India Elects Female President

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India on Thursday elected Droupadi Murmu as the 15th President, making her the first tribal to occupy the senior most position in the country.



She will be the second woman after Pratibha Patil to reside at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Interestingly, Murmu at the age of 64 is also the youngest and India’s first President to be born after Independence.

Let’s take a look at other women who held big positions in their career.

Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was the first and, to date, only female prime minister of India. She was appointed to the office as the 3rd Prime Minister of India and held the office four times.

She first became the prime minister on 24 January, 1966. She remained the prime minister for the next two consecutive terms as well. After a brief stint at the top office by Janata Party, Gandhi returned to the position for the fourth terms in 1980 and remained there till her assassination in 1984.

During her political career, she made history with many firsts. She was the first female Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Defence, and Minister of Information and Broadcast.

Pratibha Patil

A former governor of Rajasthan, Pratibha Patil became the first female President of India on 25 July 2007.

She was also the first female governor of Rajasthan. She was appointed to the office on 8 November, 2004 as the 17th Governor of Rajasthan.

She held various offices during her career, including several cabinet minister portfolios in the Maharashtra government from 1972 till 1985. In 1986, she was appointed Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Sushma Swaraj

Swaraj became the first female chief minister of Delhi in October 1998, which also made her the first female chief minister from the BJP.

Swaraj held the Information and Broadcasting portfolio in the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996 and got the Cabinet portfolio again after he led the BJP to power in 1998. Even though she was not the first to hold the office, she was the first to introduce the live telecasting of Lok Sabha debates when she held the portfolio.

M Fathima Beevi

Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1989, M Fathima Beevi became the first female judge to be a part of the apex court, and the first Muslim woman to be appointed to any of the higher judiciaries in country.

Upon her retirement from the court, she served as a member of the National Human Rights Commission and later as the Governor of Tamil Nadu from 1997 to 2001.

Anna Chandy

Justice Anna Chandy became the first female judge in India in 1937. She was later elevated to the Kerala High Court in 1959, becoming the first female High Court judge in the country.

She was one of the first female judges in the British Empire next to Emily Murphy.

Leila Seth

She served as the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court before moving on to become the first woman to hold the position of Chief Justice of a state High Court.

She was appointed to the Himachal Pradesh High Court on 5 August, 1991 as the Chief Justice. She was also the first woman to be designated as a senior counsel by the Supreme Court of India.

She was also a part of the three-member bench of the Justice Verma Committee that was established to overhaul India’s rape laws in the aftermath of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang-rape case.

Meira Kumar

The Congress leader from Bihar became the first woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha in 2009. She held the position during the entire term of the UPA-II government.

Later, she received the UPA’s nomination for the 2017 presidential election. However, she went on to lose to the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

VS Ramadevi

VS Ramadevi was the first woman to become the Chief Election Commissioner of India. She held the office as the 9th CEC from 26 November, 1990 to 11 December, 1990.

Ramadevi was also the first woman to become the 13th Governor of Karnataka. She remains till date the only woman Governor of Karnataka.

She was the first, and to date, only woman to serve as Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha.

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