Stylist is running its first ever feminist advent calendar in 2018, with a remarkable woman revealing who her feminist icon is every day until 25 December. Here, Gina Miller reveals why Indira Gandhi is her ultimate feminist icon.
Indira Gandhi is a woman that most of us forget when we talk of significant female icons. In a country like India, she rose to be a prime minister that was both feared and loved. Often mistaken as being related to Mahatma Gandhi, she possessed a unique strength of being both bold as well as decisive. She was one of most influential women of her time and consolidated women position in the sub-continent and inspired many women to join public offices at a time when women were still being subjugated.
It was often said that she was the only man in her cabinet. She did not shy away from taking tough, unpopular decisions and instigated wide ranging development / nation-building programmes, as well as pro-poor policies. She also fought factions determined to destabilise the fragile society in India.
She was a lioness that empowered and emancipated women across the Asian continent. Indira brought change and hope to a post-independence generation who were feeling disillusioned and alienated from their leaders and a society dominated by upper castes, the wealthy and big businesses raping the country. As Prime Minister she gave a voice to the young, the marginalised, peasants and the landless and the lower castes.
She wasn’t without her authoritarian streak but, as Prime Minister, she changed India’s society and political history, and dared to progress Indian society in the face of what looked like insurmountable challenges.
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