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Barrier Breaking Women

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Sally Ride

I want to tell you about Sally Ride. She inspires me because she was the first American women in space, and I want to be an astronomer when I grow up. This made a difference because she paved the way for many other women to go into space. Sally Ride teaches us that women can do what was thought to be the impossible for a women. -Cass, 12, NV

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I want to write about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a Supreme Court Justice. She was one of the three women in the Supreme Court. Before she became a judge, she argued cases in front of the Supreme Court which expanded the rights and privileges of women. She helped change many laws that have made our country better for all citizens. She wanted EVERYONE to be treated fairly. She made it possible for many people to pursue their dreams, like Kamala Harris.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a difference by legally protecting women from discrimination at school and at work. Today, girls can learn that real change requires hard work, persistence, and insisting on fair systems. –Olivia, 12, Indiana

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman was part of President Biden and Vice President Harris’s Inauguration and she spoke a poem that she wrote called “The Hill We Climb”. She is the first National Youth Poet Laureate, and she is also just 22!

No matter how old you are, you can have a positive effect on the world and inspire people to do good. –Freyja, 11, Washington

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a young Pakistani activist who fought for the rights of girls to go to school in Pakistan.

When Malala was only 11 years old, she started to speak out and protest against the Taliban, a group of terrorists who forbid girls to go to school and for women to do many other things. Even though it was very dangerous, Malala attended school in secret and stood up for the basic rights of girls to go to school. When Malala was 15 years old, she was shot by the Taliban, because she opposed their beliefs. Luckily, Malala survived and after her recovery, she continued to speak out. When Malala was 17 years old, she became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Even though the Taliban tried to silence Malala, she showed tremendous bravery by continuing to speak out against them. She has since graduated from Oxford University.

Malala made a difference in the lives of girls all over the world when she spoke for the rights of girls to have an education. After she won the Nobel Peace Prize, she used the prize money to open schools in Pakistan for girls to get an education, and has traveled around the world to North America, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa on the Girl Power Trip to help promote girl’s education and encourage girls to pursue their passions and continue their education.

Girls today can look to Malala as an example of how they can make a difference in the world. Malala did and still does stand up for what she believes in, even when many people around her protested against her ideas and tried to silence her. Malala saw an injustice in the world and did all she could to correct it. From her example, we can learn to follow our passions, to take risks, to try our best in school, and to do what we want to do, not what others tell us we should do. –Jocelyn, 14, New Jersey

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson wrote a book called Silent Spring, which is about the negative effects that the pesticide DDT has on birds, fish, bees, and other species. She helped raise awareness of the growing dangers menacing the natural world.

Ms. Carson’s achievements led to gaining a better understanding as to how pesticides can be harmful to the environment. Thanks to her, there is tighter control on the use of pesticides, and far fewer species are threatened by this poison.

Girls today can learn how important it is to take care of our planet and to be careful of products that can potentially be devastating to the environment. Rachel Carson has shown us how one person can have a big impact, not only on the environment, but also on girls and women who want to make a difference in our world. –Lucie, 13, Pennsylvania

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Shirley Chisholm

I’d like to tell you about someone who really shaped political Herstory. Her name is Shirley Chisholm, and she did so much for women and people of color.

In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress. She had a campaign motto of “unbought and unbossed”, and served 7 terms representing New York’s 12th congressional district. That’s great and all, but Chisholm did something truly amazing when she was done serving in congress – she ran for president!

Many people criticized and questioned Shirley Chisholm, as POTUS (President of the US) was considered a position for men in 1972, the time of Chisholm’s campaign. She responded, “I ran because somebody had to do it first”. When I read this quote of hers, my eyes really opened up to the potential that each and every woman has. There’s a first time for everything, and that includes a female president. Even though Chisholm didn’t end up being elected President, she had the courage and determination to try, and that’s what matters, in my opinion.

I think that people can and should learn a lot from Shirley Chisholm. For one, she completely overlooked race and gender stereotypes, which paid off for her when she was elected to Congress. Also, would have taken so much courage on Chisholm’s part to run for president as an African American woman in 1972. She really advertised the fact that women are capable of anything, and for that I admire her! –Lily, 13, Wisconsin

Who inspires YOU? Share Your Voice

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton was the first ever woman nominated by a major party for the position of the President of the United Sates. She broke barriers for women.

Her achievement made all the difference today because she has inspired many women across the country to break barriers, including Kamala Harris.

Girls today can learn that no matter what, you should never give up on doing what is right. –Althea, 10, California

Out of all the First Ladies of the United States, Hillary Clinton was the first to be elected to the United States Senate let alone an American public office position. Clinton was also the first female senator from New York. One may argue that the most prevalent accomplishment of Clinton’s is her being the first female to win the Democratic Party’s primary election and was nominated for president. Although she lost the 2016 election, Clinton was the first female to win the popular vote for president in America.

Hillary Clinton reinforced the need for feminism in society. She reminded people how women were negatively treated or viewed versus how they properly should be respected whether it be in the political world or in the professional workforce. Clinton’s initiatives in improving the lives of women all throughout the nation really brought the females of America some hope in their future. She showed that the same woman who is a First Lady can also be elected to office and be one of the final two candidates when running for the country’s presidency. By Clinton being nominated for president by the Democratic Party, it awakened the eyes of so many Americans who would freeze, contemplating that for the first time since 1789 there might not be a Mr. President, but a Madame President. She broke a barrier to say the least. Clinton redefined what it means to be a woman in America and normalized a female’s abilities to run an entire country.

Today, girls can take into account Clinton’s perseverance and determination to make this country a better place for these young girls who wish to be whatever they choose. Girls can now accept that their gender is not a blockade that will hinder their success, but is a blessing that can be used to achieve and inspire others to reach for their aspirations. Females can learn that they are just as capable of making history as males and that no discrimination against themselves should be tolerated or prevent them from attaining their goals, no matter how large that dream is. Clinton maintained multiple public office positions which help girls understand that females have the power to lead and lead ambitiously and successfully. If none of these previously mentioned statements are grasped, then may a girl absorb (with her whole heart) this next one. Clinton taught females to speak up for what they believe is important. A female should never regret that she never discussed a topic she felt so passionate about. Clinton reminded women that they have a voice, no matter the age, socioeconomic status, or creed. Every single person, including all females, has a voice in this country. Clinton used hers to create multiple policies benefiting women and announced what she felt this country should be like when she ran for president herself. These actions from Clinton institute knowledge of confidence and ability within females and that their words hold infinite value that may create lasting impact on younger girls wishing to make a difference someday. – Jiya, 16, New Jersey

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