‘Powerful’, now what’s the first thing that strikes your mind when you hear that word? Authority? Money? Fame? Simplicity? Guts? Dreamers? Doers? Believers? What?! In a world where power can hold different meanings for different people, women across the globe are contributing tenaciously towards strengthening the pillar of their presence and significance in the society, making them the perfect symbol for ‘powerful.’ Each era has seen a hero in a woman, and each day is a reason to celebrate her; her valour, her thoughts, her persistence, her dreams, and her will to make it happen.
This International Women’s Day, let’s talk about some women who have broken the shackles of the ugliness of the society and paved the way forward for several others. Their ferocity, their pain, and immense courage to construct a better and more compassionate world, is what is taking us all a step ahead in the combat against racism, patriarchy, politics, and hollow ideologies. Let’s meet them…
A proud poet and activist, whose work reflects issues revolving around oppression, racism, feminism, African diaspora; moved the world with her empowering poem – The Hill We Climb at the inaugural ceremony of the U.S. president – Joe Biden. Amanda was drawn to reading and writing right from the early days of her life. The first person to be named as the National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda never allowed her speech impediment to hold her back. She forged ahead and has now emerged as the shining beacon of hope. Her desire to create purpose through art and bind people, excites her and gives her the relentless strength to make a difference in this world. Here are the words of the young poet from The Hill We Climb.
A Lesbian Australian Comedian
Did someone say challenge the norm? Did someone say be real? Did someone say highlighting the pain behind comedy? Did someone say disrupt the rusted thinking? Nanette’s hero, Hannah Absolutely-Mind-blowing-Gadsby, struck the viewers like a bolt of lightning, when she unmasked the horrors of her life on stage, with her enormously gut wrenching stand up act. Hannah, who identifies herself as a lesbian and has been diagnosed with autism, tried to piece together her courage and create Nanette after the heated public debate that took place in Australia against same sex marriage. Her sharp commentary on homophobia, sexual violence, anger, shame and so much more, not only won the hearts of the commoners, but even propelled A-list celebrities to speak up about these matters. She shares with The Guardian “I broke the contract and that’s what made this work, I betrayed people’s trust, and I did that really seriously, not just for effect.” Here’s a piece of her from Nanette.
Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm
The Citizen Scientists, The Polar Ambassadors
“The stark beauty of our surroundings belies the fact that we are witnessing the devastating effects of the rapidly accelerating global climate crisis on almost a daily basis. This is a time to fully engage, not dis-engage,” say Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm.
This duo created history as they became the first women to overwinter in the Arctic sans men. How empowering does that sound? Very! Beating the odds, sustaining themselves in the toughest climatic conditions, surviving to collect data and accumulating stories, these two have made it crystal clear what an indomitable spirit is capable of doing. Sorby and Storm did their very best to keep people connected to the natural world by providing meaningful content and educating them on a plethora of topics while being isolated in the Arctic. Let’s raise a toast to their stellar teamwork, and of course, Etta!