“I am glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” What Daisy thinks about her daughter’s destiny in the frame of the classic “The Great Gatsby” is a highly doubtful attitude. Fortunately, history proves the opposite: There are numerous inspiring women whose lives were or still are dedicated to the wellbeing of certain countries, peoples or the human kind in general. A few ones, individually outstanding whilst more or less known, are presented within this article:
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” She was once denied admission to a university because she was a woman and she is the first person to have received two Nobel Prizes in two different fields of science. Curie was the first female professor at the University of Paris and the first lady to be enshrined in France’s national mausoleum, the Paris Panthéon, all based on her own merits.
Aung San Suu Kyi “In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” She has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression. Suu Kyi spent 15 years under arrest for her efforts to bring democracy to the military-ruled Myanmar. Pre-democracy campaigning led to freedom only in 2010 following an international campaign. She won a nobel prize in 1991 where it was said that “Suu Kyi’s struggle is one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades.” The activist faced enormous sacrifices- being separated from her husband and her children- but she has never given up on her belief in democracy for the Burmese people.
Minnie Vautrin has bequeathed a diary with eyewitness reports of the happenings of the Nanking Massacre 1937. As a head of the Education Department at Ginling Women’s Art and Science College, she transformed the College into a refugee camp for thousands of women and children when Japanese soldiers invaded Nanking in December 1937. With outstanding courage, Vautrin protected and cared for the exhausted, shattered and distraught habitants of Nanking, so that so that not only the few hundred thousand survivors (owing their lives to her) but in general the Chinese society remember Minnie Vautrin as the living goddess of Nanking.
Benazir Bhutto “Democracy is the best revenge.” She was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan and the first woman to head a Muslim state. During her leadership, she ended military dictatorship in her country and fought for women rights. She was assassinated in the context of a suicide attack in 2007.
As the first female chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has proven not only political skills but also a certain sympathy which makes her one of the most popular German chancellors since the early years of the German Federal Republic in 1949. Her high art of diplomacy has shifted Germany into a new, central position of world politics; if other male politicians are not a bit scared of her, they most certainly respect Merkel’s (international) policies.
Amelia Earhart was the first woman to ever fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932 and she became the first woman pilot in 1935 after flying solo from Hawaii to California. She embarked upon her lifelong dream of flying across the world in 1937, however, her flight went missing on that trip and she was never seen again.
On the sidelines: The 8th of March is the International Women’s Day and everybody should remember it and use it to reflect about how women have changed the world we live in and how some of them have fought in order to give the opportunity to other members of their gender to have same rights and consideration that men have. It could seem as something past and old-fashioned but most people do not realise that gender inequality is, sadly, still present even nowadays. This celebration should be a reminder to apply in everyday’s life: all women must be proud of what the y are and not ashamed!