India Women Leaders

Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)
Only female Prime Minister of India

Following her father’s footstep, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi - politician and a central figure of the Indian National Congress – was the first and only female prime minister of India to date. So powerful was her influence that to this day, her leadership in India continues to impact many aspiring politicians and the women of India.

Her devotion to her country started at a very young age when she burnt her much-loved doll because the toy was made in England. Sworn in as the prime minister of India on January 24, 1966, she served for two terms. Her support for agricultural improvements led to India’s self-sufficiency in food grain production – Green Revolution. She was also responsible for India’s success in the Pakistan war, which later led to the birth of Bangladesh in 1971 for which awarded Bangladesh’s highest state honor 40 years later.

Her love for humanity knew no bounds especially when she provided refuge for the millions of Pakistani civilians who fled to India to escape the Pakistan army and offered aid to help the refugees. Her legacy continues to ignite through her descendants, Rajiv, Sonia, and Rahul Gandhi.

Sushma Swaraj (1952-2019)
Minister of External Affairs of India (2014-2019)

One of the senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Sushma Swaraj was elected as a Member of Parliament seven times and three times a Member of the Legislative Assembly. At just 25, she became the youngest cabinet minister of the Indian state of Haryana in 1977.

She was sworn in as the Union Minister Of External Affairs of India in 2014, making her the second woman in India to hold this position after Indira Gandhi. Recognizing India's support in evacuating its citizens from Nepal during the earthquake in 2015, the Spanish government awarded her the esteemed Grand Cross of Order of Civil Merit.

In 2019, the decision to run for the 2019 Indian general election was railroaded due to health issues. On the 6th of August 2019, she was pronounced dead after succumbing to a cardiac arrest following a heart attack. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award.