On March 8th, International Women’s Day has marked a day of celebration for women’s rights and equality. Let's take the time to raise some powerful and inspiring women that made this world a much better place!By Edvin Brobeck
Marie Stopes was a British scientist living during the 19-20th century. She was the first woman to attend the science faculty at the University of Manchester and was extremely involved in the field of birth control and sex education. In 1921 she opened a family clinic in London, the first one to ever exist in the country! She was a strong advocate for women’s rights and very involved in family planning breaking the many barriers of society at the time!
Miss Major is a community leader and a leading figure in the Stonewall Riots in 1969 as well as a of the Attica Prison Riots. She is a transgender woman that has been fighting for social justice, but mainly for LGBTQ rights for over 50 years. In the 90’s Miss Major worked with numerous of HIV/AIDS organizations while being the executive director for the TGVIJP (Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project). She is seen as the mother of the LGBTQ community, especially amongst transgender women of color.
Rosa Parks was an African-American pioneer of civil rights in the US in the 1950’s. She was also known as the “mother of the civil rights movement” after she refused to give away her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus – disobeying the laws and resulting in arrest. Her fight and advocacy for racial equality led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott by over 20,000 black citizens.
Grace Lee spent over 60 years not only inspiring, but also organizing and marching for civil rights, women’s rights and environmental causes! Her parents were Chinese immigrants and she was, from a young age, very drawn to radical politics and aligned herself with activists and revolutionaries. She spent years working to improve social conditions for the poor.
Danica Roem was elected to be the Virginia General Assembly and was the first transgender woman to do so by challenging and defeating the 13-term incumbent and homophobe Bob Marshall. The best part is, in 2019 she was re-elected, She continues to inspire millions by being an activist for the LGBTQ community.
Nadia is a Iraqi Yazidi activist and a lead voice in the fight for women and children of war. After she was kidnapped and held captive as a slave by the IS, she finally managed to escape and was the first woman to raise awareness on human trafficking to the United Nations Security Council. She founded “Nadia’s Initiative” in 2018 aiming to support and help victims of genocide and human trafficking. Shortly thereafter, she received the Nobel Peace Prize, being the first Iraqi and Yazidi to receive this significant award.
Oprah Winfrey grew up under very tough circumstances but is today a famous US talk show host, a generous philanthropist and has a net worth of $2.7 billion! She provides significant assistance to schools and colleges all over the US by having donated over 5 million dollars to pay for scholarships. Oprah also opened a school in South Africa for disadvantaged girls, supports over 30 charities helping countries in times of crisis, women shelters and many more. She donated over 100,000$ to the “Time’s up” campaign, empowering women in the workplace, a real hands-on kinda woman!
Wangari was a Kenyan scientist, a professor and a political and environmental activist. Wangari earned a doctorate degree in 1964 and was the first woman to do so in all of East Central Africa! The Green Belt Movement was founded in her name, a community that aims to empower women through education. After all her efforts, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for sustainable development, democracy and peace in 2004. She was the first African woman and first to receive this prize.
At the age of 14 years old, Malala was shot on her way home from school. At only the age of 11 Malala started blogging about life under the Taliban and spoke out against their threats to girls’ schools. Her blog received international attention, making her a victim of death threats. She is a Pakistani advocate for girls education and women’s rights and founded the Malala Foundation in 2013 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Last but not least, this powerful and influential young woman has published her own autobiography called “ I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban”.
Michelle Obama is a lawyer, writer and also the first African-American First Lady of the United States. She started an initiative called “Let Girls Learn” in 2015 with the goal of providing education to the 62 million girls around the world that don’t have the privilege of going to school. She already started the public health campaign “Let’s Move!” aiming to encourage a healthy lifestyle in children and to reduce childhood obesity. She has only written a best-seller, “Becoming Michelle Obama” which aims to motivate women and young girls to move forward with their dreams regardless of other people’s opinions and the circumstances they find themselves in.
Jacinda has not only done an outstanding job as a government leader, she did while giving birth. This incredible woman is the youngest female leader in the world as well as the youngest prime minister New Zealand has had in 150 years. She has shown exceptional leadership attributes such as marching in a Pride parade, setting up a scheme to provide free sanitary products for women, cutting her own salary to stand in solidarity with people struggling with their finances during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Our dear Kamala Harris became the first woman in American history to be elected vice president in November 2020. Not only so, she was the first Indian-African-American to be elected to the United States Senate in 2016 and to service as California’s attorney general. She has implored the US to prioritize women’s issues and fights to ensure that every woman can receive safe and affordable access to comprehensive reproductive health care.
“Here’s to strong women: May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
We hope these 12 amazing and powerful women inspired you today. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY! Who do you get inspired by? Create a Text-Art Poster of a woman that inspires you!
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