2003.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/combating-communalism/528c8eeebd7dfda79074ef5963c647a1Shailendra PandeyCombating communalism

Teesta Setalvad is a civil rights activists and journalist and runs an advocacy magazine Communalist Combat along with her husband. She came into national prominence after she took a fight against western Gujarat state government over communal riots in 2002 in which members of Muslim minority community was most affected. She is recipient of numerous awards, including International Nuremberg Human Rights Award in 2003.

Devoted followinghttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/devoted-following/88809284978140a8c4626d5eba834fb8

Jayalalitha Jayaram, popularly known as Jayalalitha, is the Chief Minister of southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She has held the position twice in the past. Jayalalitha has a devoted following in her party, IADMK, and popularly called as Amma (mother). She had been accused of corruption in her earlier stints in the government. [AP]

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/India%3A_Women_of_substance/slideshow/devoted-following/88809284978140a8c4626d5eba834fb8Devoted following

Jayalalitha Jayaram, popularly known as Jayalalitha, is the Chief Minister of southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She has held the position twice in the past. Jayalalitha has a devoted following in her party, IADMK, and popularly called as Amma (mother). She had been accused of corruption in her earlier stints in the government. [AP]



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