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It's about hard work, not gender: Geeta Phogat

Olympian women wrestlers Geeta and sister Babita Phogat are icons of women empowerment-quite literally.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 08, 2017, 06.02 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Olympian women wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat are icons of women empowerment-quite literally. They have made a name in a field which is all about male power. Their solitary struggle in the face of social resistance was brought alive on big screen recently by Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal.

On International Women's Day, the Phogat sisters say women could do anything that men could. "It's about hard work and not gender," says Geeta Phogat.

Every woman who tries to storm a male bastion faces to some extent the social pressure that the Phogat sisters had to bear when their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, decided to train them as wrestlers. They attribute their success to their parents who had to face far more social shaming in a village where men and women have rigidly defined roles.

"Our parents faced more hardship than us. They didn't stop us from training despite hearing the taunts from the people in the village. We were fortunate to have parents like them," says Geeta.

The Phogat sisters think education could play a great role in women empowerment in rural areas. They want more schools and colleges for women so that women could be brought out of stifling social control.

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