In a Man’s World- Women in Statecraft

Study Group Wednesdays are starting again!

We begin on 30th January, with a group of 16 enthusiastic ladies, who’ve been reading up on their favourite historical woman- famous and infamous!

Here is what we wrote for the ‘Passage’:

History is defined by powerful men. Conquerors and conquistadors, explorers and emperors, pioneers and philosophers.

Biographies have been written about them, ballads composed to celebrate their lives, paeans of praise form haloes that shine through generations.

Sadly, the light cast by these haloes have also cast the women, who have created and shaped history, into the shadows.

Woman has, since the dawn of time, been the more formidable of the species.She has ruled whilst standing submissively next to the throne, she has birthed, protected and destroyed kings, she has plotted and schemed and strategized and manipulated men and empires with equal ruthlessness and grace.Unlike man, she seems to have been content with the outcomes she has caused, not needing the glamour and glory that drives man and his ego.

Let us, today, turn the spotlight onto those Asian women who have made their marks on the political arena. Let us seek inspiration from those who have played a critical role, whether indirectly or otherwise, in making Asia what it is today.

Women like Wu Zetian or Rani Laxmibai; Empress Xiaozhuang who raised the Kangxi emperor or Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother. Börte Üjin, Chinggis Khan’s muse or Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s beloved.

Our participants have picked some truly inspirational women like Annie Besant, and Aung San Su Kyi. Some feisty First ladies like Golda Meir and Chandrika Kumaratunga. And some that transcend the passage of time like Sorghatani Beki or Rani Laxmibai.

Looking forward to my Wednesdays! Of cakes and chronicles!


Who is the woman who inspires you?

Is she mythical, mystical, historical or contemporary? Your mom?