#FIIMotivation features inspiring people that have blazed a feminist trail with their actions. These are women, men, trans and non-binary people who have spoken out against abuse and discrimination, have been pioneers in their respective fields, or have bust sexist stereotypes with their actions and their words, and who inspire us and our readers everyday!
#FIIMotivation: Today marks the 160th death anniversary of this valiant freedom fighter.
#FIIMotivation: Gayathri Subran is the first Dalit woman to helm an aircraft in India. Hailing from Thrissur, Kerala, Gayathri is on the verge of obtaining her commercial pilot license at the age of 20.
#FIIMotivation: Indu Malhotra is the first woman Supreme Court judge to be elevated directly from the bar.
#FIIMotivation: Meesha Shafi is taking a stand against Ali Zafar & sexual violence and sparking Pakistan’s #MeToo movement. Shafi has faced a lot of online harassment since then and we stand in solidarity with her.
#FIIMotivation: Deepika Singh Rajawat has reported being threatened by members of the Jammu & Kashmir Bar Association for representing the case of Asifa Bano. “I don’t know till when I will be alive. I can be raped, my modesty can be outraged, I can be killed, I can be damaged. I was threatened yesterday that ‘we will not forgive you’. I am going to tell SC tomorrow that I am in danger,” she said on Sunday. We stand behind Deepika as she fights this case for Asifa.
On #WorldBookDay, our #FIIMotivation is Gulbadan Banu Begum, whose work Ahval-I Humayun Badshah – an intimate history of the reign of Humayun – is the only surviving Mughal history written by a woman in 16th century Mughal India. #MondayMotivationThe sister of Humayun, Gulbadan Begum came to write about Babur and Humayun’s reign after being persuaded by her nephew Akbar.Scholars have described how Gulbadan’s history ‘lights up a woman’s world’. Gulbadan’s focus is on the everyday life of the royal family.She writes about the anxieties and pressures of the women in the royal family and even charts the emperor’s travels through the minds of the women in his household. The book also gives an account of the rare pilgrimage to Mecca that the women of the family undertook.
#FIIMotivation: Soni Sori won the 2018 Frontline Defenders Award for her fearless pursuit of justice for the Adivasi community in Bastar, Chattisgarh.
#FIIMotivation: Mimi Mondal won the 2018 Locus Awards in the non-fiction category for her first book, Luminescent Threads: Connections to Octavia Butler, which she co-edited.
#FIIMotivation: Satyashri Sharmila, who became the first trans person in Tamil Nadu to have enrolled in the Bar Council. She completed her law degree in 2007 from the Central Law College in Salem. After a decade-long wait for the inclusion of the ‘third gender’ in application forms for the Bar Council, Satyashri finally registered as an advocate on Saturday. “When I went to apply, they asked why I was applying after such a long gap. I told them, I wanted to enroll as a trans woman. [The Bar Council] then said they would support me in every way.” Satyashri wishes to help the transgender community against the discrimination and harassment they face at the hands of society and the State.
#FIIMotivation: Rukhmabai was the first practising female doctor in colonial India. She completed her education, and also fought for her liberty and consent by standing against the institution of child marriage. Married at the age of 11, she never lived with her husband who filed a case against her. She fought and made her mark in history by contributing to the enactment of the Age of Consent Act, 1891 which raised the minimum age of consent. Despite fighting this legal case for year, she kept serving as a doctor to help her patients.
#FIIMotivation: Swati Bidhan Baruah hails from Guwahati and was recently appointed as Assam’s first trans judge to mediate cases in a national Lok Adalat. Swati has also been fighting for the rights of the transgender community as an activist.