March 8 is International Women’s Day and the entire month of March is designated for Women’s History. These are in place to single out a day or a month of the year to appreciate and holla at the women in our lives or our worlds who are striving and thriving. As peeved as I may be that we need to do that instead of recognizing the power of women every day, I’ll take every opportunity I get to put them in the spotlight.

For me, a South Asian living in America, especially in the current climate, I wanted to shout out to those women who are empowering my community and my fellow women in the diaspora. These women are emboldening many by working hard to leave their imprint in various fields; whether its politics or entertainment or food or science. Desi women are here to stay and these 21 fierce inspirations are only the tip of the iceberg.

1. Sarumathi Jayaraman

2.

3.

4. Radhika Jones

5.

Yousafzai is the definition of an aspirational woman. The Pakistani activist has churned an international movement for girls education, which led her to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest in history to get it at age 17. She was shot in 2012 by a Taliban gunman to stop her burgeoning voice and activism. She survived and since then, hasn’t stopped for a second to fight for what she believes in. She wrote her best-selling biography “I am Malala,” founded the Malala Fund and is the subject of the documentary “He Named Me Malala.” She’s currently getting her bachelor’s in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University. Yousafzai is brave and intelligent and has dedicated her life to improving education for women. I can’t wait to see more of what she does.

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