Jaipur: When Beyonce sang- Who run the world? Girls! in 2011, girl power was just starting to be more than just a catchy pop anthem. Come 2018, women empowerment is the new cool. 

From the #MeToo movement that united all women to name-shame their harassers to the Indian government's efforts to recognise girl power with Nari Shakti Puraskar, ban on Triple Talaq, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign and women being accepted into inter-combat roles in the armed forces- feminism is on a new high. 

So, it should come as no surprise the Oxford Dictionaries announced ‘Nari Shakti’ as its Hindi Word of the Year for 2018. The Hindi Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year. Derived from Sanskrit, Nari means ‘women’ and Shakti means ‘power’. 

In 2018, there is no question that Nari Shakti has risen to effect change, working to enshrine women’s rights and ensure that all women across the Hindi-speaking world and beyond are empowered. This is why Nari Shakti has been chosen as Oxford’s Hindi Word of the Year.

The Word of the Year was formally announced on Saturday 26th January at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Oxford Dictionaries Language Champion, Kritika Agrawal says, “Nari Shakti or women power is reflective of the renewed power of women that came to the fore in 2018. It is representative of the courage that women derived and the feeling of sisterhood which was stronger than ever before. It is a sentiment, and that sentiment is being carried forward in 2019. Nari Shakti is a movement involving both men and women, and a reminder that we need to keep fighting the good fight.”

Word selection panellist, Namita Gokhale, says, “‘Nari Shakti’ encapsulates the spirit of our times, with all its struggles, challenges, and triumphs.”