International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating women’s historical, cultural, and political achievements. The day was also observed in support of taking action against gender inequality worldwide. We all know the world couldn’t run without women (we mean, listen to Beyoncé). This is the day to appreciate their efforts! Organizations large and small come together to show just how women are valuable in today’s society.
Today, we honor and celebrate the women featured and all women across the globe.
“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.”
Malala Yousafzai was born in Pakistan on July 12, 1997. Yousafzai’s father was a teacher and ran an all-girls school in her village; however, when the Taliban took over her town, they enforced a ban on all girls going to school. In 2012, at the age of 15, Malala publicly spoke out on women’s rights to education, and as a result, a gunman boarded her school bus and shot the young activist in the head.
Yousafzai moved to the UK, where she became a fierce presence on the world stage and became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, at 17 years old. Malala is currently studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford.
Nigerian-American economist served as the seventh director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 2021. She was the first woman and the first African to head the WTO.
Okonjo-Iweala held leadership and advisory positions in scores of international, non-governmental, and charitable organizations, including the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI); the African Union, as chair of the African Risk Capacity Group—an agency established to help African countries prepare for and respond to extreme weather events and other natural disasters—and as a special envoy to negotiate international financial assistance for combating the COVID-19 pandemic; the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate; the International Commission on Financing Global Education; the Rockefeller Foundation; and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
On May 12, 1820, Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, which inspired her name. She was a trailblazing figure in nursing who greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper medical care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as the ‘Lady with the Lamp.’
Nightingale defied the expectations of the time and pursued what she saw as her God-given nursing calling. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing death. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform, and in 1860 she established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. A revered hero of her time, she died in London on August 13, 1910.