We Sikhs talk a great talk about women’s equality, but we are steeped in patriarchal culture that makes us complicit in the erasure of women, past and present. Even the few famous women in history are defined in relation to their men. Their full contributions as thinkers, poets, warriors, advocates unto themselves are eclipsed by the men they supported. The real life consequence? Sikh girls today are told they’re fully equal, and yet expected to carry out traditional subservient gender roles — with few role models to suggest otherwise.
— Valarie Kaur writes about the legacy of women in Sikh religion versus Sikh culture, providing an intriguing list of names in her article in the Huffington Post entitled “10 Sikh Women You Should Know and Why You Should Know Them“.
Recent experiences have also demonstrated to me that this list of women is not all-inclusive, and we needn’t look very far to find such role models. For example, I can think of many women who presented their amazing work at the Sikholars conferences. These Sikhs are rooted in their faith but global in their vision, and I’m in awe of their achievements and passion. Like many Sikh women, they may not be famous household names but they are an inspiration, nonetheless.