In recent months we have seen the strength of women who have been inspired to work for change in the midst of unjust structures and discriminatory attitudes. These women give voice today to truths that earlier generations of women understood and championed.
As we honor Women’s History Month, may we remember with gratitude the wisdom and perseverance of historic women and their accomplishments. May we celebrate the courageous women, then and now, who have worked tirelessly to create a better world for all.
Here are 10 women leaders we admire at LifeWay Network:
- Malala Yousafzai shares her passion and advocacy for human rights on a global stage with a special focus on ensuring access to education for women and girls. At a young age, she clearly understands that knowledge and education prevent discrimination and enhance empowerment in society.
- Making history in 1969 with her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou was the first African American woman on the nonfiction best seller list. Overcoming many hardships during her life-time, she shared her story with great faith and grace through poetry, writings, and speeches.
- Ruchira Gupta is a global force to end sex trafficking of women and girls. As the Founder and President of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, she brings attention to the link between trafficking and prostitution laws seeking to shift blame from victims to perpetrators, and strives to end sex trafficking in India by increasing choices for at-risk girls
- Sojourner Truth and her extemporaneous speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” delivered at the Ohio Women’s Convention in 1851 never fail to inspire with their relevance for us today. Born into slavery and escaping into freedom, she was a lifelong abolitionist and women’s rights advocate.
- An amazing educator, philanthropist, and civil rights leader, Mary McLeod Bethune, not only started a college for African American students which is still in operation, she was also a national advisor for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From a child of former slaves to shaping history, she teaches us that anything is possible.
- Dorothy Day was a tireless advocate for social justice and compassionate service for the most vulnerable in society. As co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, she valued prayer, peaceful resistance and generous hospitality, qualities that are at the heart of Catholic Worker Houses across the country.
- An attorney in New York City, Debra Brown Steinberg, is committed to finding innovative approaches to increase awareness of human trafficking and address the needs of immigrants and trafficking survivors. In 2013, she served on the Mayor’s Office Working Group for Survivors of Human Exploitation.
- Christine Caine, a survivor of sexual abuse, fights human trafficking as a pastor, international speaker and founder of The A21 Campaign. With ten offices in 9 countries, the organization has reached over a million people through their awareness campaign, and focuses on prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership.
- A leading force behind the women’s voting rights movement, Susan B. Anthony was an avid abolitionist and women’s rights advocate. In partnership with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, she led national efforts to guarantee rights to all regardless of race or gender.
- Rosa Parks wasn’t trying to become a leader of the civil rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. But her principled and simple refusal to change her seat on that bus led to a bus boycott and many other critical steps toward desegregation.