5 Trailblazing Women You Need To Know For International Women's Day

By: Phelicia Ball

What an inspiring day it has been to wake up to women and men celebrating women from all walks of life for International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, is a day to commemorate women on their achievements throughout the globe. Although a day of celebration, may we not omit the many struggles that women face around the world. Today is a call of action, and this year’s theme is vital to #PressforChange.

Let us recognize a few women who are brave, high-achieving and who are pushing boundaries in the name of change, while they shape the world around us. 

1.     Emma Gonzalez

Emma Gonzalez, photo via  New Yorker

Emma Gonzalez, photo via New Yorker

Emma Gonzalez made a call of action on gun control just days after the Parkland, Florida shooting at her high school, killing 17 of her classmates. She has been an astounding leader that so many of us can learn from and be inspired by; to be brave and to utilize our voices as weapons.

2.     Chenai Mathabire

Chenai, photo via  MSF

Chenai, photo via MSF

Chenai Mathabire is a nurse and epidemiologist from Zimbabwe who received the International AIDS Society award for establishing a much faster tuberculosis test that could be worked into health centers in southeast Africa. Who knew? No one talks about it! Mathabire, thank you for your dedication to the health and wellness of Africa.

3.     The 156 BRAVE Women Who Spoke Up Against Larry Nassar

photo via  BBC

photo via BBC

One hundred and fifty-six women, girls, mothers, daughters, and Olympians spoke up against a predator who abused them for years, Larry Nassar. Seldom were they believed, and now they have so bravely shared their stories with the entire world, sentencing Nassar to life in prison. The bravery of these women is truly astounding. No matter how young, you can be the change!

4.     Tarana Burke

photo via  Cosmopolitan

photo via Cosmopolitan

Tarana Burke is the first to use the phrase “#MeToo”, as well as the founder of the movement. Long before the movement even began, Burke used the phrase in 2006 encouraging sexual abuse victims to use their voices and understand that they are not alone, as she realized that empathy is vital in helping victims support one another. “Me Too” is now being used by women and men throughout many social platforms as they share their own stories on sexual abuse. This hashtag was used by many celebrities to share their pain as they were sexual assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, encouraging more and more women to speak up.

5.     Linda Sarsour, Tamika D. Mallory, Bob Bland, and Carmen Perez

photo via  Pop Sugar

photo via Pop Sugar

These miraculous women are the co-founders of the Women’s March on Washington, bringing millions of women and men to stand together and protest Donald Trump’s inauguration. The movement recognizes that “defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us” (Women’s March mission statement”). The Women’s March has since continued around the U.S. as well as around the world, as women demand for change.

Policies strip of from being equal, but these women and women alike truly have a gift. Progressive women are building on movements and pushing for the change that this world so badly needs. Today we celebrate the women that inspire us and shape us.

May we protect them, love them, be them, and raise them knowing that they too have a place in this world.


Kayla PasacretaComment