March is an important month for all of us at SEEMA.
As a platform focused on enhancing the representation of South Asian women, SEEMA takes particular pride on celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. March also marks the launch of SEEMA, and this year the magazine celebrates its third anniversary.
Time flies but progress is gradual. Women of South Asian origin are making great strides in all walks of life, as our feature on 50 women making history on page 8 demonstrates. In myriad fields of arts, science, business, politics and philanthropy, South Asian women are making history with their contributions as they step into their fifth decade and beyond, debunking the myth that age is a barrier to your career.
We take heart in how far we have come in our chosen profession, and that’s laudable. But where is the sisterhood? As first-generation immigrant women we have succeeded, but how do we secure the future, and enhance representation for our community as a whole? How do we work together to create a unified vision for South Asian women and converge on collective action that we can take to open doors and mentor the next generation?
Over the past three years, we have interviewed and talked to more than a thousand women; in the past three months the likes of the iconic Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo; and in this issue the strong and resilient Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides.
We have our work cut out for us. We need to define who we are and define a collective vision and plan of action. Our individual successes are great examples to model, but we need to graduate to a more organized and systematic way to ensure representation for women of the South Asian diaspora. We need to make our voices count, and it can only be heard if we roar in unison and not whisper as individuals.
As Huma Abedin says in her interview on page 50, let’s make this the year we say yes (like Shonda Rhimes). Let’s claim our narrative, and write our own history.
As we honor women this month, which doubles as our anniversary, let’s use the lessons from women’s history to define our action plan for what we need to do about the next 10, 20, 50 years so that we can secure the future for South Asian women and girls.
Do take time to read the interview with Huma, whose name means “phoenix” in Urdu, and who rose from the ashes of a failed marriage to tell her story. Hers is a story of courage, faith and resilience. Also, do check out the feature on the 50 women over 50. Curated by the SEEMA team, this is a collection of women we have interviewed or featured, and who are stepping into their fifth decade and beyond, all the time redefining leadership and making a difference for all women overall, including those of our community.
Finally, we at SEEMA also say a prayer for the people of Ukraine. We symbolically hold up the blue and yellow in solidarity with the people – including the women and children – of Ukraine.