Women Empowering Women

Women empowering women is a strong and beautiful act. How does this happen? Women lift others with their voices through song, art, dance, speech, poems, stories, and mentorship and so many other ways including small acts of kindness.

Art

Feminist art emerged in the 1960s. From sculpture to paintings to drawings and performances, these artists highlight societal and political differences associated with gender identity.  Here’s a list of 15 artists to get you started.

Tammy Mike Laufer (תמרמייקלאופר) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]

POETRY

Poetry, or words that make music in your heart, has many forms. And there are thousands of strong women poets. Below are two examples.

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou

“You are more than beautiful” by Rupi Kaur

SPEECH

2014 Emma Watson gave this fabulous speech at the UN launcing the HeForShe campaign.

There are many, many TED talks about women’s rights and empowerment. Here’s a list of 3,000 titles.

BOOKS

There are many nonfiction books and many fiction books that tell the story of women empowering other women or themselves. 

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Margarot Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, and Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me,  are a very small sample.

MUSIC

Songs of celebration to songs of protest, music has always been a means of communicating messages and feelings.  Below is a sampling across the decades.

1958 Here’s a sample “Songs of the Suffragettes” sung by Elizabeth Knight, released in 1958 by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Listen Here!

1963 Lesley Gore, “You Don’t Own Me”

1967 Aretha Franklin, “Respect ”

1978 “I Will Survive” Gloria Gaynor

1983 “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper 

1993 “I’m Every Woman” Whitney Houston

2003 “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkson

2011 “Who Says” by Selena Gomez

2015 Girl in a Country Song Maddie & Tae 

Women Empowering Women

We’ve touched on just a few examples of women empowering women. Women mentor, they inspire through random acts of kindness, they start charities, and still that’s only a small taste of all the ways we empower each other. What examples of women empowering women inspire you? How do you empower other women?

A Time and Place for Procrastination

Hi. My name is Lynette. I’m a procrastinator. I get high learning new things. Jumping onto the internet for one bit of research and following one link to another link to another is more fun than falling down a rabbit hole. Doing repetitive chores—not so exciting. Chances are, you are a procrastinator also. Will you ever stop being a procrastinator? No. It’s part of human nature. But there are ways to reprogram yourself. Ways to avoid procrastinating what you want and need to get done.

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

Research has shown that people who have seen a digitally aged picture of themselves save more money. The theory is that having seen their older self, they can imagine being old. That motivates them to save for that day.

What if you’re already retired or saving for retirement? Visualization can be your path to productivity. Visualize what finishing the task would look and feel like. If you’re an artist, draw that image. If you use Pinterest, find an image that illustrates your success. Take a photograph. Write a description using specific details. Make it real, instead of something vague.

Nothing More than Feelings

Have a task you always put-off? Notice what you are feeling when you procrastinate. Record those feelings and which tasks they revolve around. At the end of a week or a month, look at what you’ve documented. Find the patterns. Identify the feelings you associate with that task. 

Are you tired and can’t concentrate? Perhaps you need to do this task at the time of day when you’re most awake and productive. 

Ask yourself why. Why do you not want to do this thing? Explore your feelings. 

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Gamification turns your boring, dreaded work into a game. Like using a fitness tracker, you earn badges and rewards for each level of accomplishment. The idea is if you consistently reward yourself for the job you put-off you will learn to enjoy the work.

You can use an app to gamify your task. Available apps include Habitica (Apple and Android), Epic Win (Apple and Android), LifeRPG (Android only), Task Hammer (Android only), and SuperBetter (apple & Android). Each app has different features and prices. (I have not used any of these nor am I an affiliate for any of them).

You can also use your own personal way to gamify the task. Use a spreadsheet to track your progress. For example, you achieve x within a certain amount of time, you get 15 minutes of play on your favorite online game. Your rewards increase for increased productivity. 

A Time and Place to Procrastinate

Give yourself permission to procrastinate. But keep it under your control. Use a timer. Schedule a day or half-day for procrastination. Many experts recommend taking procrastination away from your regular work area. So when procrastination overcomes you, go into another room. Train your brain to not associate procrastination with your work. Except when it’s taking out the garbage. That one, you’ll need to gamify the heck out of. 

Procrastination, Procrastination Go Away

No, no matter what techniques you use or how much you gamify your life and work, you won’t stop procrastinating. Forgive yourself. Give a time and place for your procrastination. Find the tools to be productive in spite of the falling into the occasional rabbit hole.

30 Amazing Women You Never Heard Of

In four short weeks, I can’t begin to honor all the women who should be honored during Women’s History Month. But I’m fascinated to learn about women who’ve dared to be different or make a difference. Here are 30 amazing women you never heard of–at least not in school:


Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị 

1 – 43

Vietnam

Chose 36 women to be generals and successfully drove the Chinese out in 40 A.D. Trắc became queen, abolishing tribute taxes and attempted to revert back to a simpler government.


Hypatia of Alexandria

355 – 415

EGYPT

Public Domain image via Wikimedia Commons

An unwed Pagan woman who taught astronomy and mathematics from her home and was a philosopher of the Neoplatonic school.


Fatima Al-Fihri

800 – 880

Kairouan, Abbasid Caliphate (Moracco)

Founded the world’s oldest continually operating, degree-granting university, the University of Al Qarawiyyin.


Tomoe Gozen

1157-1247

Japan

A legendary 12th century samurai warrior noted for being a skilled archer, often referred to as a “warrior worth a thousand.”


Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 

1651–1695

Mexico

Credited as the first published feminist of the New World.


Sybil Ludington 

1761 – 1839

U.S.A.

Riding twice the distance, perhaps she should have been remembered in poem and song instead of Paul Revere.


Edmonia Lewis 

1844 – 1907

U.S.A.

African-American / Chippewa sculptor, who specialized in portrait busts of abolitionists and patrons.


Ada Lovelace 

1815 – 1852

Great Britain

Daughter of the poet Lord Byron who grew up to be the world’s first computer programmer.


Mary Edwards Walker 

1832 – 1919

U.S.A.

First female physician in the U.S. Army and the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.


Yaa Asantewaa 

1840-1921

Ashanti Empire (now part of Ghana)

Warrior queen who also happened to be a 60 year old grandmother when she began fighting British Colonialism.


Cathay Williams

1844-1868

U.S.A.

Image of Cathay Williams, female buffalo soldier, one of 30 amazing women you never heard of
Public Domain image via Wikimedia Commons

First documented African-American woman to enlist and serve in the U.S. Army (disguised as a man).


Kate Sheppard 

1848-1934

New Zealand

A women’s rights activist in New Zealand who eventually led New Zealand to be the first country that gave women the right to vote.


Susanna Salter

1860-1961

U.S.A.

Elected first female U.S. Mayor (Yay, Kansas!)


Edith Cowan

1861-1932

Australia

The first woman elected to an Australian Parliament.


Ida B. Wells 

1862 – 1931 ‌

U.S.A.

The first African-American journalist.


Harriet Chalmers Adams 

1875 – 1937

U.S.A.

An American writer, explorer, and photographer.


Constance Kopp 

1877 – 1931 

U.S.A.

America’s first woman sheriff.


Huda Sha’arawi

1879-1947

Egypt

Founded Egypt’s first female-run philanthropic society, which offered services for impoverished women and children. Her most impactful event was in Cairo when she removed her veil in public.


Eliza Zamfirescu 

1887-1973

Romania

Recognized as the world’s first female engineer.


Bessie Coleman 

1892 – 1926

U.S.A.

The first black woman to earn her pilot’s license,


Katharine Blodgett

1898-1979   

U.S.A.

Invented non-glare glass as the first female engineer at General Electric’s research laboratory.


Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin 

1900 – 1979

U.S.A.

The first astronomer to discover that stars are made primarily of hydrogen and helium.


Virginia Hall 

1906-1982

U.S.A.

Public Domain image via Wikimedia Commons

Called “The Limping Lady” due to her wooden leg she worked behind German lines for more than 30 years and was considered the “most dangerous of all allied spies” by the Germans.


Dorothy Vaughan 

1910 – 2008

U.S.A.

NASA’s first black manager. 


Daisy Bates

1914-1999

U.S.A.

Helped the Little Rock Nine—the nine black students she recruited to enroll at Central High School—enter their new school safely, despite being blocked by the Arkansas National Guard. 


Lyudmila Pavlichenko

1916-1974

Russia

Nicknamed “Lady Death,” she is the most successful female sniper in human history with 309 confirmed kills in WWII. 


Rose Marie McCoy 

1922 – 2015

U.S.A.

Wrote and/or collaborated on more than 850 songs for stars such as Big Maybelle, James Brown, Ruth Brown, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Bette Midler, Elvis Presley, and Ike and Tina Turner.


Alice Coachman

1922-2014

U.S.A.

At the 1948 London Olympics, won the high jump for the United States, becoming the first black woman to win an Olympic Gold medal. 


Stephanie Kwolek 

1923-2014

U.S.A.

Chemist who invented Kevlar, the material used in most bulletproof vests and body armor.


Women have been accomplishing firsts since time began and are often overlooked by history. Fortunately, the internet makes a lot of these women’s history more available to all of us. I hope you enjoyed this list of 30 amazing women you’ve never heard of. Or had you heard of one or two?