Two game changing women have recently been featured heavily in the news: Sally Ride and Lakshmi Sahgal.
Sally Ride was the first U.S. woman and the youngest American astronaut to go into space. She was aboard the 1983 space flight, Challenger. Her flight came after decades of pressure on NASA to allow female astronauts in space. NASA feared biological concerns for women experiencing long periods of weightlessness in space. Upon leaving NASA in 1989 after two flights into space, she became a professor of Physics and co-wrote seven science books for children. Her pioneering spirit was, perhaps, best captured by her comment on the hype surrounding her flight, “There’s nothing different about it just because am a woman.”
READ THIS: Learn more about Sally Ride at Sally Ride Science
In a country that was recently rated among the Top Five dangerous territories for women, Lakshmi Sahgal’s life stands out. A founding member of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, her pioneering inspiration probably came from her mother: a social worker, freedom fighter and a member of Independent India’s Constituent assembly. After constituting the first all-women branch of the Indian National Army — the Rani of Jhansi brigade, Captain Lakshmi was then placed under house arrest in the Burmese jungles. Upon her return to India and her profession as a doctor, she continued to strive for social and economic emancipation. She was a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a Presidential Candidate in 2002.
READ THIS: Learn more about Lakshmi Sahgal at Times of India
Sources: The Guardian, The Hindu