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The year 2016 will be written large in the history of feminism. From fighting for political power to achieving it, women in power stayed in the limelight all the year around.
This year in India, the frail health of the country’s female politicians became a great cause of worry. In August, Sonia Gandhi had fractured her left shoulder during a roadshow in Varanasi, while Sushma Swaraj underwent a kidney transplant. While they were both fortunate to recover, India lost the benign presence of its Amma.
J. Jayalalithaa’s demise in early December set off shock waves in the country. She succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest after a prolonged hospitalisation, leaving the Indian political tapestry with a void that is difficult to fill. Thousands of Indians thronged her place to say farewell to their beloved Chief Minister.
Mayawati remained occupied campaigning for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. The hectic schedule of organizing rallies to mobilize voters kept her on her toes for a major part of 2016.
On the international front, presidential elections in United States of America garnered a lot of attention and speculation from across the world. A million hearts broke when news of Hillary Clinton losing the elections flashed on their television screens. According to political experts, she was far more competitive and level-headed than her competitor Donald Trump; although her rhetorical speeches and campaigning strategy helped her gain a lot of momentum in 2016, she lost the battle. She also made it to the list of Time’s most influential people of 2016.
The United Kingdom, on the contrary, saw a female politician stepping into power. Theresa May became the second woman to become the Prime Minister of the UK. The year 2016 was marked by her pragmatic approach towards the UK’s exit from the European Union creating a global furore.
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, known for her steadfastness, utilized 2016 to consolidate the country’s political and economic relations with other democracies.
It would be interesting to note how this bunch of dynamic women in power plan to spur ripples of change in 2017.
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Top image courtesy Wikipedia