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International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on the the 8th of March. Every year, on this day we acknowledge and think about the economic, social political and cultural achievements of women over the centuries. This occasion is celebrated around the world, to highlight the struggles that women have gone through, and their achievements, and to commemorate all the women who have helped us get this far, and who have shown that women can get anywhere.

This year, on the 8th of March, the new president of the US, Joe Biden, said in his speech “ On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements, contributions, and progress of women and girls in the United States and around the globe. My Administration is committed to honouring women by investing in their opportunity, security, and wellbeing.”

Kamala Harris, the new vice president of the US, will be one of the women we think of as someone who made a difference. International Women’s Day is an event aimed at “ celebrating women’s empowerment and leadership during Covid times” she quotes, as she calls on all the nations to build a world that works for women. Doing so is “ not just an act of goodwill,” but a “ show of strength”.

“If we build a world that works for women, our nations will all be safer, stronger and more prosperous,” Kamala Harris said.

We have many examples of women who over the years, have gotten us this far, by showing what women are capable of doing by themselves:

Let’s start with Jane Austen, she started writing as a teenager, and went on to write six major novels which revealed what life was like in the late 1700s and early 1800s. All the books she wrote, are now international classics, and very important in British literature. Some examples of these are Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. Her face is also on the £10 notes.

Next stop, Florence Nightingale. A woman who helped save many lives. She was born into a rich family who frowned at her as she started her career as a nurse. She received a letter after moving to London from the Secretary of War, asking her to gather a team and help them with the British soldiers, because more injured soldiers were coming in every day and many were dying from the lack of good doctors. This was the first time that women had been officially allowed to serve in the army. Florence Nightingale stayed up every evening taking care of the soldiers, even in the conditions that they were in: there weren't enough beds, everything was filthy, there weren't proper toilets and there were rats everywhere.

Emeline Pankhurst

She was the founder of a group of women called the Suffragettes, who fought for women to have the right to vote. During the Second World War, many men were on the front lines, and so she encouraged women to take on men's jobs, to help out. She survived just long enough to see when in 1918, a law was passed that allowed women to have the right to vote.

Last in this list but not least, Katherine Johnson. She was a simple mathematics teacher, when she received a job offer at NASA, offering her to be one of their women scientists. She accepted the offer. It was a good job, but men corrected their work for them, and they had very small quality jobs. She continued to work with great determination, and her hard work paid off. Katherine was offered a job, where she was the only woman in a group of men mathematicians. She was not treated very fairly, until they all saw how smart she was. The first Man to go to the moon, he wasn’t sure about the calculations which were to allow him to get to the satellite. However, he had seen her work, and knew how good she was with numbers. He asked her, over all the mathematicians to check the calculations due to her trust in her abilities. She died in 2019, and will be remembered and honoured for her work.

These are only a few of the hundreds of women who have made a difference. Lets continue to let women take credit for their work, and on International Women's Day, think about all those women who have made a difference, and congratulate them mentally, for their work, and achievements.

Margot Lantrade 7I

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