“With empowerment, women can be a force to reckon with”

Long ago, I had written, “A woman was created to blossom and bloom, in the colours and fragrance of her choice. The way an unwatered plant becomes parched and dies, so does the personality of a woman who is struggling to break through the shackles of social conditioning and achieve recognition as an individual. The change will be complete when society recognizes that it cannot benefit from preventing the emergence of the pearl from the oyster.” Women have made their mark in every field. On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women achievers. I have always believed that there is no such thing as Destiny. We make our own Destiny. You will be what you will yourself to be. I am reminded of what The Washington Post had said, “Shahnaz Husain has done so much for her country’s image abroad that she deserves the sobriquet of India’s Beauty Ambassador.”

It was an honor. When I represented India at President Obama’s summit for entrepreneurs, I spoke on woman empowerment and got a standing ovation. I also felt honoured when I became the first woman in 107 years to receive the “World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur” Award from the U.S. based Success magazine. For the last four decades, I have promoted India’s herbal heritage worldwide, becoming a Harvard Case Study for International Brand Creation. Now I am a Subject at Harvard and part of the curriculum for “Emerging Markets.” There is no doubt that a woman can and will be a force to reckon with breaking the glass ceiling.

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