“I am happy to say that the prime minister of Bangladesh, despite being a woman, is saying boldly that she has zero tolerance toward terrorism," Modi said Sunday at Dhaka University.
Social media exploded, and Indian Twitter users began posting images of trailblazing women in response. The hashtag #DespiteBeingAWoman has been used almost a million times on Twitter since then, according to Hashtracking.
#DespiteBeingAWoman Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize both in Physics and Chemistry.
— Pratik Sinha (@free_thinker) June 7, 2015
— indianhistorypics (@IndiaHistorypic) June 8, 2015
— Suryanarayan Ganesh (@gsurya) June 8, 2015
How can you even say or think #despitebeingawoman when your own country had a great female PM way before most first world countries! Shame!
— Amena (@Fashionopolis) June 8, 2015
Hasina has served as prime minister of Bangladesh since 2009. Previously, she held that post from 1996 to 2001, and she leads the Awami League, one of her country's main political parties.
Modi's sexist comments have landed him in hot water in the past. In a 2012 interview with The Wall Street Journal, he said malnutrition rates in his home state of Gujarat remain high because women are afraid they'll get fat if they drink milk.