For International Women’s Day Kylie, Wendy and I selected women we admire. As we looked across history we came upon some remarkable women, of course the lists in every category, field and endeavour are long and yet probably not all-embracing.
Here is our list for International Women’s Day. The surprise is at the end.
Charlotte Bronte – Born in Yorkshire in 1816, she lived a somewhat sheltered life, however she had an amazing imagination. Aged 30 her literary life began as in she assumed the male sounding name of Currer Bell, for her 1st and unsuccessful publication of poetry. Fortunately she pushed on an wrote then published ‘Jane Eyre’ .She later married and became pregnant however Charlotte died, along with her unborn child, on 31 March 1855. The Free Library
Mary Ellen Avery – In the 1950’s Dr Avery pioneered research into surfactant replacement therapy for premature babies. When babies are born prematurely their lungs are immature as they have not developed enough surfactant, the lining of the lungs. It is estimated 830 million babies have been saved due to her research. My(Kylie’s) own baby received surfactant and did not go on to develop any lung problems later. Wiki
Eunice Kennedy Shriver – a truly amazing woman. At her death her family released this statement: ‘Inspired by her love of God, her devotion to her family, and her relentless belief in the dignity and worth of every human life, she worked without ceasing—searching, pushing, demanding, hoping for change. She was a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power. She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more. She founded the movement that became Special Olympics, the largest movement for acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in the history of the world. Her work transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and they in turn are her living legacy’. EKS.org Wiki
Marie Curie – I am sure a lot of us, like me, (Kylie) learnt about Marie Curie at school, and perhaps are not fully aware just how remarkable she was. Marie Curie was a pioneer in physics, and achieved many firsts in her life, such as being the first person to win a nobel prize twice. Her research into radiation provided the framework for radiotherapy that we now take for granted. Wiki
Mum Shirl – This amazing woman illustrates what change women can make just working quietly in their local communities. Mum Shirl lived in Redfern a suburb of Sydney Australia and started her life as a campaigner when visiting her brothers in prison, and discovered that prison visits can help all prisoners. She also worked to ensure people of indigenous descent had access to education and to medical care. Mum Shirl couldn’t read or write, but spoke 16 Aboriginal dialects. Wiki
Rosa Parks – riding a bus she refused to give up her seat to a white person, and set in motion a much-needed change in USA and in the world. A member of the NAACP she was active in pursing her rights. However, she took her action as a private citizen “tired of giving in”. Although widely honored in later years for her action, she suffered for it, losing her job as a seamstress in a local department store. Wiki
Everywoman – yes that’s you. You need to be on this list. Women of the Year, yes you! You are here in this moment of history doing what needs to be done. You deal with your grief, your sorrows, your disappointments and you continue on. You are brave and tenacious. You hope and dream. You plan and do. You work and you achieve. You create, you build, you restore. You are versatile. You sing, you sew, your write. You Blog. You record the history you are living, the history you are making. You dance and rejoice. You clap and cheer. You smile and laugh.
we are registered (number 200)
This year’s theme is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”
There is in the circle of my life a woman I have come to know over the last 2 decades. She is an example of courage and tenacity. She is not a refugee, she is not homeless, she is not beaten or any of the other terrible shadows that fall across women’s lives.
Rather, she is a quiet, steady force for good. Her sphere of influence spans across several generations. She is a wife, a mother of two sons and one daughter. Now grandmother to many and even a great-grandmother.
Beyond her family she is a mother to many. Her arms will wrap around whomsoever of the girls she sees needs a hug. She can fit a table in her van at a moment’s notice. She plans with love and care. She has the cute home with the picket fence. Her life is not a story book, but her heart is.
All around me live women who as girls found themselves a part of her world. Now she watches over our daughters and grand-daughters. We can trust her. 100%. She connects with the girls. She inspires their lives now, and influences their futures. She stands by them as they grow and become all they might become. We see the effects of her good heart, her gentle touch, her kind words, her unconditional love. We will see it for years to come.
No drama…just a quiet, steady force for good. She is a women for these times.