I am woman hear me…
Today is International Women’s Day and March is Women’s History Month. I don’t go much on ‘Days’ or ‘Months’, but could not let this one pass by.
I followed a link to Flavorwire which gives us ten of the most powerful female characters in literature ‘who have had positive and lasting impacts on our lives’. I find it interesting that fictional characters influence us greatly and yet of course they would.
We are avid readers, and the creators of fictitious women usually idealise them. They are all the people we want to be and we vicariously experience their adventures, trials and their love. And our heroines usually get their just desserts: the hero.
On this day and month however we women, and men for that matter, would do well to look to some of the real heroines of history.
A quick flick through the Encyclopaedia Britannica website will reveal around three hundred influential women. Some are fictitious and many are writers, poets, singers, actors, sports women or wives of influential men, all of whom, I am sure, have had some role to play in shaping womanhood.
But some of the Encyclopaedia Britannica women have demonstrated true courage and perseverance in their fight for social justice and freedom. These are the sort of women we should laud as influential and inspirational.
Aung San Suu Kyi — opposition leader in Myanmar (Burma)
Mary Ann Bickerdyke — nurse during and after the American Civil War
Marie Curie — medical scientist
Dorothea Dix — educator, social reformer and humanitarian
Emmeline Pankhurst — champion of the woman suffrage movement
Florence Nightingale — nurse, statistician and social reformer
Eleanor Roosevelt — president’s wife, welfare, housing reform and equal rights for women and racial minorities
Mother Teresa — dedicated to the poor and destitute of India
Harriet Tubman — escaped slave who became a leading abolitionist
Frances Willard — educator, reformer and founder of the World Woman’s Christian Temperance Union
These ten women are some of the most recognised in our secular world. These are women I can look to and be thankful to God for their efforts in serving the people of the world through their hard work and good character.