Today is International Woman’s Day, and in honour of this fact, I wanted to celebrate just a few of the very many extraordinary women from history.
Ms Stone says “A decade ago International Women’s Day was disappearing. Activity in Europe, where International Women’s Day actually began, was very low. Providing a global online platform helped sustain and accelerate momentum for this important day. Holding only a handful of events ten years ago, the United Kingdom has now become the global leader for International Women’s Day activity, followed sharply by Canada, United States and Australia. 2011 will see thousands of events globally for the first time.”
For a YouTube video ‘Join Women on the Bridge‘ can be found at the bottom of the page. Women for Women International’s campaign, “Join Women on the Bridge”, unites women, men and children all over the world showing that women can build the bridges of peace and hope.
Now I could go on and on about this but I’ll let Wikipedia do all that. I’m going to concentrate on a few women who are my personal heroines.
Global Renaissance Woman
At 21 years I was gifted a collection of her poetry by my boyfriend’s father. It was the best present I’d ever recieved. I lapped up her poetry and became fascinated by her use of words – her powerful emotion – her passion and the power of her experiences. She’d suffered so much but never looked at herself as a victim. She fought to get everything she got and broke a lot of rule to get there. I admire her in every way.
Here’s a morsel of her bio – for all of it click her name.
Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, film-maker, and civil rights activist – Phew! The list of her published verse, non-fiction, and fiction now includes more than 30 best-selling titles.
She’s my hero! Please check out her poetry – It’s divine. And her series of biographies takes you through her remarkable life in stages. Her’ life story is so much better than any fiction and reads like an epic story of romance and tragedy, love and struggle. This power-house of talent and passion reigns supreme in all things! Now that’s ‘Woman.’
“Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928) was an English political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement, which helped women win the right to vote. In 1999, Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating: “she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back”. “
And Grace Greenwood (1823-1904) –
first female reporter on the New York Times payroll, and advocate for social reform and women’s rights. And this was WAY before women got the vote.
(1934 – )
American journalist and feminist leader
As a writer and an activist, Gloria Steinem has been a leader in the late-twentieth-century women’s rights movement. Among her many achievements is the founding of Ms. magazine — the first national women’s magazine run by women.
A feminist and journalist, she was active in many liberal causes beginning in the mid-1950s and became the first editor of Ms. magazine. She became a leading spokesperson for the feminist movement and helped shape the debate over women’s enfranchisement.
Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) was an English author, essayist, publisher, and writer of short stories.
Novelist and critic Virginia Woolf was a pioneer of modernist literature whose work shed light on the oppressed position of women in early 20th century social and political hierarchies. In works such as To the Lighthouse, Orlando and her landmark feminist essay A Room of One’s Own, Woolf explored the artistic, sexual and religious roles that women held at this time in women’s history. She’s known for championing a stream-of-consciousness style of writing, and for being a tireless, formal innovator whose dedication to her craft has inspired generations of authors. (The Hours, Michael Cunningham’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, is about three generations of women deeply affected by Woolf’s 1923 novel Mrs Dalloway.)
Woolf also suffered from terrible bouts of depression, inspiring confidence in creative people who suffer from mental health issues. Although her mental illness ultimately led to her suicide, her legacy lives on through the body of her creative works.
She continues to inspire writers today. She was well – Pretty amazing!
They were three rebellious and notorious women, publicly publishing written scandals and heresies under gender neutral and gender misleading pseudonyms – required by the times and to preserve their dignity.
- Northanger Abbey – sold 1803, not published until 1819
- Sense and Sensibility – published 1811 but Austen had to pay the printing costs
- Pride and Prejudice – 1812
- Mansfield Park – 1814
- Emma – 1815
- Persuasion – 1819
Daughters of Genius: A Book
A Series of Sketches of authors, artists, reformers, and heroines, queens, princesses, and women of society, women eccentric and peculiar was compiled by James Parton and published by Hubbard Brothers, Philadelphia in 1886.
Better known as J. K. Rowling is a British author best known as the creator of the Harry Potter fantasy series, the idea for which was conceived on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990. The Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment.
Rowling is perhaps equally famous for her “rags to riches”life story, in which she progressed from living on benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. As of March 2010, when its latest world billionaires list was published, Forbes estimated Rowling’s net worth to be US$1 billion. In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named ‘Most Influential Woman in Britain’ by leading magazine editors. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and Lumos (formerly the Children’s High-Level Group).
(Info and pictures from Wikipedia)
Of course, there are legions of women who should feature here. The Daughters of Genius book is itself a fabulous resource for women in history, but what of those who are working tirelessly now to enable women rights to equality, safety, empowerment.
Read on to find out about four more randomly chosen, more contemporary female activists and artists around the world. Who would you choose?
Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury – An incredible Indian Activist – Click her name to see more of her and the other nine top ten women of India.
Three examples of the many hundreds of wonderful female artists…
|Movement in Squares|
|Long Live Love|
Niki de Saint-Phalle
|Journey Home (Psyche)|
Susan Seddon Boulet
THE WOMEN’S MUSEUM ®
1250 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20005-3970
Two blocks north of Metro Center
I so wish I could go see this – if you can, see it for me and tell me all about it. ;D
To all women everywhere around the world – Have a great day!