International Women’s Day Celebrates 10 Influential Figures in Human Rights

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International Women’s Day Celebrates 10 Influential Figures in Human Rights

International Women’s Day Celebrates 10 Influential Figures in Human Rights

March 8th is recognized around the world as International Women’s Day, in honor of the women who fought, bled, and died to earn women the rights to freedom of speech, to vote, and even the ability to get jobs, and as a mute testament to how far much of the world still has to go. Today, much of the point seems to be lost as stores around the globe scramble to make an extra buck, offering discount codes “in honor of women’s day”. But while these discount codes and shopping frenzies are all the rage, being a woman is about more than shopping. Meanwhile, the gender gap continues to persist in many jobs, women earn anywhere from $1 to 75% less for the same jobs around the globe, and the rape crisis is just that, a crisis. So, without further ado, here are some of the most influential women whom you should be giving your attention, gratitude, and admiration to today.

Mary Wollstonecraft


Few have heard of Mary Wollstonecraft but her legacy as one of the first champions of women’s rights lives on. Born in 1759, Mary became the author of the single most significant book in women’s suffrage, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women”, which set clear moral and practical guidelines for the treatment of women as people with political and human rights.

Margaret Fuller


Margaret Fuller was born in 1810 and went on to write a novel that is largely recognized as having changed mass perceptions of men and women. Her book, “Women in the 19th Century”, argued for gender equality, women’s rights, and women in the workforce in order to reduce dependency on men. As one of the first of its kind, the book literally sparked a revolution.

Harriet Beecher Stowe


Largely known as the author of the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, few realize that it was her staunch feminism and promotion of equal rights for all that helped spark the Civil War. Stowe’s book helped to popularize the anti-slave campaign, proving that women’s rights and human rights go hand in hand.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton


While largely unheard of in modern society, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a key figure in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Today, she is credited with starting the first organized women’s rights movements and organizations in the U.S., essentially, kicking off a landslide. She was also an abolitionist, and was the first to address issues such as custody, income, divorce, and economic health for women.

Emmeline Pankhurst


Emmeline Pankhurst is one of the most dedicated suffragette’s, who, unfortunately died in 1928, just three weeks before a law she had fought for her entire life came into play, the right to vote in the UK. Emmeline pushed for women’s rights with hunger strikes, public demonstrations, speeches, and even violence, proving that women are every bit as capable as men when it comes to their rights.

Marie Curie


Not content to be an intellectual in an era when women were dismissed as stupid, Marie Curie went on to become the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the first recipient in two categories. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris and the first woman to be entombed at the Pantheon in Paris on her own merits. Her achievements live on in todays hospitals and scientific community.

Emily Murphy


Emily Murphy became the first female magistrate in the British Empire, flaunting common belief at the time that women were not people. In 1927, she fought to challenge Canadian laws to this effect, doing so until her death in 1933.

Eleanor Roosevelt


Commonly brushed aside as the wife of a president, Eleanor Roosevelt is someone to look up to in her own right. Not only did she campaign for human rights throughout her entire life, she also helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of Human Rights, which would be her crowning achievement.

Simone de Beauvoir


Despite being a little known figure in feminism, Simone de Beauvoir created a place for herself as one of the leading existential philosophers of the 20th century. Her book “The Second Sex” was a defining moment for feminism by depicting and arguing against the rampant sexism present in modern culture.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks On Bus

Rosa Parks became one of the most well-respected persons in the civil rights movement for her peaceful and dignified campaigning. Her refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus has become a defining moment in the move towards equal rights, and was eventually the cause of several significant civil rights legislations in the U.S.

With ten mentions, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of mentioning influential women who helped to shape the world we know today. Furthermore, we haven’t mentioned women like Bennazir Bhutto, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, or Indhira Ghandi. Have not touched on modern influential women such as Valentine Moghadham, Yanar Mohammed, the many Kurdish female fighters, or Malala Yousafzai who are, today, making an impact on women’s rights, education, and Freedom in modern society.

Who are some of your female role models? What are some of the things you wish could change for women?

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Proliferate writer, sesquipedalian, techie, Apple fangirl (don't judge),tree hugger, yogi, tea drinker, zombie hunter. Into philotherianism & philomathy. Love my job. Visit me on Google +

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