A Working Woman Does Not Differ From A Working Man, Says Beauty Queen Priyanka Dewan

priyanka dewan beauty queen
Back when I was a teenager, I used to believe that beauty queens and kings were vapid, narcissistic beings who were obsessed with their looks. Although I still have some issues with the basic concept of a beauty pageant, I now know that it takes more than a pretty face to wear a crown. What’s more, a pageant winner can do a lot of social good if they put their mind to it. With that in mind, let me introduce Priyanka Dewan, the Delhi-based lawyer who has made India proud by winning the title of ‘Top Asia’ at ‘Woman of the Universe 2019’, an international beauty pageant for married women held in the Dominican Republic.

You are a corporate lawyer by profession. What inspired you to participate in your very first beauty pageant?

I like meeting new people, interacting with them, and understanding their culture as that helps me grow as a person. Hence, I was inspired to participate in my first beauty pageant. Besides, fashion is a quintessential part of my being. I also feel that platforms like these help me go beyond my roles as a daughter, sister, wife, and professional. Participating in these pageants help me go beyond what Indian society and tradition expect of me.

The dream to participate in a pageant has been a long-cherished one, and it finally found realization last year when I had the occasion to participate in a beauty pageant for married women organized by Mrs. India Home Makers (MIHM).

As a God-fearing and spiritual individual, how do you use your platform to empower others?

What I intend to do from winning the crown is essentially make good memories through good work. A crown provides one with access to a wide demographic, along with a better understanding of where exactly they can make a difference to people’s lives. Of course, it is possible to make a difference as an individual too, but when you are a pageant winner, you get an edge that helps you achieve greater heights at a faster speed.

I feel God has blessed me with a unique ability to connect with people. So I always endeavor to lend a helping hand to a person who is shattered under the atrocities of circumstance and entrapped in never-ending darkness. I touch them with my love and warmth to make them capable of fighting the battles in their lives and emerging victorious. My constant emotional support has given many people the confidence to conquer mountains. And in the process, it strengthens me as I have been able to add meaning to a life that touched mine!

Women, not men, are often asked how they balance their personal and professional life. Why do you think this kind of blatant sexism exists in 2019?

Since time immemorial,  women are supposed to be homemakers. Even if a  woman is working, it is presumed that she has to singlehandedly manage the family, kids, cooking, and all the chores at home.It is only then that she is she considered a complete woman.

I cannot fathom how a working woman differs from a working man when both have to go through infinite challenges and pressures at work.  Liberation for us has always been about liberation from the British, but even after 70 years of independence from them, we still cling on to their patriarchal Victorian values.

We need to set our women free so that they can live life on their own terms without being questioned for their choices. Our society needs to see men and women as equals. Until then, such sexist questions will continue to be raised.

If there was one thing you could change about Indian society, what would it be and why?

The status of women in India has witnessed a gigantic change over the past few decades, but there is still a lot left to be done, especially at the grassroots level. Empowering women belonging to all sections of society truly deserves a conscious thought. Personally, I have never been able to fathom why a woman is ignored or deprecated for the very things a man is applauded.

While the Government is making changes to ensure gender equality, this alone is not sufficient. Society must make an effort to create a conducive environment in which there is no gender discrimination and women are given equal opportunities to participate in the social, political and economic spheres. It’s high time women are afforded a platform for making these decisions, rather than just being mere spectators to the process. This is one major shift in thought that I firmly believe our society needs to

To stay updated on Priyanka’s journey, follow her on Instagram at @priyankadewan31.

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