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Women’s Day: Contributions of Women To The World

International Women's Day, which is celebrated on March 8th, has become a global celebration. It serves as a powerful reminder of women’s significant achievements and contributions throughout history.

This day reinforces the fact that women are still experiencing hardships about gaining rights and giving voice to their opinions due to the oppression of men in politics or even within their families.

There are many women throughout history that contributed to today’s world in different ways. In this article, we will explore eight world-renowned women, in honor of the 8th of March.

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai has become one of the youngest laureates of the Nobel Prize, an honored prize given in several different areas to people who sparked a meaningful change or contributed significantly to an area.

Born in July 1997 in Pakistan, she had the opportunity to experience and observe the difficulties girls had in getting a proper education. Her dad was determined to give her all the opportunities an average boy has yet a girl does not. In the light of her father’s ideology, she went to school until the age of 11, but when the Taliban took control in her state, girls were banned from going to school.

Even after these incidents, she did not give up on her ambition to provide a decent education to girls, and in 2012, just for speaking up, she got shot in the head and woke up in England, at a hospital and she continued her actions there. Additionally, with the help and support of her father, she established a fund to raise awareness on the issue. Overtime, her work was recognized by many and she gained such respect that she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

Marie Curie

Being a physicist and chemist, Marie Curie was the first woman ever to become the laureate of the Nobel Prize and the only person to receive a Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields.

After her education, she became a Professor of General Physics, being the first woman to hold this position. She also became the director of a laboratory named after her, the Curie Laboratory, in 2014.

When she first started her research, she had unsuitable conditions and a poor laboratory, but her determination, research, and analyses led her to discover Polonium and Radium. She developed different methods of separation and also dug deeper to find out more about the characteristics of these elements. She still is an inspiration for all scientists from all around the world and continues to guide their research with her well-respected discoveries.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, also known as the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement, initiated a civil rights movement when she refused to give her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955.

Her action inspired many other people to boycott, which was led by Martin Luther King Jr. Even though she was arrested, she did not give up and continued her protests, as a loud, black person.

She expressed the situation with these words: “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” (Rosa Parks).

Florence Nightingale

Also known as the Lady With the Lamp, Nightingale was a nurse, a social reformer, and a statistician, best known for being the founder of modern nursing. Her experiences as a nurse during the Crimean War influenced and changed her views about sanitation, resulting in her establishing a hospital and also a training school for nurses in 1860. Young women were inspired by her. She even succeeded in getting the attention of upper-class women and made them enroll in the training school. Her efforts and contributions pioneered the quality of healthcare in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Frida Kahlo

Kahlo was a Mexican artist mostly known for her symbolic and surreal paintings. Her works usually explored identity, gender, and postcolonialism, raising awareness by making people think and question due to the themes of Mexican and indigenous culture and feminist mindset she had. Some of her notable artworks are “Frieda and Diego Rivera”, showing her interest in Mexican Folk Art, “My Birth” and “Henry Ford Hospital”. The unique perspective of her paintings made her become an important and influential figure in the world.

Her popularity grew after she passed away; her reputation heightened and reached a status that critics refer to as “Fridamania” by the 21st century. Today, she is remembered for her bold, vibrant color choice in her drawings and her self-portraits as well as the pain she experienced and the passion she had.

Sally Ride

In 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman to fly to space. She was named a mission specialist for Space Shuttle Challenger’s STS-7 mission with four male crewmates, making a place for herself in history, and flew a second mission in 1984. Following these two missions, she went on a successful academic career at the University of California San Diego. Moreover, she holds the distinction of being the only person to serve as a member of both investigation boards following NASA’s two accidents.

After leaving NASA, she launched several business ventures and became a physics professor, inspiring the next generation of enthusiastic people about science and space exploration, scientists, and astronauts considering the fact that her contributions to America’s space program continued until she died in 2012, at the age of 61.

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai was the Green Belt Movement's founder and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate on behalf of her contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace. As a Kenyan environmentalist and political activist, she authored four books and was featured in several books and documentaries herself.

She has taken holistic approach to sustainable development and human rights especially women’s rights. Moreover, The Green Belt Movement focused on these areas and led by her. Her acts empowered women in rural areas but also had impacts on sustainability.

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace is considered the first computer programmer and is an English mathematician and author. She translated an article about Charles Babbage and also provided her own input, eventually creating an algorithm that can be actually used. She suggested that this programming technique can work with other variables rather than numbers and for these she is referred to as the first computer programmer as well.

Furthermore, the early programming language “Ada” was named for her and every year October 2nd is celebrated as Ada Lovelace Day, on which women’s contributions to STEM areas are honored. This idea guided many and she became a significant contributor to the area of computer programming.

To sum up, there have been countless influential women throughout history, but they are still oppressed and seen as inferior by men. It is important to highlight that the 8th of March is an important reminder of the constant struggle of women for gaining rights and also their any and all contributions to today’s world despite all the limitations. Happy women's day!

Works Cited

Yousafzai, Malala. “Malala’s Story | Malala Fund.”, Malala Fund, 2023.

The Nobel Prize. “The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903.”, The Nobel Prize, 2024. Editors. “Rosa Parks.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 9 Nov. 2009.

“Frida Kahlo - Mexican Artist, Surrealism, Self-Portraits | Britannica.”

“Sally Ride.”

“Ada Lovelace | Lemelson.”‌

Cstraight Media - “Wangari Maathai | the Green Belt Movement.., 2011.


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