20 Jul Challenges of being a woman and 5 amazing women who fight for women’s rights
As a woman, you have a lot of different functions in life and usually, a lot is expected from you. You have to behave a certain way; you have to look and dress a certain way and you should always be caring and kind. You should be smart, hardworking, and humble and you better be always in a good mood and happy. You should be married at a certain age; be ready for children at any given moment, be reliable, and so on. The list is long. A lot of women are experiencing this pressure of having to be perfect all the time. And the saddest part is that the work they do or the kindness they spread is not even valued as much as it should be. In other words, it is taken for granted.
Unfortunately, in our times’ values like money and material success have become more dominating values. Consequently, receiving rewards, respect and gratitude are more connected to those values than to actual care or kindness. The system is simply out of balance. Both are important and both should be valued. But as a woman in the business world, it’s not always easy. Some of us have experienced that in certain business circumstances you as a woman are not taken very seriously. You often have to prove yourself double as much as your male competitors and get even a lower salary on average for the same work. If you are an ambitious woman and you want to have success on all levels you usually experience a lot of glass walls on your way to success. A lot of frustration and loneliness are often also connected to this path. Petra Emma Jones talks amazingly beautiful about the loneliness and struggles women experience on their life path. https://thesmartspirit.com/begin-anywhere-find-your-happy-place/
And some of us women deal easier with it and some not. But the good thing is that we are all in this together. And as the old saying goes ‘A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.’ In this article, we honor 5 amazing women that have been able to contribute great things to make this place a better world for women.
1. Malala Yousafzai
She was born in Mingora, Pakistan on July 12, 1997. In October 2012 on her way home to school, a masked gunman has boarded on her school bus. He shot her on the left side of her head. She survived and discovered after many months of rehabilitation. Together with her father, she established the Malala Fund, a charity dedicated to giving every girl an opportunity to achieve a future she chooses. For her work, she received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2014 and became the youngest-ever Nobel laureate.
Additionally, she studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford. Since then she fights every day to ensure all girls receive a free, safe, and quality education. She travels to many countries to fight poverty, wars, child marriage, and gender discrimination.
2. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Since Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became president of Liberia in 2006. She was the first elected woman head of state in Africa. She signed a Freedom of Information Bill and was able to reduce the national debt. She also established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which lead to less corruption, dictatorship, and poverty through the empowerment of women. She was awarded for the 2011 Nobel Peace prize. One of our favorite quotes is from her:
‘If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.’
3. Emma Watson
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson (born 1990) is an English actress and model. She made her way in our hearts through the famous film series “Harry Potter”. But apart from her unique acting career Emma Watson is an activist that fights for women’s rights. She is a UN Women Goodwill ambassador that has promoted education for girls visiting Bangladesh and Zambia to do so. She launched the campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate for gender quality. In July 2019, Watson was involved in launching a legal advice line for people who have suffered sexual harassment at work.
4. Ruth Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an American lawyer and jurist who is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She began her law career very young and fought laws that were discriminating on the basis of gender. With patience, she fought for equality all her life. She expressed big support for the #MeToo movement in 2018.
5. Gloria Steinem
Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social-political activist. She was known as a leader and spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s. She also was a columnist for the New York magazine and a co-founder of Ms. magazine. Additionally, she is the president of the Ms. Foundation. This foundation is a multi-racial fund that supports the empowerment of women and girls.
Here is a great quote from Gloria Steinem:
‘Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.’
Thanks to these amazing women, we have a much better life already than the women in generations before us. There is still a lot of inequality in the world, but it is moving in the right direction. It is not just the discrimination of women, there is discrimination because of race, beliefs, and many other reasons. But movements like #metoo and #blacklivesmatter show that the world is ready to slowly improve its conditions.