In life, your background holds no power over you or holds you back. If you possess the true passion and the potential to create a mark on the lives of other people. You will definitely find a way to achieve what actually you strive for. No matter you are a man or woman, aged or under-aged, poor or rich but you just need to be courageous for your passion.
As we to discuss issues around gender rights and participation, these are the accounts we turn towards, for determination and inspiration. We must reflect and applaud the journey of these inspiring women and be grateful that humanity has produced such dynamic personalities.
1. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun who devoted herself to serve the needy and destitute around the world. She was born in 1910 in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. A little is known about her early life, but when she was young, she felt a calling to be a nun and serve others helping the poor.
When she arrived in India, she began by working as a teacher; however, the unavoidable poverty of Calcutta (now Kolkata), made a deep impression on her soul, and this led to her starting a new beginning called “The Missionaries of Charity”. The main objective of this mission was to look after people, who nobody else was ready to look after. Mother Teresa felt that serving others is a fundamental principle of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In 1979, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and became a symbol of charity and selfless work. Mother Teresa was pronounced by the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa.
Mother Teresa never thought to convert those who have another faith. They were given the religious rites appropriate to their faith. Her whole life was influenced and prioritized by her faith and religion, even though at times she confessed she didn’t feel the presence of God.
When she was asked how the world peace can be promoted, she replied, ”Go home and love your family”.
2. Sabrina Pasterski
Sabrina Pasterski is known as the “new Einstein” of this era. She is a true inspiration for the ignited minds of females. Pasterski was deeply interested in designing spacecraft from a young age. She built her first single-engine plane at the young age of 14 only. She even got a standing job offer from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and Blue Origin, an aerospace research and development company.
But all that wasn’t easy going. Pasterski was rejected by Harvard University and waitlisted at MIT, before she was eventually being accepted. From MIT, she graduated with the highest honors and entered the prestigious Harvard PhD program, gaining accolades such as a $250,000 Hertz Foundation fellowship for her research.
Pasterski researches black holes, quantum gravity, spacetime. One of the special skills she endures is? “Spotting elegance within the chaos.”
Companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX were looking for bright young minds to shape the future of space exploration and push the world into the next frontier. But Pasterski’s potential was far unnoticed. Forbes named her to their under 30 All Star list. But still, she is humble about her success. Pasterski said “I am just a grad student. I have so much to learn. I do not deserve the attention”.
3. Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai, the fighter for the education of women and children, is a 23-year-old girl from Pakistan who has contributed a lot to change this world for the better.
Isn’t that incredible? At the age of only 11, she fought for human rights and female education. It’s not even possible to describe all of her efforts and accomplishments in this short paragraph.
School girl Malala Yousafzai, whose life was forever changed when she was 15 by a Taliban bullet on 9 October 2012. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunmen. Her only crime was to have spoken up for the right of girls to be educated. The world reacted in horror, but after a few weeks with intensive care, Malala survived.
She has been lauded by a former prime minister of Britain as “an icon of courage and hope“.
The worst period begin in 2008, when the local Taliban leader, Mullah Fazlullah, issued a dire warning that all female education had to cease within a month, otherwise schools would suffer consequences. By this time, Malala was till only 11. She knew that her life was under threat.
On the 9th of October, she was in the middle of her exams and had a lot of things in her mind. She walked out of school for a small bus waiting outside the gate. Few moments later, the bus was flagged down by two young men, just 100 yards from the school gates.
Her friend Kainat said “I heard the firing, then I saw lots of blood on Malala’s head. When I saw that blood on Malala’s head, I fell unconscious.” Malala was shot in the head and everybody was sure about it, including the Pakistan army, that her life was in danger.
Malala was treated for a severe head injury and placed under observation. Her brain was swelling dangerously and she needed immediate surgery. Surgery was seemed to be vital to save her life – a portion of her skull had to be removed to relieve pressure on her brain.
The procedure began with shaving off Malala’s hair, and then cutting away the skull bone, before placing the portion of removed skull inside her abdomen in case it could be later replaced. Blood clots and damaged tissue were extracted from the brain. The blessings of millions of people worked out. Hopefully, she recovered.
Malala was introduced to the audience in New York by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the UN’s special envoy on global education. It was a great day of his life. For him, Malala’s speech was an assault on negative perceptions of Pashtuns, of Pakistanis and Muslims.
She was holding the lamp of hope and told the world – “We are not terrorists, we are peaceful, we love education.”
She has done a lot for her young age and has become the youngest Nobel Prize laureate at the age of 17.
She is an extraordinary young woman, wise beyond her age, determined, sensitive, sensible and focused. She has experienced the worst of humanity, and the best of humanity. Her gratitude towards the medics who cared for her and the messages from many thousands of well-wishers.
4. Mary com
Mary com, a professional boxer and a Gold Medalist in Asian Games. She was born in the small village of Kangathei, Manipur, India.
Her parents worked as laborers in a farm. Mary had a tough childhood and worked as well as taking care of her siblings. Even though she had to quit her studies at a very early age, it did not stop her from pursuing her dreams.
Her hard work paid off and she won a Gold Medal in Asian Games in 1998. She was determined to pursue her career as a professional boxer with renewed zeal – a decision that would change her life for forever. She faced a lot of opposition and challenges from her parents as they considered boxing an unsuitable sport for a young girl – it was something that she proved wrong when she became the National Boxing Champion 5 times consequently.
Mary Kom not only established herself as a recognized national athlete but successfully became an inspiring female icon for women and young girls across the world. She is the first Indian woman to be featured for boxing in Olympics and had the honor of carrying the Indian tricolour after she shined in the games.
Mary Kom became a huge inspiration for women, as she broke the stereotype that married women especially mothers cannot become successful athletes, through her grit and firm determination.
5. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall, the woman who gave a new meaning to the word man, the girl who lived among the wild chimpanzees, was blond and looked smart in her khaki shorts as she walked on the thick jungle with her bare feet and play-wrestled with baby chimps. I’d have seen her in National Geographic.
Jane Goodall is best recognised for her 26-year study of the chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, located in Tanzania. She made several ground thundering discoveries that took her to the position of the greatest field scientists of the 20th century.
In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a non-governmental organization which was devoted to protecting the rapidly disappearing chimpanzees.
Jane arrived at Gombe Stream Game Reserve Park on July 14, 1960. Lake Tanganyika is a vast inland sea, the longest and second deepest deepwater lake in the world. The government was worried about a young white woman camping in the bush by herself and might putting herself in danger.
Being a legend at the age of 27, she would go on to make more discoveries. That chimps were not the vegetarians we thought them to be, but omnivores, like us. And also they are wagers of war.
Jane Goodall’s first article was published in 1963 and was featured on the December 1965 cover of National Geographic. Since then her work has appeared more often than any other scientist.
6. Indira Gandhi
There are rarely notable inspiring women leaders who have made their mark in the global political arena and Indira Gandhi is a name to recognize with it.
Indira Gandhi was not only a tenacious leader but also a symbol for women empowerment and the world across. Being elected four times as the Prime Minister of the India and becoming the world’s longest-serving woman Prime Minister for 18 years, Indira Gandhi was most admired for her iron-fisted approach and bold governance style.
The legacy of Indira Gandhi is an unforgettable legend. Especially in the 20th-century atmosphere, when being assertive was regarded as unacceptably outrageous by society. She set standards for other women leaders across the board to follow the pursuit. Her success teaches us not to let our gender define you.
She brought about required changes inside the government, established new trends and principles and expelled older officials from the Parliament on the grounds of indiscipline. Women in power, in politics, are faced with obstacles that are gender-driven, societal norms that discourage their growth, restrictions, and expectations that may bog them down.
Strong-willed and determined, Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister challenged stereotypes at the time when the nation was not ready to witness a woman as a leader.
7. Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, the woman who defeated the generals, was two years old when her father De Facto prime minister of shortly become independent Burma, was assassinated. She attended schools in Burma, when her mother was appointed ambassador to India. After further study in India, she attended her studies at the University of Oxford.
When she returned to Burma to medical her dying mother. There was the mass slaughter of protesters against the brutal and unresponsive rule of military strongman U Ne Win led her to speak out against him. And she begins a nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights in that country against the military rule.
In July 1989, the military government of Myanmar placed Suu Kyi under house arrest in Rangoon and held her incommunicado. The military offered to free her if she agreed to leave Myanmar forever, but she refused to do so until the country returned to civilian government and political prisoners were freed.
The news that Suu Kyi was given the Nobel Prize set intense vilification of her by the government. Since she was still being detained, her son Alexander Aris, accepted the award in her place.
Suu Kyi was freed from house arrest in July 1995, although restrictions were kept on her travel outside Yangon.
Government restrictions on Suu Kyi’s were further relaxed in 2011. She was allowed to meet freely to associates and others in Yangon. And by midyear she was able to travel outside the city.
8. Linda J. Wachner
Linda Joy Wachner is an American businesswoman. She was CEO and President of Warnaco Group inc. for 15 years till 2001. She was born on February 3, 1946, and began her career as a buyer for department stores including Foley’s and Macy’s.
In 1966, Wachner was graduated with a B.A. in business administration from the University of Buffalo. After her schooling, she held a succession of jobs first working for the Associated Merchandising Corporation. She went to work for Norton Simon who tasked her with turning around the money-losing U.S. division of Max Factor.
In her next year, the division reported a $5 million profit. Later, she partnered with Los Angeles investor Andrew Galef and offered a $36 share for the company.
Wachner effectively took control of the company becoming the only female CEO of a Fortune 500 industrial company at that time.
9. Yusra Mardini
Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini, a 21-year-old girl, who got almost drowned at sea fleeing her war-torn country four years ago, heaved a deep sigh after failing to set a personal best at the World swimming championships.
She represented FINA’s independent athlete team and looked up at the giant scoreboard and winced at her time of 1min 8.79sec in the 100 meters in South Korea.
Yusra Mardini said “I had a problem with my shoulder but I’m back in the training. I still have the 100m freestyle and I’m looking forward to it.”
Mardini’s time was more than 12 seconds slower than that of reigning champion Sarah Sjostrom and 47th overall, but she has come a long way since risking her life crossing from Izmir in Turkey to Greek island of Lesbos in 2015.
After thirty minutes of that treacherous journey, the motor on their dinghy cut out and the tiny vessel, carrying 20 people rather than the six or seven it was designed for, threatened to capsize.
As the only people who could swim among them, Mardini and her sister Sarah jumped into the water to push and pull the stricken dinghy for over three hours until they finally reached the shore.
10. Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates, a woman with a voice of a strong woman, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which strives to improve the global health and education arena.
Melinda was born on August 15, 1964, in Dallas, Texas. Melinda got a job at Microsoft Corporation in 1987. She was appointed as a product manager, primarily developing interactive products and multimedia.
Malinda married her boss, Bill Gates, in 1994. That year, she and Bill co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Melinda and Bill Gates, along with Bill Gate’s father, started the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994. In 1999 the couple combined the William H. Gates Foundation with two other charitable organizations of them, the Gates Library Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation.
The foundation’s initial goal was to place Microsoft products and computers in libraries all over the United States. Over the years Melinda expanded the organization’s vision to include worldwide improvements in education upliftment. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts also begin to address the global health issues and poverty.
In 2006, she completely restructured the organization. In 2012 she pledged $560 million toward improving access to contraception for women in many poor countries across the globe.
11. Danielle Fong
Danielle Fong, a Canadian entrepreneur who is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of LightSail Energy. She is making energy inexpensive and clean.
Danielle was born on October 30, 1987, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was raised in the Dartmouth community there. When she was 12, she dropped out of junior high school and enrolled herself at Dalhousie University, where she had her Bachelor of Science in Physics and Computer Science at age 17.
When Fong was 22, she with her friends, founded a startup company called LightSail Energy. They develop a kind of compressed air energy storage. She is the one who has the potential to change the future of the planet.
She was listed by Forbes in 2011 as an entrepreneur on their “30 under 30” list and called her, a person who “May Save the World.”
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