Women's Day special: Taking it all in stride

Published Mar 8, 2016, 12:30 am IST
Updated Mar 8, 2016, 3:05 am IST
Successful women from Hyderabad talk about about what it’s like to live as a woman in India today.
From left : Swati Lakra, IPS, Neetu Kumari  Prasad, IAS and Pavani Reddy,  managing partner
 From left : Swati Lakra, IPS, Neetu Kumari Prasad, IAS and Pavani Reddy, managing partner

Women now have a voice: Swati Lakra, IPS

Swati Lakra, IPS Addl CP (Crimes and SIT), has launched initiatives such as SHE teams, through which women can get in touch with police over Whatsapp, email, Twitter and the Hawk Eye App.


On being a woman, she says, “Today, India offers several opportunities to women, where they do have a voice. However, India is still a male-dominated society, where women are often seen as subordinate and inferior to men.”

Talking about the burning issue, the cop says, “I’m glad that women’s security has become a burning issue. Hopefully violence against women will not be brushed aside. As a police woman I see this as a positive trend which should help in alleviating the security issues faced by women. The stakeholders will have to take notice and work towards making the society a safer place for women.”

Challenges remain the same as before: Neetu Kumari Prasad, IAS

Karimnagar Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad, IAS, who was one of the record five women collectors appointed by the Telangana state government says, “Security is not a concern for women alone but affects everyone in the society. Being an administrator brings additional responsibility.

Social pressure basically acts upon us to fit in certain norms. I mean expectations of society to mould women to act in idealistic ways. It limits choices, which are otherwise available with men. Work place challenges are same as faced by men. The only difference is we have to prove ourselves doubly.”

Break into an old boys’ network: Pavani Reddy, managing partner

Hailing from Hyderabad, Pavani Reddy is the first Asian female Managing Partner at a London-based law firm. She believes, “The legal environment has changed since I had started out in law. It may sound a bit of a cliché, but the best way to overcome any kind of discrimination is to work hard, persevere, know your profession inside and out, and most importantly, never give up.”

Talking about challenges, she says, “I haven’t encountered many challenges so far, just the usual ones which come with being in a predominantly male-dominated environment; namely people not always taking you seriously. People also automatically assume that just because you are a woman, you must not be at a senior level within the firm.”

Freedom with conditions applied: Namita Banka, entrepreneur

Namita Banka, whose Bioloo uses bio-digester technology to dispose of human waste in a lowcost, and low-maintenance manner, says, “Being a woman in India today, it feels like a freedom with conditions applied. I talk about our mental safety which even being safe sometime has to go through mental rape. I have over the years gone through this.” 

She says, “Social pressures are not so much except I need to work harder and longer to proof myself and my worth. I have faced many challenges and it helps me win.”