History is full of the amazing accomplishments of women, so it almost seems a shame that we only really think of them on March 8th. Nevertheless, the contribution that women have made to all aspects of life is enormous.
Women have provided the arithmetic to space missions, the science to medical research, the beauty to world-class art, the performances to our favorite films, music, plays and TV shows. Women have explored, journeyed, examined, analysed, mapped, and more, alongside men throughout history. Their diligent work, love and passions permeate every facet of our lives to such an extent that we now take it for granted. (That in itself is something to be celebrated.)
Here is a small list of just 10 of the women you might have forgotten – or never heard of – who affect your life every day.
Rosa Parks is best known for refusing to give up her seat for a white passenger on a segregated bus in Alabama. Her actions directly led to the desegregation of buses in the US. She was also a trained civil rights activist and worked with Planned Parenthood.
The Mexican artist is famous for her self-portraits, passion and bold use of color in her paintings. She never compromised her portrayal of Mexican culture or her depiction of the female experience.
The recipient of 5 patents for items that we still use daily, this lady is seriously impressive. She received patents for the sanitary towel and the bathroom tissue holder, among others. Mary always emphasised that her efforts were not about making money, but about improving the lives of others.
Physicist and chemist, Marie Curie, is best known for her work on radioactivity which led to her winning a Nobel prize. Sorry, no, not prize but prizes. Plural. She won in 1903 and later again in 1911. She was also the first woman to become Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne in France.
This beauty salon owner affected the lives of stylists around the world when she invented the permanent wave machine. Before that it was necessary to heat up a bunch of rods in an oven to give ladies the perms they wanted. Marjorie also has the distinction of being the 1st Black woman to receive a patent for an invention. She also invented a scalp protector for use with the machine and later co-founded the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association in 1945.
Bones found on a Pacific island were only last week confirmed as belonging to this American adventurer who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. For her accomplishments she received the the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. Amelia was also a member of the National Woman’s Party and supported the Equal Rights Amendment.
Like toast? Well one of your favorite snacks was made possible by Ruane Jeter. She invented the toaster and also invented sheathed scissors and the stapler, among other innovations.
She was an English mathematician who worked on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical computer. Ada described herself as a poetical scientist and she is considered the world’s first computer programmer thanks to her notes on the first algorithm for computers. Ada was a visionary who realized that computers would eventually be used for far more than just number-crunching.
This huge 1960s star of Hollywood and Broadway was the first Black woman to get her own TV series which would eventually land her an Emmy and Golden Globe. Diahann was also nominated for an Academy Award.
Hedy was a huge star of the studio system and epitomised MGM’s Golden Age. Did you know that Hedy was also an inventor. She invented an early version of spectrum communications and frequency hopping. Technology she created is still being used in our modern devices that we use today.
These are stunning achievements that truly show that women are at least the equal of men, and should be treated that way.
While these are great deserve recognition for the everyday things that they do for us. The women in our lives love and nurture us from the moment we are conceived. Our mothers, sisters and friends are there for us when we need them. They are there in the good times and bad. Our wives and girlfriends know us better than almost anyone. When times are bad they know how to make us feel better and how to listen. We adore them all and appreciate all that they do.
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