So, are you’re asking yourself what exactly is International Women’s Day? Well, I’m thrilled you asked! I’m here to answer your questions and play a fun game in the process. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is a day for unity, celebrations, reflection, advocacy, and action. Each year this occurs on March 8th, and a theme is chosen.
For 2020, the theme is “Each for Equal,” creating an equal gender world. With that being said, I thought it might be a fun idea to choose three people in the current culture. These women embody this ideology, contributing to our society as a female-identifying person. So see if you can guess each wonderful woman before I name them!
“[Women] Our voices, our personhood, our potential, and our accomplishments are regularly minimized and muted.”
The first influential lady I would like to tell you about came as a shock to me. I first heard about her involvement in women’s rights a few years ago. Born in 1968 to a trendy country music singer. She grew up to become a box office hit on the big screen and a global humanitarian and political activist. In her early years, she minored in Women’s Studies before taking off for Hollywood to pursue her acting dreams.
From 1990 to now, our mystery lady starred in some of my personal favorite movies. In 2015, she was the first woman to narrate the opening for the telecast of the Kentucky Derby.
In October of 2015, it came to light that our mystery woman was sexually assaulted during the filming of one of her movies. Two years later, she announced who that person was, and six months later, a lawsuit was filed against him. Although the sexual harassment lawsuit was dismissed, she was allowed to pursue her defamation claim against him. Since then, she continues to speak at the Women in the World Summit about her journey.
For over 10 years, she has made women’s equality her mission. She now spends her life focusing on gender equality and the reproductive and sexual health and rights of women and girls around the globe. In 2016, she was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Reproductive Health and Rights agency. Since then, she travels the world, visiting countries such as Jordan, Turkey, Ukraine, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka. She uses her visits to help with projects for women and girls affected.
Have you figured out our brave and incredible mystery woman #1? It’s none other than “Kiss the Girls” star, Ashley Judd. Among her many achievements and accolades, I leave you with my favorite Ashley Judd moment. In 2017, Judd took place in the Women’s March, performing a poem written by Nashville-area poet Nina Donovan, entitled, “Nasty Woman.”
“Think like a Queen. A Queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness”
Second to our line-up today is a world-renowned talk show host, television producer, actress, philanthropist, and more. In 1994, the National Women’s Hall of Fame inducted her. In 2007 she ranked as the most influential woman in the world. She emerged from a very humble start to become who she is today.
She was born in 1954 in rural Mississippi into poverty and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. As a young girl, like so many out there, she was sexually molested. This resulted in a pregnancy at the tender age of 14, losing the child right after birth. With so many hardships and challenges in her youth, out second influential woman still managed to land a job on the radio.
By the mid-1990s, our mystery lady had taken her talk show from a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place. She revolutionized day-time talk shows, even broke taboos allowing LGBT people to make television appearances. She focused on self-improvement, spirituality, equal rights, and literature. In 2013 President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal. She also obtained an honorary doctorate degree from Duke and Harvard University.
I feel readers that this might be an easy one to guess. With all of her attributes, I could easily go one for hours about her incredible achievements in the world. Have you figured it out? It’s none other than the exceedingly talented and generous heart of Oprah Winfrey. I will, however, leave you with this.
CNN and Time.com called her “arguably the world’s most powerful woman.”
The American Spectator calls her “the most influential woman in the world.”
Oprah Winfrey is the only person in the world to appear on the “Most Influential People in the World” list in Time magazine, on ten different occasions. I don’t know about you readers, but if she isn’t the embodiment of female empowerment, I don’t know who is.
“This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced. This is not something you can like on Facebook.”
Our third and final mystery lady has made a HUGE splash in the world for the last year. I’m truly honored to be able to research her and learn so much about her life and what she stands for. Born just 17 years ago, this straightforward and vibrant Swedish environmental activist is the talk around the global kitchen table and rightfully so.
In the last 12 months alone, our mystery lady won the Fritt Ord Award, the Rachel Carson Prize, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, the Right Livelihood Award, the International Children’s Peace Prize, and the 2019 Time Person of the Year award.
She started small, as most tend to do, by convincing her parents to adopt several lifestyle choices to reduce their carbon footprint. In August of 2018, she spent her days outside of Swedish Parliament calling for stronger action on climate change, instead of spending her days in school. After other school children joined in, in their own communities, they all organized a school climate strike movement called, Fridays for Future.
Also, in 2018, this powerful little girl addressed the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The next year she made waves at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, where her speech went viral all over social media and the news, as well as incorporated into music. In May of 2019, she has graced the cover of Time Magazine, who named her “A next-generation leader and role model.”
Do you know who this is, readers? I’m guessing that you do, but if not, I’ll go ahead and spill the beans. I’m talking about the incredible Greta Thunberg. The same 17-year-old girl who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, England to New York in a 60ft racing yacht, equipped with solar panels and underwater turbines. Thunberg did this as a demonstration of her declared beliefs of the importance of reducing emissions. It took them 15 days (August 14-28, 2019) to reach North America, where she gave an eight sentence statement and submitted the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming as evidence.
This famous quote comes from her speech at the Summit in September of 2019, and my guess is, few haven’t heard it.
“This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”[
With March 8th quickly approaching, I bet we all know a remarkable lady in our lives that have influenced your own upbringing. Whether it be your mom, grandmother, your favorite aunt, a teacher, or a neighbor, they are miraculous women all around us every day. They may not get global headlines, or make the news, but their contribution is just as valuable. Send her your love this March 8, 2020, with a gift that loudly proclaims your thanks to the beautiful women in your life.
You’ve Read About Some Amazing Women, Now What?
Thank the amazing women in your life with a bouquet for International Women’s Day!
Learn even more about March 8 with another blog: What Women Want – A Guide to International Women’s Day.
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