With many progressive happenings and some not, the year that went by was eventful. Here’s a list with few events that could fill us with positivity while the rest that could hopefully spark a thought to bring about change.
1. No nation whether big or small, from the third world or not has witnessed a comparatively slower growth and recognition for women- This year Dr. Janet Yellen became the first women to be named as the next Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve - Central Bank to the United States of America and would resume office as the world’s most powerful banker early next year.
2. July 12, 2013 came to known as ‘Malala Day’ signifying the importance of involvement of the youth in developmental initiatives. After fighting adversities including an assassination attempt Malala Yousafzai became the first girl and the youngest person to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala continues to be an inspiration to a lot of young boys and girls who are denied their right to education and a better future.
3. Angela Merkel- the first woman to hold the office of the Chancellor of Germany faced challenges and criticism during the Euro crisis but emerged as a true leader on being re-elected for the third term. The year claimed challenges from implementing austerity related political decisions with widely divided popular opinions across the European Union battling the debt crisis to addressing the issue of right of privacy on foreign forces spying on her cell phone.
4. While India grappled with an incident of a brutal rape and homicide in the capital city of Delhi, the financial capital Mumbai also witnessed an incident of gang-rape in 2013. The accused for the former incident were sentenced within less than a year and the arrests for the latter were made in less than 72 hours. Countrywide mass protests sparked a first step of change towards a stringent anti-rape law in the country as the ‘Criminal Law [Amendment] Act, 2013’ got enacted.
5. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova who was arrested along with 2 other members of a band whose performance under charges of Hooliganism in 2012 was released from prison recently. Their release was preceded by in-jail protests against the conditions under the prison and treatment of the in-mates. Not only did this incident came to be seen by some as setting examples to dampen opinions that oppose the current government and by others as offense to the Orthodox faith, the band-patronized bright colored ‘balaclavas’ became one of the symbols of contemporary international Human rights movements.
6. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabian authorities inflicted a ban on women driving and as we bid goodbye to this year, women activists protest against this discriminative decision.
7. The first ever Ms. America from an Indian-American origin, Nina Davuluri showed utmost grace and maturity on the anti-diversity lash the social media platforms witnessed on her winning the pageant.
The year that passed us by, exhibited changes happen in time by united efforts of those of do not fear to stand out. This new age with the ease of global connectivity in their arsenal is more equipped than any other before to understand, learn, form an opinion and bring about a change. Here’s to an inspirational 2013 that would lead us to a brighter 2014 with many social demons to be challenged.