Saturday, March 7, 2015

Honoring International Women's Day

March 8th is officially International Women's Day. Join us in celebrating the powerful female with this special blog posted dedicated to famous, infamous, little-known and forgotten amazing women.
Aurora's Women's Empowerment 

Women have shaped our personal and global history from the beginning of time yet women still only own 1% of the land in the world and their deeds have been omitted countless times from our collective history. Today we reach out across boarders and times zones to celebrate International Women's Day by sharing images and stories to honor some of womankind's great achievements, remember trailblazing women and inspire our future generations to push past any perceived limitations.

There are thousands of incredible women in history and we hope you'll be inspired to learn about all of them. Here are just a few of their stories. We've included links whenever possible for those inspired to learn more about these incredible women.

Women in Government, Royalty and Leadership:
Queen Liliʻuokalani, first and last queen regnant of Hawaii. Queen Liliʻuokalani (1838–1917) was the first female monarch of Hawaii to reign in her own right. Up until the 1890s, the Kingdom of Hawaii was an independent sovereign state, officially recognized by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Germany. During her reign, the Overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii took place in 1893, when she abdicated “to avoid any collision of armed forces, and perhaps the loss of life”.

She is also remembered for her many musical compositions, including the famous song “Aloha 'Oe” (“Farewell to Thee”). Many of these were written during her imprisonment after she abdicated her throne, and they express a deep love of her land and people. from AWF (All the Kick-ass women that history left out) 

“You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.” ~ Hillary Clinton 

Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973) was the first woman in the United States Congress. A Republican, she was elected statewide in Montana in 1916 and again in 1940. A lifelong pacifist, she was one of the 50 members of Congress who voted against the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917 and the only member of Congress who voted against declaring war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (World War II) in 1941.

Princess Urduja, The Warrior Princesses, ancient accounts say, was a 14th century woman ruler of the dynastic Kingdom of Tawalisi in Pangasinan, a vast area lying by the shores of the Lingayen Gulf and the China Sea. Pangasinan was an important kingdom then, and the sovereign was equal to the King of China. Known far and wide, Princess Urduja was famous for leading a retinue of woman warriors who were skilled fighters and equestrians. 

Women in Science and Medicine: 
Dr. Ida Rolf spent her life exploring the healing possibilities held within the human mind and body. In 1920, she received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Despite the resistance she faced as a woman in the field of science, she furthered her knowledge of the body through research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute. Her ambition to bring Structural Integration to as many people as possible took Dr. Rolf all over the world. Her desire was not simply to help others but to teach future generations the fruit of her life’s work. Dr. Rolf dedicated the rest of her life to developing and teaching the technique that was to later take her name.

Pioneer Molecular Biologist Rosalind Franklin made the first clear X-ray images of DNA’s structure. Her work was described as the most beautiful X-ray photographs ever taken. Franklin’s ‘Photo 51’ informed Crick and Watson of DNA’s double helix structure for which they were awarded a Nobel Prize. Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, aged 37, her contribution to DNA’s discovery story unacknowledged. Franklin was responsible for much of the research and discovery work that led to the understanding of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, DNA. Her work became foundational and and inspired the Rosalind Franklin University.

In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall traveled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share. The Jane Goodall Institute works to protect the famous chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in Tanzania. 

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots is the youth-led community action and learning program of the Jane Goodall Institute. The program builds on the legacy and vision of Dr. Jane Goodall to place the power and responsibility for creating community-based solutions to big challenges in the hands of the young people. Through the program, young people map their community to identify specific challenges their neighborhoods face.  From there, they prioritize the problems, develop a plan for a solution, and take action. "Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved." -Jane Goodall

Marie Curie - Biographical

Women Warriors, Guardians and Freedom Fighters: 

A rare vintage photograph of an Onna-Bugeisha, one of the female warriors of the upper social classes in feudal Japan.

Frances Clayton was a woman who fought on the Union side during the civil war disguised as a man. More about Frances Clayton and the women soldiers of the Civil War.

Feminist and revolutionary Qiu Jin was born in 1875 in China. She was vocal about women's rights and pressed for better access to education for women. At the time it was still customary for women to have their feet bound at the age of five, rendering women crippled and severely dependent on others. Qiu Jin encouraged women to resist oppression by their families and by the government, and to gain financial independence through education. She was beheaded by the authorities at the age of 31.
Female police officers, London, c1919

The Malala Fund: Quality Secondary Education for All Girls

Nightwitches - Female Russian bombers who bombed Germany during WW2. They had old planes & the engines routinely failed midway through their missions, so they had to climb out on the wings mid-flight to restart the props. They’d climb to a certain height, coast down to German positions, drop their bombs, restart their engines in midair. Their leader flew 200+ missions & was never captured.

Nubian Warrior Women of Kau, also known as the South East Nuba. Nuba mountains, Sudan | Photo taken by Leni RieFenstahl in 1975. Read more about these and other amazing African Female Warriors on Suppressed Histories. net. 

Women Pushing Boundaries, Breaking Stereo Types and Making a Difference:
About Eve Ensler from TED Bio
Eve Ensler created the ground-breaking "Vagina Monologues," whose success propelled her to found V-Day -- a movement to end violence against women and girls everywhere.

Inspired by intimate conversations with friends, Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues. The play recounts tender, funny, gripping and horrifying stories she gathered from hundreds of women about their bodies, their sexual experiences, and yes, their vaginas. Since its first staging in 1996, it has been translated into more than 45 languages, performed in more than 120 countries and an HBO film.

Gertrude Käsebier. Zitkala-Sa, 1898. Zitkala-Sa was a Yankton Dakota writer, teacher and activist, and founded the National Council of American Indians in 1926.

Panmela Castro was a 25-year-old graffiti artist in Brazil—using the streets of Rio de Janeiro as her canvas—when she realized she could turn her artwork into a radical public forum for change.

Camille Claudel (1864-1943) “was one of the rare female artists of the 19th century that did compete with the best male sculptors of her time."In 1883, Camille became acquainted with Auguste Rodin. Soon after Camille became his model, assistant and lover. “No other woman had such an intellectual, artistic and erotic impact on Rodin’s life like Camille Claudel.” 
Translation: Resist and rise before you're extinct!

Annie Oakley was the first woman Buffalo Bill hired for his Wild West show and was a trailblazer who challenged stereotypes about women of the time. Not only could she out-shoot men, she was out-earning most of them. Oakley also used her celebrity to campaign for a woman's right to paid employment and equal pay. 

Today She Rose, Bidding a fond farewell to a Phenomenal Woman...Tribute to Dr. Maya Angelou. Her written words open the minds and healed the hearts of countless souls. She gave a powerful voice to the stories of prejudice, female oppression and social injustice. Maya Angelou was born as Marguerite Johnson on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. Maya Angelou became one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. With over 50 honorary doctorate degrees Dr. Maya Angelou became a celebrated poet, memoirist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.

Nora Ephron Biography

Women Healers, Protectors and Sages:

MORRNAH NALAMAKU SIMEONA, Creator of Self I-Dentity through Ho’oponopono® (SITH®) (1913-1992)(D)

Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a native Hawaiian Kahuna Lapa’au, is the creator of Self I-Dentity through Ho’oponopono® (SITH®). As the Master Teacher, she lectured and conducted SITH® classes around the world, including at medical facilities, colleges and universities. Morrnah gave SITH® classes at the United Nations three times. The Hongwanji Mission of Honolulu and the Hawaii State Legislature honored Morrnah for her work and expertise in the Hawaiian language and culture by naming her a “Living Treasure of Hawai’i” in 1983. For more information about Morrnah check out this great blog post at

Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize; co-author of Half the Sky. She has journeyed through several industries, from banking to journalism and book writing, pulling together critical insights to bear upon her work. Most recently, she has written a new book, A Path Appears, about spreading opportunity and making a difference in the world. Previously, she was co-author of Half the Sky, about the oppression of women and girls around the world. Sheryl has used her immense talent as a writer, speaker and thought leader to advocate for those without the resources to advocate for themselves. Selected as one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World,” WuDunn has helped raise awareness about the challenges facing women, such as sex trafficking. 

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most well-known of all the Underground Railroad's "conductors." During a ten-year span she made 19 trips into the South and escorted over 300 slaves to freedom. And, as she once proudly pointed out to Frederick Douglass, in all of her journeys she "never lost a single passenger." "If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going." - Harriet Tubman.

Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. The 66-year-old spent most of the last two decades in some form of detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Myanmar (Burma). Aung San Suu Kyi is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma. In the 1990 general election, the NLD won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament .

Irena Sendler got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumber. She courageously smuggled babies in her tool box and carried larger children in her sack. She also trained her dog to bark when the Nazi soldiers were near, which muffled the sounds of the crying children. She helped save more than 2,500 children & was eventually caught & tortured. Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her story has inspired "Life in a Jar", the Irena Sendler Project.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi: linguist, mathematician, and philosopher. She is credited with writing the first book discussing differential and integral calculus. After her father's death in 1752 she carried out a long-cherished purpose by giving herself to the study of theology, and devoted herself to the poor, homeless, and sick. After holding for some years the office of directress of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns, she herself joined the sisterhood, and in this austere order ended her days.

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen also did research, gave speeches, and helped raise money for many organizations, such as the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind, which is now called Helen Keller Worldwide. From 1946 and 1957, she went around the world, speaking about the experiences and rights of people who are blind. She wound up visiting 39 countries on five different continents! Helen also inspired many works of art, including two Oscar-winning movies, and received dozens of awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that an American civilian can receive. She died in her sleep in 1968. "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker." -Helen Keller

One woman saves a mountain!
Mama Aleta an honored recipient of the 2013 Goldman Environmental Prize proves that it just takes one person that cares to make a difference. When the government began issuing permits to mine marble from the mountain in Mama Aleta’s homeland she was moved first to anger and then to action. “The philosophy of our people is that we regard the Earth as a human body, that stone is our bone, water is our blood, land is our flesh and forest is our hair. If one of them is taken away we are paralyzed.” Mama Aleta  

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center

Check out the website to see what other people are doing locally and worldwide to celebrate. This website is a global hub for sharing International Women’s Day information, events, news and resources. The website was founded in 2001 as a non-profit philanthropic venture dedicated to keeping International Women’s Day (IWD) alive and growing. Since 2007, IWD has gained considerable momentum due to greater media attention, events, social networking and corporate support. IWD is now celebrated via wide scale activity in almost every country and many world leaders support the day with official statements. This service is proudly provided by Aurora Ventures as a non-profit venture and kindly supported by a number of companies who make it possible for this International Women's Day website to operate. 

Happy International Women's Day! 
Thank you for honoring the feminine and thank you for visiting. Wishing you peace.

You can find more information about Aurora's Women's Empowerment Organization at:
Website Women's Empowerment:
Website Kadan Martial Arts:
Poetry Musings Blog:


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