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Five more Inspirational Women…
Today, March 8th, is the day we celebrate the achievements of women throughout history and support the continuing push for women’s equality of opportunity in every country around the world.
International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century, the first event being a 1908 march by 15,000 women in New York City who were demanding shorter working hours and better pay. The event, IWD, was officially recognised by the United Nations in 1975 and is now marked in over 80 countries worldwide. The day belongs to women in every community and every organisation, is a chance to refocus on fundraising for women’s charities and the theme for 2022 is ‘Gender Equality for Today for a sustainable Tomorrow’.
A gender equal workplace and community is one of our core aims here at HDN, as we strive to combat bias and stereotypes. And, let’s face it; there is no shortage of female role models to show just what can be achieved by women. You’ll have your favourites from history and contemporary times, but indulge me here as I give a shout out to five of the greatest women ever to walk the planet and who have led the way in healthcare, science, politics and culture.
Serving in the Crimean War 1853 to 1856 nurse Florence Nightingale, the lady with the lamp totally changed the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her treatment of wounded soldiers transformed nursing from a purely caring profession to one which has material impact on every aspect of life, from war to commerce.
Around the same time American activist Susan B Anthony began campaigning in the US temperance movement, against slavery and for women’s rights, and she quickly came to realise the importance of voting rights for women. She toured the length and breadth of the United States and made the single biggest difference in the advancement of women over a century ago.
Over here in Europe, at the turn of the 20th century, Polish/French scientist Marie Curie became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and then the first person to win the award in two separate categories, firstly for her research in radioactivity in 1903 and then for her study in Chemistry in 1911. In later work, her research helped to develop the first X-Ray technology.
In the middle of the 20th century Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, USA, and inadvertently led to some of the biggest changes in civil rights legislation in the country. A modest, peaceful campaigner, Parks’ quiet and dignified insistence to stand up for her rights was, and still is, an inspiration to activists worldwide.
Here and now in the 21st century a generation has grown up reading the works of JK Rowling, the global best selling author of the Harry Potter series of books. Rowling increased the enthusiasm of children and adults to read, doing more for literacy than countless educational policies and, as a single mother; she has been a vociferous and strong advocate of women’s rights.
Take a look at some of the world’s challenges right now and I can’t help thinking we need more women making the big decisions.
Happy International Women’s Day everyone!
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