In Honor Of Women's History Month, Meet Some Extraordinary Women

In Honor Of Women's History Month, Meet Some Extraordinary Women

My empowered friends remind me what it means to be a strong woman

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Earlier this week my friend sent a simple request in our only girl's group chat. She asked for each of us to list our majors and/or minors and why we chose them. As I was reading all of my best friends' dreams and ambitions I noticed how extraordinary the women I interacted with every day were. Not just my friends from home, but my roommate, the girls in my department, and the upperclassmen I've worked with. During Women's History Month, it's important to recognize how so many women around you are working harder and harder every day to make their goals a reality.

One of my best friends in high school started a feminist club at the start of our junior year. She created a space where we could talk about issues we faced whether it be in school, at home, or things going on in the world. She was able to organize several walkouts, protests, and awareness-raising campaigns. She now is in a unique, combined major at American University that includes communications, law, economics, and government. She is the kind of person who demands respect and earns it within seconds of meeting her. She volunteers on political campaigns and attends protests as well as congressional sessions and hearings. Her activism is so genuine and admirable and I know one day I will be watching her run her own campaign.

The Vice President of the same feminism club in high school is working towards a degree in television and radio studies to eventually write for tv shows and movies. Other members of our small feminist organization are majoring in communication studies, psychology, environmental studies, neuroscience, chemistry, political science, art history and even product design at Parsons. I know women who want to improve national environmental sustainability or who want to create innovative and sustainable products. I have friends who want to be surgeons or engineers and a friend who wants to catalog art for libraries in Washington in order to feed her love for art and to make a difference politically.

I myself am a part of a dance department surrounded by powerful female figures. My classmates are from all over the world and most of them have lived away from home for many years already to pursue their dance careers. I know girls who lived in Russia for a year to train and watching them go after their dreams every day is nothing short of motivating and inspiring. The upperclassmen in our department have second majors and take a ridiculous amount of credit hours all while looking beautiful on stage. Their grace and athleticism remind me of all that women are capable of. My female professors have had astonishing careers in the dance world and have a presence that changes the air of a room. They push us hard and always remind us how willing they are to help with anything their students could need.

It is, of course, important to find positive female role models in the public sphere and in media, but it is almost more important to find role models within your own life. I guarantee the women around you are working towards some pretty great things, you just need to stop and take notice of it. Let your female peers motivate you to be better and let them serve as a reminder of how much women's movements are constantly progressing.

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7 Of The Most Influential Women In History Who Left Their Stamp On The World

6. Daisy Bates

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These are the women who made put the foundation to make our present and future possible. Even today, they still continue to inspire other young men and women. In honor of international women's history month which lasts from March 1st through the 31st, here are seven of the most influential women in history.

1. Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is a well known African American female who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. As a result of her actions, she was arrested which led to a nationwide campaign boycotting city buses in Montgomery.

Her brave actions played a very important role during the civil rights movement that eventually led to the end of bus segregation. Rosa Parks was given the nicknames "The First Lady Of Civil Rights" and "The Mother Of Freedom Movement".

2. Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was a former slave and abolitionist who escaped from her plantation to lead other slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses that led to the northern states. She dedicated her whole entire life to helping others slaves escape who wanted freedom too. Harriet Tubman also led a secret life as a former spy during the war helping the Union Army.

3. Madame C.J Walker

Madame C.J. Walker whose real name was Sarah Breedlove, an African American, who became a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur. In fact, she was considered the wealthiest African American businesswoman in 1919.

She created her own wealth by developing and selling her hair care products. Madame C.J. Walker stumbled upon her wealth when she tried to find a product that would help with her scalp disorder which made her lose the majority of hair.

This is when she began to experiment with home remedies and store bought hair treatments which inspired her to help others with their hair loss after she saw significant improvement in her hair. She also was a very generous person who helped her community by giving to those less fortunate.

4. Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King was an American activist and writer alongside her husband, the world famous, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who fought for civil rights through peaceful protest. She supported nonviolence and women's rights movements.

After her husband's assassination, Mrs. King assembled and established an organization called "The King Center" in memory of her husband who believed in non-violent social change. She also led the petition to have her husband's birthday become a federal holiday which was eventually successful.

5. Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony, a Caucasian female, was a suffragist and civil rights activist. She campaigned against slavery and fought for women to be given the right to vote.

Her role definitely played a vital part in providing for the preparations for laws in the future for women rights. She worked with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to create the America Equal Rights Association (AERA) in 1866.

6. Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates was an African American activist and in 1952, she became the president of the NAACP in Arkansas. As a mentor who played a key role in helping to integrate the school system in Arkansas, she wanted to end segregation and helped do that with the introduction of the Little Rock Nine.

The Little Rock Nine was nine African American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Centeral High School, but the governor of Arkansas refused their admittance. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled segregation in schools were unconstitutional; however, African American students were still being denied in all white high schools.

In 1957, history was made when Daisy Bates helped nine African American students known as the Little Rock Nine to become the first African Amercians to attend an all white high school.

7. Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells was a former slave in Mississippi, African American journalist, and a leader in the civil rights movement in its earlier years. Ida was born in 1862 to parents James and Elizabeth Wells.

In 1892, she began an anti lynching campaign after three African American men were abducted by a mob and then subsqequently murdered. She was a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also known as NAACP.

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Women's Rights Have Come So Far, But We Still Have A Long Way To Go

You go girl!

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"Women make up more than half of the world's population and potential, so it is neither just nor practical for their voices, for OUR voices, to go unheard at the highest level of decision- making." -Meghan Markle on the importance of women in politics.

"Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created." -Esther 4:14

Women's History Month is a time for women to celebrate who they are, and what they have and hope to accomplish one day.

Over the years, women have already accomplished so much; the most important being our right to vote in 1925. Thanks to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth, we finally get to a have a say in something as big as who gets to run our country.

Another important women's accomplishment is being elected as a Supreme Court Justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who really turned things around for women when she filed that lawsuit that went to the Supreme Court), Sonia Sotomayor (first Hispanic justice), and Elena Kagan can surely be considered a real inspiration to get where they are today.

Third, women have become more and more involved in the workforce ever since World War II. It was the chance for women to show that they were just as good as men! World War II also brought women into the world of professional baseball. Before the war, women didn't play this sport professionally, but once the war started, there had to be something to distract the public- so the women were in! There were strict rules: there had to be chaperones to keep those rules enforced, and they had to attend charm school, but that was the start of women's professional baseball!

Lastly, the need for women to have to answer to their husbands has almost completely diminished. In the old days, women were seen as property, and had to have permission from their husbands for everything! Even in their wedding vows, women had to promise to obey. But what are things like now?


However, women still have a long way to go in terms of changing our male-dominant society.

For one, the United States is yet to have a female president. There have been presidents and first ladies for generations, but never, not once, has there been a female president. Women have been bringing changes to our country since the very beginning, but this is one thing that has yet to happen!

Second, women still don't receive equal pay as men for performing the exact same jobs. Let's face it: women work just as hard as men do (though some may argue that they work harder at times), so they deserve the same amount of reward.

Third, women are still not allowed to sign up for the draft. I know no one would want to be drafted, but I feel like this is how it should be for gender equality. And it's not just the draft: in general, the men in armed forces outnumber the women. A lot of people probably argue that women aren't strong enough for battle which is exactly what they have been proving wrong for so long!

Lastly, the way women are portrayed in the media needs to change. Today, the media has portrayed many heroines in movies and tv shows. However, most of them still portray them as needing to be rescued or needing to acquire something such as a certain look in order to get a man's attention. Also in modern day tv shows such as "Everybody Loves Raymond", they still portray men as the breadwinners and women as housewives. Also, think about superheroes: men outnumber them, too (especially when you consider how well-known they are). There has been progress on this matter with Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, and recently Captain Marvel, and maybe even more if you count Elastigirl, Violet, and Voyd from "The Incredibles" movies.

But, despite all this, there is still more progress to be made. We can do this!

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