As a woman you don’t win, even when you win a Nobel Prize. 

You put your heart and soul into things and make discoveries that take the humanity forward. But in the end, you are just someone’s ‘wife’, ‘sister’ or ‘daughter’.

Like Esther Duflo, ‘wife of Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee’. 

If she is a winner herself, why not just call her that? ‘Nobel Prize winner Esther Duflo’. 

No. No. We Don’t do that. 

In what can only be described as a letdown, a lot of Indian media houses reported the news of couple Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo in a manner that reduced the woman’s identity to being the wife of the Indian-American economist.

Zee Business

With one of them not even bothering to mention her name in the headline. Because who cares about that?

Who cares if she is the second woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economics? Who cares if she is the youngest person?

Who cares if her ambition is to help people who don’t have money, by using her knowledge of Economics?

Who cares if the book she co-authored was translated in 17 languages because it was so good?

Now, the problem isn’t necessarily the focus on Abhijit Banerjee. He is Indian and you want to talk about him. Sure. The problem is reducing Esther’s identity to being Abhijit’s wife.

As per reports, no big media house in France, the country where Esther comes from, mentioned Abhijit as her ‘husband’.

So this bias is not based on a person’s country of birth. This bias is based on gender.

When it comes to male-dominated professions in scientific fields and sports, women’s achievements are often sidelined or not taken seriously.

I mean, we have all heard stories about how boring women’s games are or how they try to ‘hog the limelight’. I am talking about Katie Bouman, who was accused of taking too much credit for doing too little work after iconic first-ever image of a black hole was released. It got so out of hand that her male colleague had to defend her because people only take a man’s words seriously.

You’d think being awarded with the Nobel Prize will make people take things more seriously. Sadly, that didn’t happen.

Esther has hope, though, which makes us believe that things might get better and narratives might change. 

But till the time that happens, let us remind ourselves some things. It’s 2019 and women today are strong and fierce. They are doing great things and are changing the world. 


Stop. Defining. Us. By. Our. Relationships.