International Women's Day: Barack Obama Celebrates India's Preethi Herman Among Others, Says 'she's Helping Women Unleash Their Power To Change Their Societies'

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'Preethi Harman is helping women unleash their power to change their societies,' says Barack Obama as he celebrates women who are building the future

Written By Chetna Kapoor | Mumbai | Updated On:

Former US President Barack Obama shared an inspiring post on International Women's Day. Celebrating the women who are building the future, Obama wrote: "On International Women’s Day, I’m reflecting on the future we all want for our daughters: one where they can live out their aspirations without limits. And I’m celebrating some of the women who are building that future for all of us today."

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He introduced three ladies, one of them being India's Preethi Herman. Obama wrote: ".@preethiherman is helping women unleash their power to change their societies. As head of the  Foundation, she’s leading an initiative that combines online tools with in-person organizing, giving women a voice in her native India—and beyond."

Preethi was shortlisted amongst the 20 individuals working in the civic and social sector for a prestigious fellowship from former US president Barack Obama's foundation. She is the only Indian woman who is currently working as Global Executive Director of, a world platform for change.

Preethi comes from a small town called Gudalur near Ooty in Tamil Nadu. Before joining Obama's foundation, Preethi worked with the tribals of Orissa and Dalit communities of Karnataka. She has been named one of the 25 women transforming India as part of the #WomenTransform initiative by the Niti Aayog, and the United Nations.

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Preethi's introduction in the site reads: “equipping a new movement of female leaders to engage their communities in addressing India's toughest problems."

She was named one among the 50 most influential women in media (in India) by Impact Media in 2016, and in 2017.

An article on the official website of the Obama Foundation lists the reason why Preethi and other candidates were shortlisted:

"These Obama Foundation Fellows are powerful examples of the many pathways we can take to improve our communities. These civic leaders bring a variety of disciplines and skill sets to their work – including community organizing, healthcare, technology, and the arts – and they apply those talents to a range of missions, from empowering parents and teachers to improve our schools, to ensuring deaf children have equal access to literacy tools, to bringing trauma-informed care to the criminal justice system and refugee camps, to working with partners across the healthcare system to treat addiction collaboratively. These leaders are working hand-in-hand with their communities to build better futures. They understand that creating change often requires reaching out across the lines that divide us. And their successes to date show how collaborative, community-driven work can lead to strong, imaginative, and long-lasting solutions – even on some of our most intractable and polarizing problems."

By 2030, 40% Indians will not have access to drinking water