Saluting the spirit of women of India, the We Women Want Festival was held at Vivanta by Taj-Ambassador in New Delhi on 3rd April 2023. Marking the third edition of the We Women Want Shakti Awards, the event honoured women achievers from all walks of life.
We Women Want conclave is an ode to the indomitable spirit of the women of India. The festival was graced by the august presence of Hon’ble Union Minister Smriti Irani who felicitated the winners of the Shakti Awards 2023.
Smriti Irani reflected on how the social construct of women’s needs has changed under Prime Minister Modi. When asked for a message for women, the minister said, ‘women achievers don’t need a message, all they need is for people to get out of their way.’
Speaking about misogyny, Smriti Irani said, ‘misogyny isn’t just a virtue in politics. Misogyny is used as a tool to reduce you, but I am not worried about discourteous words against me…I’ve made it in two different fields and have been on top of my game.’
Speaking about equal representation in parliament, Lok Sabha MP and former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, ‘we need more women in parliament’. The event was also attended by women achievers in sports, the digital space and politics including luminaries like the Delhi Education Minister and AAP leader Atishi.
Atishi spoke about women's education and employment, 'Only 20% of women are working in India. 80% of girls drop out of school. 20% of women are malnourished’. Women parliamentarians including Priyanka Chaturvedi, Sushmita Dev and Aparajita Sarangi had a heated discussion on the state of Indian politics ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The We Women Want Conclave witnessed courageous stories of women IAF officers, women IPS officers, women parliamentarians as well we triple talaq activists. Wing Cdr Deepika Mishra of the Indian Air Force spoke about how women face challenges in every field they are working in, ‘you are responsible for your family & are also expected to perform professionally’.
Speaking about the need for female cops, Constable Sonika said, ‘it’s easy for a woman victim to express herself in front of a woman officer. That's why Delhi Police is recruiting women at a large scale.’ India’s sports sensation, the Under-19 Women’s Cricket Team Vice Captain, Shweta Sherawat attended the event virtually, and stressed the importance of encouraging women to compete in sports.
Indian weightlifter Karnam Malleswari and World Champion boxer Nitu Ghanghas joined the conclave to discuss their journeys as women in sport. Malleswari and Ghanghas shed light on the positive changes that have emerged in the lives of Indian sportspersons.
The event was also graced by women achievers lauded by the Prime Minister as part of his Mann Ki Baat series. Surekha Yadav, a train driver, spoke of her journey and encouraged women to take the path less taken, ‘No woman had done this before. Everybody should support a woman who takes the path not taken.’
Rajya Sabha MP and promoter of iTV Network Kartikeya Sharma felicitated the award winners. Speaking about the We Women Want Festival, Aishwarya Pandit Sharma, Chairperson of the iTV Foundation said, ‘We wanted to create a platform for open conversations, freer discussions and meaningful lessons.
Shakti awards celebrate women who have been trailblazers and women who simply don’t give up.’ The day-long festival was telecast live on NewsX throughout the day with repeat telecasts scheduled over the week. #WeWomenWant was also trending at the number one position on Twitter.