This past Sunday, March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day – a day that acknowledges issues and events related to womankind. A holiday that has been celebrated for over 100 years, this year’s theme is #MakeItHappen to encourage effective action for advancing and recognizing women.
There have been many powerful women of the past and present who have made an incredible impact on how our world now operates. Aero Jet Medical takes to heart women’s roles in society, especially with a female as CEO and president of our company.
In honor of the holiday, here a just a few women who left a mark on the world, and changed humanity’s perceptions for decades and, in some cases, centuries.
Amelia Earhart – Female pilot, Amelia Earhart, held a prominent aviation career and is well-known for her mysterious disappearance while trying to circumnavigate the world. In 1932, Earhart became the first woman – and the second person after Charles Lindbergh – to fly nonstop unaccompanied across the Atlantic Ocean. The accomplishment made Earhart an instant worldwide phenomenon and proved that she was a courageous and fully capable pilot. She then made the first solo, nonstop flight by a woman across the U.S., creating a women’s record of 19 hours and five minutes, along with setting a women’s distance record of 2,447 miles!
Elizabeth Blackwell – Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the U.S. She became a leading public health activist throughout her lifetime. In the late 1860s, Blackwell created a medical school for women, and as part of their education, students of the Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary learned about hygiene. With a strong belief that maintaining sanitary conditions was an important aspect of health, Blackwell helped establish the U.S. Sanitary Commission.
Emmeline Pankhurst – Woman suffrage organizer, Emmeline Pankhurst, led the women’s right to vote movement. Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a group known for extreme forms of protest, such as chaining themselves to railings and going on hunger strikes. Her notorious phrase, “We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers,” will always serve as a sense of empowerment. Unfortunately, Pankhurst never lived to see her dream come true, dying just three weeks prior to a law being passed to give women equal voting rights with men.
Helen Keller – American educator and author, Helen Keller, overcame the adversity of being blind and deaf to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians. During her remarkable life, Keller stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work and imagination can allow an individual to prevail over hardship. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of perseverance, she grew into a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others.
This short list of courageous ladies is by no means conclusive of women who impacted and changed the world. Please comment with suggestions on who you would include!