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Celebrating Women

A voter checks her name before casting her vote during voting in
Egypt's presidential election, at a polling station in Giza,
south of Cairo. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

"To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?"― Mahatma Gandhi

March is Women’s History Month, and March 8 in particular is International Women’s Day, an annual celebration of women in all their roles and achievements.

Women have changed history, fought for equality, devised inventions, broken records, and challenged traditions. In honour of Women’s History Month, these are just some of the many countless women (and some of my favourites) who have made their mark in a lengthy history of positive change worldwide.

Marie Curie 1867-1934  The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize and the first person to win for two separate categories – radioactivity and chemistry. A few years later she also helped develop the first X-ray machines.

Helen Keller 1880-1968  Overcoming the frustration of losing both sight and hearing, Helen campaigned tirelessly on behalf of deaf and blind people throughout her life.

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962  As head of UN human rights commission Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights and helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights.

Rosa Parks 1913-2005 Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history. Rosa became one of the most well respected figures in the civil rights movement due to her peaceful and dignified campaigning.

Mother Teresa 1910-1997 Mother Teresa inspired others as a model of service and extreme goodness in creating an order tending to the orphaned, sick, and dying among the poorest of the poor in India and worldwide.
Jane Jacobs 1916-2006 Jane kept historic N.Y.C. neighborhoods from being razed for overdevelopment, and saved other American urban centers by popularizing the notion that cities should be humane, humanly scaled, and vibrant.
Benazir Bhutto 1953-2007  The first female prime minister of a Muslim country, Benazir 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.

Barbara Walters 1929-  The first woman to co-anchor a network's nightly news and earn an unprecedented $1 million a year for it, she has interviewed the world's most interesting people on our behalf.
Jane Goodall 1934-  A primatologist and conservationist, Jane began studying chimpanzee families at the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Roots & Shoots, her environmental organization for kids, has tens of thousands of participants — a new generation ready to protect wild animals and their habitats.
Sally Ride 1951- An astronaut and astrophysicist, Sally was the first American woman in space, 1983.
But you need not be famous, educated or rich to make a difference. Each one of us is making our own mark each day. Consider this a special opportunity to acknowledge the women who matter in your life – your grandmother, your mother, aunts, sisters, daughters, nieces, neighbours…No matter if you live in Canada, the US or elsewhere, there are special events being held to celebrate all the wonderful women of this world. 

Enjoy!

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