Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Day of Women: Women Who Changed the World

Researched and Compiled by Dr Abe V Rotor  
Living with Nature - School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [www.pbs.gov.ph] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

Here is a short list of great Women Who Changed the World,  out of hundreds, nay thousands, in fact countlees of them who are unsung heroes like the heroes of war symbolized by the Unknown Soldier,

Part 1: Women who changed the world (From Ancient times to the present)


A list of famous influential women. Including women’s rights activists, female poets, musicians, politicians, humanitarians and scientists. 
Sappho (c 570 BC) One of the first published female writers. Much of her poetry has been lost but her immense reputation has remained. Plato referred to Sappho as one of the great 10 poets.

Cleopatra (69 – 30 BC) The last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra sought to defend Egypt from the expanding Roman Empire. In doing so she formed relationships with two of Rome’s most powerful leaders Marc Anthony and Julius Caesar.

Mary Magdalene (4 BC – 40AD) Accounts from the Gospels and other sources suggest Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ most devoted followers. Mary Magdalene stood near Jesus at his crucifixion and was the first to see his resurrection.

Boudicca (1st Century AD) Boudicca was an inspirational leader of the Britons. She led several tribes in revolt against the Roman occupation. Initially successful her army of 100,000 sacked Colchester and then London. Her army was later defeated.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) Mystic, author and composer. Hildegard of Bingen lived a withdrawn life, spending most of her time behind convent walls. However her writings, poetry and music were revelatory for the time period. She was consulted by Popes, Kings and influential people of the time. Her writings and music have influenced people to this day.

Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1204) The first Queen of France. Two of her sons Richard and John went on to become Kings of England. Educated, beautiful and highly articulate, Eleanor influenced the politics of western Europe through her alliances and influence over her sons.

Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431)  The patron saint of France, Joan of Arc inspired a French revolt against the occupation of the English. An unlikely heroine; at the age of just 17, the diminutive Joan successfully led the French to victory at Orleans. Her later trial and martyrdom only heightened her mystique.

Mirabai (1498-1565) Indian mystic and poet. Mirabai was born into a privileged Hindu family, but she forsook the expectations of a princess and spent her time as a mystic and devotee of Krishna. She helped revitalise the tradition of bhakti (devotional) yoga in India.

St Teresa of Avila (1515 – 1582)  Spanish mystic, poet and Carmelite reformer. St Teresa of Avila lived through the Spanish inquisition but avoided been placed on trial despite her mystical revelations. She helped to reform the tradition of Catholicism and steer the religion away from fanaticism.

Catherine de Medici (1519 – 1589) Born in Florence, Italy, Catherine was married to the King of France at the age of 14. She was involved in interminable political machinations seeking to increase the power of her favoured sons. This led to the disastrous St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.
Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603)  Queen of England during a time of great economic and social change, she saw England cemented as a Protestant country. During her reign she witnessed the defeat of the Spanish Armada leaving Britain to later become one of the world’s dominant superpowers.
Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796) One of the greatest political leaders of the Eighteenth Century. Catherine the great was said to have played an important role in improving the lot of the Russian serfs. She placed great emphasis on the arts and helped to cement Russia as one of the dominant countries in Europe.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) English 
author, Wollstonecraft wrote the most significant book in the early feminist movement. Her tract “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” laid down a clear moral and practical basis for extending human and political rights to women. – A true pioneer in the struggle for female suffrage.
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)One of the most popular female authors Jane Austen wrote several novels, which remain highly popular today. These include “Pride and Prejudice” “Emma” and “Northanger Abbey”. Jane Austen wrote at a time when female writers were not so high profile, helping pave the way for future writers.
Margaret Fuller (1810 – 1850) An American women’s rights advocate. Her book Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845) was influential in changing perceptions about men and women, and was one of the most important early feminist works. She argued for equality and women being more self-dependent and less dependent on men.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896)  A life long anti slavery campaigner. Her novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was a best seller and helped to popularise the anti slavery campaign. Abraham Lincoln would later remark her books were a major factor behind the American civil war.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)  American social activist and leading figure in the early women’s rights movement. She was a key figure in helping create the early women’s suffrage movements in the US. She was the principle author of ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ in 1848.
Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901)British Queen. Presiding over one of the largest empires ever seen, Queen Victoria was the head of state from 1837-1901. Queen Victoria sought to gain an influence in British politics whilst remaining aloof from party politics. She came to symbolise a whole era of Victorian values.
Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910) British nurse. By serving in the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale was instrumental in changing the role and perception of the nursing profession. Her dedicated service won widespread admiration and led to a significant improvement in the treatment of wounded soldiers.
Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906) American Campaigner against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers rights. She began campaigning within the temperance movement and this convinced her of the necessity for women to have the vote. She toured the US giving countless speeches on the subjects of human rights.

Elizabeth Blackwell ( 1821 – 1910) Born in Britain, Blackwell was the first women to receive a medical degree in America and the first women to be on the UK medical register. Blackwell helped to break down social barriers, enabling women to be accepted as doctors.

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) One of America’s greatest poets Emily Dickinson lived most of her life in seclusion. Her poems were published posthumously and received widespread literary praise for their bold and unconventional style. Her poetic style left a significant legacy on 20th Century poetry.
emily-pankhurstmillicent-fawcettMillicent Fawcett (1846 – 1929)A leading suffragist and campaigner for equal rights for women. She led Britain’s biggest suffrage organisation, the non-violent (NUWSS) and played a key role in gaining women the vote. She also helped found Newnham College, Cambridge.

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858 – 1928) British suffragette, Emily Pankhurst dedicated her life to the promotion of women’s rights. She explored all avenues of protest including violence, public demonstrations and hunger strikes. She died in 1928, 3 weeks before a law giving all women over 21 the right to vote.

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934) – Polish / French scientist. Curie was the first women to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win the Nobel Prize for two separate categories. Her first award was for research into radioactivity (Physics 1903). Her second Nobel prize was for Chemistry in 1911. A few years later she also helped develop the first X ray machines.
Emily Murphy (1868 – 1933)The first women magistrate in the British Empire. In 1927 she joined forces with four other Canadian women who sought to challenge an old Canadian law that said, “women should not be counted as persons”

Rosa Luxemburg (1870-1919) Polish / German  Marxist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg sought to bring social revolution to Germany. She wrote fiercely against German imperialism and for international socialism. In 1919, she was murdered after a failed attempt to bring about a Communist revolution in Germany.

Helena Rubinstein (1870 – 1965) American businesswoman. Rubinstein, formed one of the world’s first cosmetic companies. Her business enterprise proved immensely successful and later in life she used her enormous wealth to support charitable enterprises in the field of education, art and health.
Helen Keller 

Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American social activist. At the age of 19 months Helen became deaf and blind. Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing she campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people.

Coco Chanel (1883-1971) – French fashion designer. One of the most innovative fashion designers, Coco Chanel was instrumental in defining feminine style and dress during the 20th Century. Her ideas were revolutionary; in particular she often took traditionally male clothes and redesigned them for the benefit of women.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)  Wife and political aide of American president F.D.Roosevelt. In her own right Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights, a topic she campaigned upon throughout her life. As head of UN human rights commission she helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights.
Annie Besant (1847-1933) – British campaigner for social justice, an advocate of women’s rights and later member of the Theosophist society. She also actively campaigned for Indian independence.

katherine-hepburnKatharine Hepburn (1907 – 2003) American actress.An iconic figure of twentieth Century film Katharine Hepburn won four Oscars and received over twelve Oscar nominations. Her lifestyle was unconventional for the time and through her acting and life she helped redefine traditional views of women’s role in society.
Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986)French existentialist philosopher. Simone de Beauvoir developed a close personal and intellectual relationship with Jean Paul Satre. Her book “The Second Sex” depicted the traditions of sexism that dominated society and history. It was a defining book for the feminist movement.
Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)Albanian nun/ charity work. Devoting her life to the service of the poor and dispossessed Mother Teresa became a global icon for selfless service to others. Through her Missionary of Charities organisation she personally cared for thousands of sick and dying people in Calcutta. She was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1979.
Dorothy Hodgkin (1910 – 1994) British chemist. Hodgkin was awarded the Nobel prize for her work on critical discoveries of the structure of both penicillin and later insulin. These discoveries led to significant improvements in health care. An outstanding chemist, Dorothy also devoted a large section of her life to the peace movement and promoting nuclear disarmament.
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) – American civil rights activist. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. She sought to play down her role in the civil rights struggle but for her peaceful and dignified campaigning she became one of the most well respected figures in the civil rights movements.

Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – ) Since ascending to the British throne in 1952, Elizabeth has become the longest serving British monarch. She has witnessed rapid social and economic change and has been a unifying influence for Britain and the Commonwealth.

Billie Holiday (1915 – 1959) –  American jazz singer. Given the title “First Lady of the Blues” Billie Holiday was widely considered to be the greatest and most expressive jazz singer of all time. Her voice was moving in its emotional intensity and poignancy. Despite dying at the age of only 44, Billie Holiday helped define the jazz era and her recordings are widely sold today.

Indira Gandhi (1917 – 1984)First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966-77 and 1980-84. Accused of authoritarian tendencies she only narrowly avoided a military coup by agreeing to hold an election at the end of the “emergency period” of 1977. She was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, in response to her storming of the Golden Temple.
Eva Peron (1919 – 1952)Eva Peron was widely loved by the ordinary people of Argentina. She campaigned tirelessly for both the poor and for the extension of women’s rights. She died aged only 32 in 1952.
Betty Friedan (1921 – 2006) – American social activist and leading feminist figure of the 1960s; she wrote the best-selling book “The Feminine Mystique” Friedan campaigned for an extension of female rights and an end to sexual discrimination.
Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013) The first female Prime minister of Great Britain, she governed for over 10 years, putting emphasis on individual responsibility and a belief in free markets.
Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962) American actress who became one of the most iconic film legends. Her films were moderately successful, but her lasting fame came through her photogenic good looks and aura of glamour and sophistication.
Anne Frank (1929 – 1945) – Dutch / Jewish author. Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most widely read books in the world. It reveals the thoughts of a young, yet surprisingly mature 13-year-old girl, confined to a secret hiding place. “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) British actress. Influential female actor of the 1950s and 60s. Audrey Hepburn defined feminine glamour and dignity, and was later voted as most beautiful women of the twentieth century. After her acting career ended in the mid 1960s, she devoted the remaining period of her life to humanitarian work with UNICEF.
Germaine Greer (1939 – ) Australian feminist icon of the 1960s and 1970s, Germaine Greer enjoys raising contentious issues. In particular her book “The Female Eunuch” was a defining manifesto for the feminist movement, which proved influential in the 1960s.
Wangari Maathai (1940 – 2011 ) Kenyan born environmentalist, pro-democracy activist and women’s rights campaigner. Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to prevent conflict through protection of scarce resources.
betty-williamsBetty Williams (1943 – ) Together with Mairead Corrigan, Betty Williams campaigned to bring an end to the sectarian violence of Northern Ireland. They founded the Community for Peace and were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 (post dated for 1976)
Billie Jean King (1943 – ) American tennis player.  Billie Jean King was one of the greatest female tennis champions, who also battled for equal pay for women. She won 67 professional titles including 20 titles at Wimbledon.
Shirin Ebadi (1947- ) An Iranian lawyer, Ebadi has fought for human rights in Iran – representing political dissidents and founding initiatives to promote democracy and human rights. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007) The first female prime minister of a Muslim country. She helped to move Pakistan from a dictatorship to democracy becoming Prime Minister in 1988. She sought to implement social reforms, in particular helping women and the poor. She was assassinated in 2007.
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ) – American chat show host. Oprah Winfrey was the first women to own her own talk show host. Her show and book club are very influential,  focusing on issues facing American women.
Madonna (1958 – ) American pop star. Madonna is the most successful female musician of all time. She has sold in excess of 250 million records. She has also starred in films, such as Evita.
Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997) British Royal princess who was noted for her humanitarian charity work. Despite troubled marriage to Prince Charles, she was popular for her natural sympathy with the poor and marginalised from society.
J.K.Rowling (1965 – ) British author of the phenomenal best selling Harry Potter series. The volume of sales was so high, it has been credited with leading a revival of reading by children. She wrote the first book as a single mother, struggling to make ends meet, but is now one of most successful self-made woman.
Tegla Loroupe (1973 – ) Kenyan athlete. Loroupe held the women’s marathon world record and won many prestigious marathons. Since retiring from running, she has devoted herself to various initiatives promoting peace, education and women’s rights. In her native Kenya, her Peace Race and Peace Foundation have been widely praised for helping to end tribal conflict.
Malala Yousafzai (1997 – ) Pakistani schoolgirl who defied threats of the Taliban to campaign for the right to education. She survived being shot in the head by the Taliban and has become a global advocate for women’s rights, especially the right to education.

Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Women who changed the world”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 18th April 2014.

Part 2: Women who changed the world (Contemporary)

1. "Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart." - Anne Frank (1929-1945)

During her stay in Netherlands while hiding from the German forces, Anne Frank, a young jewish girl, was gifted a diary by her father when she was 13. However, her diary was published after her death in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15. The diary served as a unique eye-witness account of life during Holocaust (mass murder of approximately six million Jews during World War II) and it became one of the world's most read books.
2. "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Mother Teresa, the Nobel Peace Prize winner (1979), aimed at looking after those who had nobody to look after them through her own order "The Missionaries of Charity". She worked tirelessly towards her goal until her ill-health - that included two heart attacks, pneumonia and malaria - forced her to step down in March 1997, following which she took her last breath in September 1997.
3. "In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued." - Aung Sang Suu Kyi (1945)
Burmese opposition politician Suu Kyi was under house arrest for 15 years for her pre-democracy campaigning. She only gained release in 2010 following an international campaign to let her free. 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.".

4. 4. "I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn't win that match. It would ruin the women's tour and affect all women's self esteem." - Billie Jean King (1943)

Billie Jean King, the US tennis legend and the winner of 20 wimbledon titles, famously beat Bobby Riggs in 1973 for a $100,000 prize in "The Battle of the sexes" after he said to her that men were superior athletes.

 5. "Everyone needs to be valued. Everyone has the potential to give something back." - Diana (1961-1997), Princess of Wales
Princess Diana was a well-loved "people's princess". She devoted her life to charity work; she led a nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign to ban landmines.
6. "Democracy is the best revenge." - Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007)
She was the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (1993-1996) 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 a suicide attack in 2007.
7. "There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made." - Michelle Obama (1964)
Michelle Obama, the first lady of the United States, was raised in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago before she went on to excel in academics and study at Princeton and Harvard. She is considered the most stylish leading lady after Jackie Kennedy. Currently, she is working on a campaign to fight childhood obesity.
8. "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey (1954)
Oprah, a generous Philanthropist, who is today worth $2.7 billion as a famous US talk show host and a media proprietor, was born to a poor single mother in Mississippi.
9. "I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results." - Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
"The lady with the lamp", Florence Nightingale, nursed wounded soldiers during the Crimean war. Her passion and dedication to the profession changed public's perception about this profession. Her insistence on improving sanitary conditions for the patients is believed to have saved many lives.
10. "I'm tough, I'm ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay." - Madonna (1958)
Madonna has achieved an unprecedented level of power and control for a woman in the entertainment industry. She has sold more than 300 million records of her music and she has turned her hands to songwriting, acting, film-directing and producing, fashion designing and writing children's books.
11. "Each coming together of man and wife, even if they have been mated for many years, should be a fresh adventure; each winning should necessitate a fresh wooing." - Marie Stopes (1880-1958)
The british scientist Marie Stopes is best known for her achievements in the fields of birth control and sex education in the 20th century. She publicly addressed romantic and sexual happiness in a marriage, thereby, breaking many barriers in the society.
12. "Fashion is not frivolous. It is a part of being alive today." - Mary Quant (1934)
Mary Quant was an influential fashion designer and she shaped the image of the swinging sixties. She was credited for creating the mini-skirt and hot pants.
13. 13. "If there's specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can't change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies." - Kathryn Bigelow (1951)

Kathryn Bigelow, a US director, is the first ever woman to win an academy award for a war film, she won an award for The Hurt locker.

 14. "Please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be a challenge to others." - Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

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.
15. "Fashion fades, only style remains the same." - Coco Chanel (1883-1971)
Chanel was a daughter to a laundrywoman and a market stall holder. Before becoming one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever seen, she was a club singer and a hat maker.
16. "Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together." - Angela Merkel (1954)
Angela Merkel was appointed as the Chancellor of Germany in 2005 and she happens to be the first female chancellor presiding over the most powerful European economy.
17. 17. "You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It's a way of life. Without it you're nobody. And I'm not talking about a lot of clothes." - Diana Vreeland (1903-1989)

Diana Vreeland was a great influence in the world of fashion in the 20th century. She worked as a columnist and editor for Harper’s Bazaar from 1937 to 1962 and for Vogue from 1963 to 1971.
18. "Hard work keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit." - Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965)
Helena Rubinstein emigrated to Australia in 1902 without any money or the ability to speak in english. Thereafter, she founded one of the world’s first cosmetic companies after mixing lanolin, the grease found in merino sheep wool with scented flowers. Following that she became the world's richest woman in process at the time.
19. "You can bind my body, tie my hands, govern my actions: you are the strongest, and society adds to your power; but with my will, sir, you can do nothing." - George Sand (1804-1876)
George Sand, a 19th century French novelist and essayist was a socialist. She 'shocked' the high society circles by wearing male clothing in public. As a socialist, she started her own newspaper that was published in workers’ co-operative.
20. "If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing." - Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)
Margaret Thatcher was loved and hated equally for some of her controversial policies but she never gave up. She was known as the 'Iron lady' for her uncompromising politics and leadership style. From being a grocer's daughter to graduating from Oxford University to becoming a bannister, she went on to becoming Britain's first and to date, only female Prime Minister elected in 1979 and the country's fifth longest serving leader.
21. "We are here not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers." - Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)
Emmeline, a passionate feminist, was an influential women's activist who fought along with her husband for the rights of the women in late 19th century and early 20th century. After she lost her husband, she teamed up with her three daughters and formed 'The Women’s Social and Political Union' - best known as the suffragettes (women's right to vote).
22. "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default." - J.K Rowling (1965)
Breaking through the trap of poverty until she finished writing her first book for the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has now sold 400 million copies worldwide. She went on from living on state benefits in the UK to becoming a multi-millionaire after her book's success in a matter of five years.
23. "If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
Katherine Hepburn was known for playing strong-willed women in her film roles. She won four academy awards for Best actress, the most an actress has ever won. Her unconventional non-conformist, masculine style choices made wearing trousers acceptable to women, which was largely considered a taboo at that time.
24. "A large part of the present anxiety to improve the education of girls and women is also due to the conviction that the political disabilities of women will not be maintained." - Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929)
Millicent Fawcett dedicated her life to peacefully fighting for women's rights but she remained an underrated leader of the suffrage movement (campaign for women to have the vote). She encouraged her politician husband Henry Fawcett to carry on with his work after he was blinded in an accident.
25. 25. "I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else - I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations." - Queen Elizabeth II (1926)

Queen Elizabeth has ruled over the United Kingdom for 60 years now and has presided over the country through some of the most turbulent times.

 26. "In too many instances, the march to globalisation has also meant the marginalisation of women and girls. And that must change." - Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947)

After becoming the first lady of Arkansas in 1983 and then the United States in 1993, Hillary Clinton has been a powerful force in US politics ever since. She was the first 'first lady' to be a candidate in elected office in 1999 (in the race for New York Senator, which she won and served for two terms). She has won numerous awards for her work concerning women, health and children.
27. "I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move." - Rosa Parks (1913-2005)
Also know as "the first lady of civil rights", the African-American Rosa Parks was a pioneer of civil rights in a racially segregated Alabama in 1950s. In 1955, she refused to give away her seat to a white passenger in a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, thereby, disobeying the bus driver's orders. This act of hers sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott that crippled the state capital's public transport system.

28. "Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave." - Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)
Indira Gandhi served India as the Prime Minister for 15 years. She paved the way for democracy in India until her assassination in 1984.
29. "The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters." - Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993)
Apart from being among the world's best known actresses, Audrey Hepburn put her fame into good use later in life and she became a UNICEF Ambassador. She travelled to various countries such as Ethiopia, Ecuador and Bangladesh to highlight various issues and set a great example for subsequent stars to follow.
30. "It's quite a daunting prospect, but hopefully I'll take it in my stride." - Catherine (1982), Duchess of Cambridge30.

Coming from a middle class family, Catherine, 30, has already made a difference to the way the centuries-old institution is regarded in the 21st Century. Furthermore, she has taken on the role of a patron to some selected charities - the National Portrait Gallery, East Anglia's Children's Hospice and Action on Addiction.
31. 31. "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." - Marie Curie (1867-1934) losmundosdebrana
The famously known "Madame Curie", a Polish-French physicist and chemist, was the first person to have received two Nobel Prizes. She 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.

Reference: emlii Internet  

Great Women in Philippine History

kuyarolly300My wife Elvira is one tough cookie. How she would thunder and scold to get her way! But that is her passion and her wonder: my whirlwind life has been colourful, but she has made it more vibrant and meaningful than it would’ve been without her.

The same goes for the history of the Philippines which has been influenced, moved and shaken by many women who made a difference. This day’s history special is dedicated to them.

In focus is March which is known in the Philippines, according to Presidential Proclamation No. 227, as ‘Women’s Role in History Month.’

Enjoy the ride!

International Women’s Day (IWD)
Before we talk about how Women’s Month began in the Philippines, let’s take a look at what was happening on the other side of the world when women were just beginning to fight for their rights.

The celebration of women’s achievements can be traced to the Women’s Day celebrations around America beginning 1908. IWD, originally called the International Working Women’s Day and patterned after the American celebrations, was soon adopted in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in the 1910s.

 Great Women in PH History 1

IWD in Europe was significant because it started to give Women’s Day celebrations a political flavour and was used as a tool by women to uphold their right to vote and attain equal rights.

Around that time, the feminist sentiment boarded a ship and reached the Philippine shores. In 1907, Filipinas started to invoke their right to vote and they slugged it out against the male-dominated legislative body for 30 years until the Women’s Suffrage Bill was passed in 1937.

After the suffrage debate was resolved, Filipinas and women around the world moved on to broader issues that affected them, including reproductive health, gender equality, violence, greater job opportunities and so much more. In the global level, the United Nations recognised the need to protect women against discrimination and declared the year 1975 as International Women’s Year and 1976–1985 as the Decade for Women.

International Women’s Day as it is celebrated worldwide today was made official in 1975. 8 March was the chosen day of celebration.

Women’s Month in the Philippines
The passage of a Women’s Month in the Philippines began in the unlikeliest of times: the Martial Law years.

In connection with the UN’s actions, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 633 on 7 January 1975 which created the National Commission on the Role of the Filipino Women (now Philippine Commission on Women or PCW). The decree was also the first in the Philippines that recognised the Filipina’s contribution to the nation and the need to promote equality between men and women.  Its basic roles were:

  • to promote economic, social and political empowerment of women and
  • to review and implement laws regarding women.

Greater women empowerment was later supported by President Corazon Aquino with the signing of the Presidential Proclamation No. 227 on 17 March 1988 that made March officially ‘Women’s Role in History Month.’

One of the outcome of PP No. 227 was it gave PCW the role of spearheading Women’s Month in the country through contests, exhibits, awards and other activities.

 Great Women in PH History 2

Today, Women’s Month is reserved to remember and celebrate Filipinas, regardless of background, who have strengthened the nation. During March, we are given the opportunity to recognise the value of Filipinas as social movers and as the foundation of our economy.

Prominent Filipinas in history
History has proven the importance of women in our society by giving us stories of their courage, intelligence and achievements. I am very happy to say there are plenty of Filipinas who have changed the face of Philippine history…even too many to mention! But let me just name a few:

 Great Women in PH History 3
Gabriela Cariño Silang
National Hero (1731 1763)
Considered a national hero; the ‘Joan of Arc of Ilocandia;’ la Generala of Ilocano uprisings against the Spanish Empire
 Great Women in PH History 4
Melchora Aquino (Tandang Sora)
National Hero (1812 1919)
Considered a hero of the revolution; ‘Grand Woman of the Revolution;’ ‘Mother of Balintawak;’ ‘Mother of the Katipunan;’ ‘Mother of the Philippine Revolution’
 Great Women in PH History 5
Josefa Llanes Escoda
Civic participation (1898 1945)
Founder of Girl Scouts of the Philippines; advocate of women’s suffrage

 Great Women in PH History 6
Fe del Mundo
Medicine (1911 2011)
National Scientist of the Philippines; pioneered pediatric care in the country; first woman admitted as student in Harvard Medical School; founder of Children’s Medical Centre; Order of Lakandula; Ramon Magsaysay Awardee
 Great Women in PH History 7
Estefania Aldaba-Lim
Medicine and Politics (1917 2006)
First Filipina psychologist; first woman to become Cabinet secretary as head of the Department of Social Services and Development (now known as DSWD); founding member of Philippine Mental Health; founding member of Museo Pambata Association; assistant secretary general for the UN
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Imelda Marcos
Politics (1929)
Incumbent Ilocos 2nd District Congresswoman; former Leyte 1st District Congresswoman; former First Lady of the Philippines; former Governor of Metro Manila
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Corazon Aquino
Politics (1933 2009)
11th President of the Philippines; First female president of the Philippines; ‘Icon of Philippine Democracy;’ Time Magazine’s 1986 ‘Woman of the Year’
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 Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Politics (1945)
Incumbent Senator; Incumbent Judge of the International Criminal Court; former Secretary of Agrarian Reform; former Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation; founder and leader of People’s Reform Party; Ramon Magsaysay Awardee

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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Politics (1947)
Incumbent Pampanga 2nd District Congresswoman; 14th President of the Philippines; 12th Vice President of the Philippines; former Secretary of National Defence; former Secretary of DSWD; former Senator
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Gloria Diaz
Beauty and Arts – Film (1951)
Miss Universe 1969; first Filipino to win Miss Universe; FAMAS Best Supporting Actress awardee
 Great Women in PH History 13
Nora Aunor
Arts – Film and Music (1953)
 ‘Superstar;’ first Philippine ‘Box Office Queen;’ FAMAS Hall of Famer; 5-time FAMAS Best Actress awardee; 7-time Gawad Urian awardee; 8-time PMPC Star Awardee; 8-time MMFF awardee; Centennial Honour for the Arts awardee; TOWNS awardee for the Arts; Ani ng Dangal Awardee; winner of various Asian  and European awards (Russia, Italy, Belgium, Malaysia, Egypt, France); first Filipino to win an international acting award; first Filipino to receive an acting nomination for a top-tier international film festival; most number of singles in Philippine recording history
 Great Women in PH History 14
Cecile Licad
Arts – Music (1961)
Virtuoso classical pianist; The New Yorker’s ‘Pianist’s Pianist;’ Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra soloist; Leventritt Competition Gold Medalist; Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin awardee
 Great Women in PH History 15
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde
Arts – Ballet (1964)
Philippine’s first Prima Ballerina; first foreign soloist to join Russia’s Mariinsky Ballet; Vice Chairman of UNESCO-Philippines National Commission; Artistic Director of Ballet Manila; former Commissioner of PCW
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Lydia de Vega-Mercado
Sports – Sprinting (1964)
‘Asia’s Fastest Woman;’ ‘Asia’s Sprint Queen;’ 3-time Southeast Asian Games Gold Medalist; 4-time Asian Athletics Championships Gold Medalist; Philippine and Southeast Asia record-holder for personal best; 2-time Olympian; 1982 New Delhi Asiad Gold Medalist; 1986 Seoul Asiad Gold and Silver Medalist;
 Great Women in PH History 17
Lea Salonga
Arts – Music, Film and Theatre (1971)
Laurence Olivier Awardee; Tony Awardee; first Asian actress to play Eponine and Fantine in Broadway’s ‘Les Miserables;’ multi-awarded actress for ‘Miss Saigon;’ first Filipino to be signed in an international recording label; first Philippine-based singer to have a major album distribution in America; 3-time Aliw Awards Best Child Performer; Presidential Award of Merit recipient; Order of Lakandula Awardee
 Great Women in PH History 18
Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski
Sports – Equestrian (1974)
2002 Asian Games Gold Medalist; member of the 125th International Olympic Committee Session
These names are just the tip of the iceberg; there are plenty more which stand at the bylines of history. There are also those who completely do not believe they have made a difference, but have proven their worth to the nation simply by embracing their roles as mothers and sisters. Why, take a look in the mirror and you can see one!

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The modern Filipina
Even as we recognise the significance of women in Philippine history, March more importantly serves to remind us to act upon improving the conditions of women today for the sake of our future. Here are some of the latest facts regarding the modern Filipina’s condition:

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Today, the Filipina is challenged to take on greater roles for her self-fulfillment and for progress in the name of our country. She can pursue any degree, can apply for any job and can do anything she wants. I am thankful that the attitudes on women here in our country is more liberated compared to countries were women are severel

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Maria Clara was Rizal’s ideal woman. Is it still true today? Share your opinion below!

To all my lady readers, mabuhay kayo!  You may agree or not with my list of distinguished Filipinas, but these women are just actually some of the many Filipino women that had and are making us proud as a Filipino.
Now, I’m going to find Elvira and celebrate her month the way she likes it, with a bit of attention and a whole lot of intelligent conversation. See you in our next chapter in history!
- See more at: http://ffemagazine.com/philippine-history-today-great-women-philippine-history/#sthash.memiSmak.dpuf

- See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/international-womens-day#sthash.dOFEmpcc.dpuf

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