Throughout history and across cultures, women and girls have faced innumerable challenges and injustice.
The oppression of women throughout history has been real. Patriarchy and male-oriented societies have discriminated women all over the centuries all around the world. Though women have traditionally been oppressed, this does not make them weaker, in fact, as history progresses it makes us stronger and stronger.
We’d like to take a moment to look at 10 women who overcame adversity, broke through barriers and in doing so, changed the world.
1. SUSAN B. ANTHONY
● She was the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
● She was inspired to fight for women’s rights while campaigning against alcohol.
● She took matters into her hands in 1872 when she voted in the presidential election illegally. So she was arrested and tried unsuccessfully to fight the charges.
2. DR. ELIZABETH BLACKWELL
● She was the first woman to produce a herbal (Curious Herbal)
● She created the original drawings and watercolors, then she engraved the illustrations on copper plates.
●A medical college was also opened along with it in 1857, which broadened opportunities for women doctors by providing training and necessary experience, as well as specialized medical care for the poor.
3. MARIE CURIE
● She became the first woman Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne.
● She was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes. The first was in Physics, for their study in spontaneous radiation. The second was in Chemistry in 1911 for her work in radioactivity.
● She hadn’t idea of the danger of radioactivity.
● Also her daughter won the Nobel Prize.
4. MOTHER TERESA
●She spent the majority of her life in India.
●She founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the sick and poor.
● She went on to open a hospice for the poor, a home for sufferers of leprosy, and a home for orphans and homeless youths.
●She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitutes a threat to peace.”
5. ANNA FRANK
● The red diary that Anna Frank received was an autograph book.
● People think that the ‘imaginary friend’ Kitty, wasn’t Anna’s imaginary friend but she was her childhood friend Kathe ‘Kitty’ Egyedi
● Anna and her sister Margot spent several months at Auschwitz. During the winter 1944 , they were transferred to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Margot was the first to die. Anna died soon after, just a few weeks before the Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated by British troops.
● Otto Frank, who was the only member of his immediate family to survive, found the diary. So Anna’s dream of becoming a published writer was made a reality.
6. ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF
● She was the first elected female head of state in Africa when she took office as the President of Liberia in January 2006.
●She signed a Freedom of Information bill (the first of its kind in West Africa) and made reduction of the national debt a cornerstone of her Presidency.
●President Sirleaf and two other female leaders , were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace prize for their nonviolent role in promoting peace, democracy and gender equality.
7. WANGARI MUTA MAATHAI
●She was a Kenyan scientist, professor, environmental and political activist.
● She started a campaign. It encouraged women to plant trees in their local environments and to think ecologically. She saw tree-planting in a broader perspective which including democracy, women’s rights and international solidarity.
●In 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
8. SHIRIN EBADI
● She was Iran’s first female judge.
● She began defending people who were being persecuted.
● In the year 2000 she was imprisoned herself for having criticized her country’s hierocracy.
● She took up the struggle for fundamental human rights and especially the rights of women and children.
9. DR. MAE JEMISON
●Dr. Mae Jemison is the first African-American female astronaut.
● She was accepted to NASA’s astronaut training program in 1987 and in 1992, as a science mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, she became the first African-American woman in space.
10. MALALA YOUSFAZAI
●She is the Pakistani teenager whose human rights advocacy and fight for girls' education almost had her assassinated by the Talibans back in 2012.
● She started to write a blog about daily life under Taliban rule. So, one day, when she was 14 years old, a Taliban gunman boarded her bus home from school and shot her. Eight days later she awoke from a medically induced coma, suffering no major brain damage.
● On her 18th birthday, Yousafzai opened a school in Lebanon for Syrian refugee girls and called on world leaders to invest "in books instead of bullets".
DO YOU KNOW OTHER WOMEN WHO CHANGED WORLD?