In a historic decision on Sunday, the Narendra Modi government announced Nirmala Sitharaman as the first full time woman Defence Minister of India. The only time a woman held the all powerful post of Defence Minister in the past was by Indira Gandhi as an additional charge when she was the Prime Minister of the country.
An extremely well educated and well-articulated woman, she completed Bachelor of Arts from Seethalakshmi Ramaswamy College, Tiruchirappalli and Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University Delhi. She also did her PhD in international commerce (Indo-European textile trade within the GATT framework ). Besides, she holds an M.Phil degree from JNU. She has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers research unit in London and later for the BBC World Service.
As Sitharaman took the oath on Sunday, she entered the eminent Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) in the Narendra Modi government. Sushma Swaraj is already in the coveted club as the Minister of External Affairs.
On Sunday when she was announced as the Defence Minister, an old photo from 2014 started doing the rounds. The old photo includes the then Defence Ministers of Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and Germany, all women. Twitter applauded Nirmala and congratulated her for now being a part of this group.
— Ajit Ranade (@ajit_ranade) September 3, 2017
— Carl Bildt (@CBildt) February 1, 2014
The four women in this picture are Ine Eriksen Søreide from Norway, Karin Enström from Sweden, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert from Netherlands and Ursula von der Leyen from Germany.
Although she is the first woman to be the Rakshamanti in India, there are other women across the world who hold the all important post in other countries. These include:
Marise Payne: Australia
Mimi Kodheli — Albania
Sheikh Hasina: Bangladesh
Marina Pendeš — Bosnia and Herzegovina
Florence Parly: France
Ursula von der Leyen: Germany
Roberta Pinotti: Italy
Raychelle Omamo: Kenya
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert: Netherlands
Martha Elena Ruiz Sevilla: Nicaragua
Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide: Norway
Radmila Šekerinska — Republic of Macedonia
María Dolores de Cospedal: Spain
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula: South Africa
Andreja Katič: Slovenia
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