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Notable and how: Hats off

On the occasion of Women’s Day, HT City spoke to a few women from the region, who dared to conquer the road less taken, about the significance of women’s empowerment in their lives. We salute these spirited women!

chandigarh Updated: Mar 08, 2015 11:54 IST
Aneesha Bedi

On the occasion of Women’s Day, HT City spoke to a few women from the region, who dared to conquer the road less taken, about the significance of women’s empowerment in their lives. We salute these spirited women!

INSPIRED BY MOTHER
Preneet Kaur (70)

Noted for: Former UPA minister and Patiala MLA at present. Contested parliamentary elections repeatedly from the Patiala constituency. She won the elections of 1999, 2004 and 2009 but lost her seat in the elections of 2014. She served as a minister of state in the ministry of external affairs from 2009-14.

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
Women’s empowerment means that we should have the freedom to feel safe, to have our own point of views and to be treated with equality.

Things women need freedom from?
Freedom to be able to live freely in society.. simple.

What will empower the Indian women?
Knowledge and education can empower the Indian woman.

The kind of women who inspire you:
I feel inspired by various women in different walks of life. It begins at home for me. My mother and grandmother have been my biggest inspirations. Talking of my political career, Sonia Gandhi has always guided me.

SAFETY IS PRIORITY
Tavleen Batra (19)

Noted for: Upcoming golfer from the region. Won the Ladies Punjab open Amateur Golf Championship held in Chandigarh twice (2013 and 2014) and was the runner-up this year.

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
India’s poor performance on women’s empowerment and gender equality is reflected in many indicators. Our work recognises that women are by no means a homogenous category. A woman is dynamic in the many roles she plays.

Things women need freedom from?
I think we need freedom from too many restrictions that are imposed on us time and again. I feel stepping out late at night shouldn’t be a taboo for a girl. Safety is a big concern for women of all age groups.

What will empower the Indian women?
I think one needs to stop attaching stereotypes to women, in general. Equality in all arenas, including our homes as well as professional lives, will help empower women in our country.

The kind of women who inspire you:
Annika Sorenstam (retired Swedish golfer)

CHANGE MINDSET
Bhawna Garg

Noted for: A 1999- batch IAS officer, currently posted as the secretary, transport, in the UT administration

What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
The capacity as well as the ability to make your own decisions and choices in life is how I would describe empowerment.

Things women need freedom from?
One needs freedom from one’s own mindset.

What will empower the Indian women?
A change in mindset, social as well as financial, is what can empower the Indian woman.

The kind of women who inspire you:
My parents are my inspiration. My father always taught me that if you have the capacity to do something, go ahead. That’s the belief I’ve grown up with. aneesha.bedi@hindustantimes.com