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Women's Day Special: The women who dominate Indian social media

It's International Women's Day and what better way to celebrate it than to feature gutsy women, who've managed to carve their own niche in a society where women have a tough time standing for their rights

It's International Women's Day and what better way to celebrate it than to feature gutsy women, who've managed to carve their own niche in a society where women have a tough time standing for their rights. They also happen to be the women who rule social media and those who create trends by what they do and say.

Here is our list of top women social media influencers of 2016.

#1 Priyanka Chopra

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Roaring high after the success of her super hit American TV series Quantico, Priyanka Chopra was the first Indian actress ever to present an Oscar award that too for a prestigious category like editing. Since then she’s become a Hollywood favourite and is being touted as the next baddie in the flick Baywatch. She recently also became the third most followed woman in Asia and has 13 million followers on Twitter.

Whether it was playing a model in Fashion, or a mentally challenged girl in Barfi or a national level boxer in Mary Kom, Priyanka has shown that talent speaks more than looks. Which is why she went on to win the National Award for her power performance in the film Fashion. Recently, she was appreciated more in Bajirao Mastani despite having a shorter role and lesser songs.

#2 Deepika Padukone

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One of the few actors to have a flop under her belt, Deepika Padukone is one woman who never minces words and does not think twice before calling a spade a spade. Whether it has been her professional associations, her link-ups or even her encounter with depression, Deepika Padukone has bared it all and has shown that a woman does not need anyone to stand on her own.

Which is why she is the second most followed celebrity on twitter and has more than 13 mn followers. Kudos to her and we hope she continues her winning streak in life and otherwise!

#3 Sania Mirza


India’s first ever tennis player, Sania Mirza has achieved in one lifetime what many women can’t even dream of. Ranked number one in women’s doubles ranking, she is the fourth Asian woman to have ever achieved that.

Her recent doubles pairing with Martina Hingis has been a blessing for her and the duo have been on a winning streak for a while. The “Santina” juggernaut has won 10 WTA doubles titles together in 2015 including two Grand Slams and the coveted year-end WTA championship. Undoubtedly, she is the most successful and the highest-paid female tennis player of India and the most influential Indian sportswoman on Twitter.

#4 Smriti Irani

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If there is one word that defines Smriti Irani, it has to be gutsy. Yes, we are talking about her recent fiery speech in Parliament that had set twitter on fire (literally!). And, if there’s one thing that has come out of it, besides her being an excellent orator, more than anything else is that she is a woman of steel and challenges don’t deter her from doing what she wants.

In fact, Smriti’s life has been full of challenges. When she came to Mumbai she did odd jobs to survive even though it meant mopping the floors at Mac Donald’s. She later on became a household name with her brilliant portrayal of Tulsi in Balaji television’s hit show Kyunki Saas Bhee Kabhi Bahu Thee.

Her stint in politics has also been quite a struggling one with everyone questioning her qualifications when she became the Human Resource Development Minister in 2015. But, she took it in her own stride and since then has been doing all it takes to make it work for the BJP government. More power to her!

#5 Barkha Dutt

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Being the first woman journalist to be reporting at ground Zero during the Kargil War, Barkha Dutt has always set high standards for herself. Her heroic reporting during the Kargil war and the Gujarat Riots brought her into prominence and her heartfelt speeches made a moved many hearts.

Her TV shows We The People and The Buck Stops here established her as major influencer on Twitter when they became the perhaps the first TV shows  ever to engage in twitter debates and asked people to tweet live. She currently has 3.5mn followers on Twitter. Dutt has won many national and international awards, including the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour.

#6 Nita Ambani

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A power woman, Neeta Ambani has made a mark of her own despite hailing from the richest business family of India. For over two decades she has led and initiated many ground-breaking initiatives in the rural, education, sports and healthcare sectors.

She is also the inspiring architect of the Mumbai Indians team, which won the Champions League T20 in 2011 and 2013 and the Indian Premier League in 2013 and 2015. She is the Founder & Chairperson of Football Sports Development Limited that launched the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2014. She is also the founder of the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation School, which is the amongst the top schools in India.

#7 Mamata Bannerjee

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Mamata Bannerjee can easily be called a woman with many firsts in her life. Popularly referred to as didi, Mamata Banerjee is the first ever woman to be the Chief Minister of West Bengal, pipping the 34-year-old Communist Party of India-Led goveernment. She founded the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC or TMC) in 1997.

She was also the first Indian woman to be the Railway Minister and has also been the Minister of State for Human Resource Development. In 2012, Time magazine named her one of the "100 Most influential People in the World".

#8 Kiran Mazumdar

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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, started Biocon India in 1978 in the garage of her rented house in Bangalore with a seed capital of Rs 10,000. Mazumdar-Shaw spearheaded Biocon's evolution from an industrial enzymes manufacturing company to a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical company with a well-balanced business portfolio of products and a research focus on diabetes, oncology and auto-immune diseases.

In 2014, she was awarded the Othmer Gold Medal, for outstanding contributions to the progress of science and chemistry. She is on the Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list. As of 2015, she was listed as the 85th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. As of 2010, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw was named among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

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