March is Women’s History month. Here are some that might have been missing in your school history lessons.
As National Women’s History month ends, it is important to thank the women around you who influence your everyday life. It is also important to remember the women who have helped shape our reality. These women are individuals who strive(d) to create a better future for women everywhere. Here are a few women who you may not be familiar with that we can officially consider “she-roes.”
Margaret Higgins Sanger (born as Margaret Louise Higgins) was an American birth control activist, writer, nurse and sex educator in the early twentieth century. In 1916, she created a movement by opening the first birth control clinic in the United States. In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League which was later renamed the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger is widely referred to as the founding member of the modern birth control movement. Margaret Sanger died in 1966.
Shirley Anita Chisholm was an American politician and author who is known for being the first black woman elected to the United States Congress. Chisholm represented New York’s 12th congressional district from 1969 to 1983. She was not only the first black candidate for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, but Chisholm was the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1972. Chisholm died in 2005. In 2015, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her life’s achievements.
Shirin Ebadi is best known as being Iran’s first female judge and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. Ebadi opened her own legal practice to defend those who were being unfairly persecuted by authorities. In 2000, Ebadi was imprisoned because of her work criticizing her country’s hierocracy through her law practice. She has since become an activist for fundamental human rights in Iran emphasizing on the rights of women and children. For her efforts for democracy and human rights, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. Ebadi currently resides in Iran and is continuing her efforts at the age of 72.
Madam C.J. Walker otherwise known as Sarah Breedlove was an early twentieth century American philanthropist and social activist. Walker is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first self-made millionaire in America. She made her fortune by creating and marketing a line of cosmetics and hair products for black women. Between 1911 and 1919, Walker is said to have given jobs to thousands of women as sales agents for her products. She was a pioneer in guiding women to work outside of their home. Walker died in 1919. Her fascinating story has recently been captured in a new Netflix original film Self Made.