In honor of International Women’s Day, we celebrated the women who are pursuing their passions and inspiring India in the process. Be it a public figure, creator or an entrepreneur, their stories are unfolding on Facebook and Instagram for the world to see.
Facing Challenges On and Off the Court
Sania Mirza has single handedly put Indian women’s tennis on the world map. She’s the former doubles world No. 1 and has won six major titles. She was ranked as the Indian No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association. Her career is inspiring to women athletes both in India and beyond because of her accomplishments on and off court.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, Mirza addressed a group of creators at our Mumbai office. There, she spoke about her athletic journey, the challenges she faced growing up and the rise of Indian women in sports — from the time she began as a pro in 2003 to when she retired this year. “When I play tennis, I have no fear of losing. People say how do you play well under pressure?” she said, adding that “if people are scared of failing, you will never have long careers.”
Celebrating Women’s Cricket Like Never Before
The International Cricket Council Women’s T20 World Cup saw more than a billion plays on Instagram Reels. More than 150,000 reels, with over 140 million engagements related to the matches, were created about the tournament from its start on February 10 to when it ended on February 26.
It was an important moment, because the entire nation was backing women in sport traditionally dominated by men. Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana emerged as one of the most popular players from the tournament, followed by Harmanpreet Kaur and Australian Ellyse Perry.
A Rise in Women-Led Pursuits
The COVID pandemic was an inflection point for more women-led businesses on our platforms. In India, 73% of business accounts on Instagram that self-identify as women-owned and 53% of all business pages on Facebook with female admins were set up since the start of the pandemic. In fact, 40% of Facebook groups related to entrepreneurship have also been created by women during the same period.
Yashi Tank is a content creator and a business owner whose desire to celebrate her culture led her on a journey to establish her own business on Instagram. While fashion was always a personal interest for Tank, it also became a way for her to share her Rajasthani roots with others.
Get Inspired by the Women’s Day ‘Reel-ay’
In the quest to highlight the way women are telling their stories, leading narratives and recognizing the way they’re supporting each other, we brought broadcasters, digital publishers and movie aggregators together for a unique concept — a ‘reel-ay’.
Female characters from national and regional channels shared their reels of inspiration for other women by collaborating with characters from other channels, and in that process created a relay. Priyanka M Jain, from the television series ‘Janaki Kalaganaledu’ on Star Maa, shared a message about how her character has shown courage, dreamed big and followed her dream of becoming an IPS officer in the show.
To see more inspiring stories, visit Meta’s Facebook page, follow #WomensDayReelay on Facebook and Instagram and click here to see the complete conversation with Sania Mirza.