Inspiring Thursday: Florence Howe (1929-2020)

Florence Howe was born in 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. Since she was a little girl, her parents and especially her mother who was a bookkeeper instilled a love of learning in Florence. Learning and education became a lifelong passion for her. Moreover, her intelligence and hard work predestined her for a wide range of …

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Inspiring Thursday: Malala Yousafzai

“I tell my story, not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls.” Malala Yousafzai was born in 1997 in Pakistan. Her father, who has an enormous influence on her, was a teacher at local school. Malala attended this school and became very passionate about her education. …

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Inspiring Thursday: Rebecca Gomperts

Dr. Rebecca Gomperts is the Founder and Director of Women on Waves and Women on Web, two non-profit organisations providing help and information on safe abortion and contraception. After completing a Masters in Public Policy at Princeton University and a PhD at Karolinska Institutet, Rebecca became an abortion doctor and environmental activist sailing with the …

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Inspiring Thursday: Riham Yacoub

“We are expecting that we might get killed as well, but this won’t stop us from asking for our rights and it won’t stop us from living.” Riham Yacoub was born in 1991 in Iraq into a middle-class family. She was a doctor, nutritionist and ran a woman´s gym in the Iraqi city of Basra. …

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Inspiring Thursday: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

“I’m tired of being silent. I’m tired of being afraid.” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was born in Mikashevichy, then Soviet Union, now Belarus. She grew up in Belarus but spent many summers in Roscrea, Ireland as part of a Chernobyl children´s programme which provided recuperation of health after they were affected by the radioactive fallout during the …

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Inspiring Thursday: bell hooks

In the introduction to “Feminism is for Everybody,” African American scholar bell hooks describes her discovery of feminism as an opposition to “the strongest patriarchal voice in my life — my mother’s voice” (Feminism is for Everybody, X). Identifying the internalized sexism that pervades social and cultural values, hooks can grapple with feminism in its …

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Inspiring Thursday: Alexandra Kollontai

In pre-revolutionary Russia, aristocratic women had little choice but to be expected to become faithful wives and devoted mothers, their lives revolving around domesticity and family duties. However, the Marxist revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai showed that it was possible to follow a different path. At the age of 27, she joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour …

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Inspiring Thursday: Ni Una Menos

„Ni una menos! Vivas nos queremos!” (“Not one [woman] less! We want to stay alive!”) This “collective scream against machista violence”[1] is born in Argentina, a country where every 30 hours a woman is killed. In 1995, Susana Chávez, a Mexican poet, was the first to protest the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, writing the sentence …

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Inspiring Thursday: Franca Viola

1965, Sicily, Italy: a young woman named Franca Viola, abducted and raped for a week, had the courage to publicly refuse to marry her rapist, thus becoming the first Italian woman to defy a long-standing legal and cultural tradition that was harmful to women – the matrimonio riparatore (literally rehabilitating marriage, a sort of “marry-your-rapist” …

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Inspiring Thursday: Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton is an American computer software programmer and systems engineer who, in the 1960s, served as Director of the Software Engineering Division of the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory. Renowned mathematician and computer science pioneer, she was the scientist who coined the term “software engineering” in the first place, to better describe her work. She was …

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