It is not easy to be a woman in India—from the womb to the school to the workplace. The recent achievements of sportswomen thus need to be celebrated.
Shooter Manu Bhaker won a gold at the Commonwealth Games this weekend. Cricketer Smriti Mandhana guided India to a thrilling win over England a few days earlier in Nagpur. Gymnast Dipa Karmakar narrowly missed a medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. They are following the footsteps of other recent legends such as boxer M.C. Mary Kom, badminton players Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, and cricketer Mithali Raj.
Many of our sportswomen come from small towns: Bhaker is from a village in Haryana, and Mandhana lives in Sangli, Maharashtra. Their stories will hopefully bring hope to millions of other women across India, where the sex ratio at birth continues to be skewed against girls, where boys are better fed within homes, where girls are more likely to be pulled out of schools than boys, and where too few women leave the home to take their place in the workforce.