7 Most Powerful Female Leaders in India

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By Amit

Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 16:13 IST

Nirmala Sitharaman is the current Finance Minister of India and the second woman to hold this position.

From Nirmala Sitharaman to Jayaram Jayalalithaa, these women have held some of the most important portfolios.

Since Independence, there have been a lot of women playing important roles and handling responsibilities in Indian politics. Today, women’s participation in every political party has surged. Veteran women leaders like Sonia Gandhi, Meira Kumar, Late Sheila Dixit and Pratibha Patil have given confidence to society that women can achieve anything. On this special occasion of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8 every year, let us know about some famous political women leaders of India.

Nirmala Sitharaman is the current Finance Minister of India and the second woman to hold this position. Before this, till 2017, along with being the spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party, she also held the position of Minister of State (Independent charge) for Commerce and Industry and Finance and Corporate Affairs of India. She was also the second woman leader of independent India to head the Ministry of Defence after Indira Gandhi.

Former External Affairs Minister Late Sushma Swaraj is remembered as one of the most powerful women leaders of India. While in politics, she made many important decisions. At the age of 27, she became the state president of the Janata Party from Haryana. Apart from this, she also became the BJP’s first female Chief Minister.

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has always been known as a combative woman leader. Seeing her simplicity, no one can guess that she is the Chief Minister. Mamta Banerjee is the 8th Chief Minister of West Bengal. She entered politics at the age of 15 after passing the Higher Secondary examination. Since then, she has been in Indian politics.

Sonia Gandhi is one of the most powerful politicians in the country. She took over as the Indian National Congress party leader in 1998, 7 years after the assassination of her husband and former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi. She remained in office until 2017. Sonia Gandhi returned to the post in 2019 and remained the President of the Congress party for another 3 years before being succeeded by Mallikarjun Kharge.

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh four times. She also became the first woman Chief Minister from a scheduled caste. Mayawati was elected as the Member of Parliament in 1989. In 1995, she created history by becoming the first-ever Dalit woman to serve as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. For the last time in 2007, she held the position of Chief Minister of UP for the 4th time. After losing the 2012 Legislative Assembly elections to Akhilesh Yadav, she resigned from her post in 2012 and later that month, she was elected to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the parliament.

Late Jayaram Jayalalithaa’s journey, from being a famous actress to becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was full of ups and downs. Jayalalithaa was a popular Indian woman politician who acted in more than 300 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English before joining politics. At the age of 15, she started playing lead roles in Kannada films and started her political career in 1982. She was also the youngest Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu when she assumed office for the first time in 1991.

Actress-turned-politician Smriti Irani, who’s been a popular TV actress, has made an important place for herself in the country’s politics today. She has successfully worked as a politician, holding important portfolios like Minister of Textiles, and Minister of Women and Child Development and earlier served as the Human Resource Development Minister.

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