She thinks: Women’s leadership is important, especially if it offers heartfelt alternatives

For many years, I have hosted Indian and American women leaders to interact with my students at institutions in the United States. Two recent invitees were Mohini Giri, who provided domestic leadership to India as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, the apex body for policymaking on women’s issues, and Nirupama Rao, India’s ex-foreign secretary who also served as the Indian Ambassador to America and led the country internationally, one of a handful of women worldwide to reach the very top in career diplomacy. I first met Dr. Giri two decades ago as a teenager; I had won an inter-school debate on gender equality and she, as the host institution’s chief guest, stayed back to tell me she had enjoyed my speech and discussed with great warmth my future plans. 

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