The Guardian published a list of 100 most influential women in the world, categorized into eleven different topics, from activist to writers, to scientist to sportswomen. I will talk briefly about some of the ones I found interesting and link to the Guardian’s article for full information on the woman in question.
Wangari Maathai is a Kenyan environmental and political activist who has worked fiercely Green Belt Movement, which fights for social justice, democracy and to protect nature. Ms. Maathai was the first East African Woman to hold a doctorate and the first African Woman to win the Nobel Prize (in Peace). She has been beaten and sent to prison for criticizing the president Daniel Arap, but has still been able to influence the politics on the environment successfully. Very inspiring woman! Read all about her life and activism here.
Jasvinder Sanghera is the founder of “Karma Nirvana”, an organation to help victims of forced marriage and “honor” violence. She herself had to run away from home at the age of fifteen to escape a forced marriage. Read about Ms. Sanghera here
Fabiola Gianotto is a physicist leading the team working on the Large Hadron Collider at Cern. Ms. Gianotto does not only study science, but also works hard to change the male-dominated environment: “Physics is, unfortunately, often seen as a male subject; sterile and without charm or emotion. But this is not true, because physics is art, aesthetics, beauty and symmetry”. Read about her here.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not only the first woman to be elected president of Liberia, but is so far the only female president in Africa. She has gone from political prisoner to a fierce leader improving the situation for women as well as fighting corruption. A real role model for world leaders, both females as well as males! Read about her here.
And finally, even if she wasn’t in The Guardian’s list, I would like to mention the film director Andrea Arnold. Arnold started out as a dancer on TV. She moved on to make three short films, where she had her breakthrough with “Wasp”. “Wasp” deals with the harshness of being a poor single mother in the UK. It is a touching tale with realistically portrays tough decisions a mother must make without sentimentality. Her most recent film “Fish Tank” is a amazing coming of age film, also focusing on lower class families. Few movies capture the pains and problems of growing up so beautifully. The film is utterly devastating and Ms. Arnold is able to get the audience to sympathize with Mia, even if she is all but a perfect person. Andrea Arnold is truly an important female figure in the male dominated world of film making.
Also check out Hapstace Depart’s post for this special day
Happy International Women’s Day, Sisters!