Sisters are Doin’ it For Themselves BellaVita Botanics

Sisters are Doin’ it For Themselves

It’s hard to believe that March is just around the corner! We love the third month of the year because it is Women’s History Month (should it officially be called Women’s HERstory Month?). 

Is there a history-making woman whose life has influenced your own? Here a sampling of those whose achievements inspire us: 

Joan of Arc (ca. 1412 – 1431): As one of the most studied historical figures of the Middle Ages, Frenchwoman Jean D’Arc lived a very complex 19 years. She was instrumental in the Hundred Years War and is known as a mystic, feminist icon, military strategist, warrior, and heretic. Long past her execution in 1431, she was elevated to sainthood (1920). Read more about her life here.

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812): Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone First Nations woman. At age 16 she travelled thousands of miles from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean and back with Lewis and Clark as both a guide and an interpreter, helping them achieve their chartered mission objectives. The National American Woman Suffrage Association of the early 20th century adopted her as a symbol of women's worth and independence, erecting several statues and plaques in her memory, and doing much to recount her accomplishments. Read more about Sacagawea.

Harriet Tubman (ca. 1820 – 1913): Harriet Tubman was enslaved, escaped, and helped others gain their freedom as a “conductor" of the Underground Railroad. Tubman also served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She is considered the first African American woman to serve in the military. Learn more about Harriet Tubman.

Queen Liliuokalani (1838 – 1917): Queen Liliuokalani was the first female monarch of Hawaii and last sovereign of the Kamehameha dynasty, which ruled Hawaii from 1810 after its U.S. annex in 1898. She temporarily gave up her throne to the U.S. with the hope that it would eventually be restored and to prevent a violent backlash against the Hawaiian people. Independence was never regained, and Liliuokalani also endured house arrest for a year following accusations of counter-revolt. She was a celebrated musician and composer, and her most well-known piece is titled "Aloha Oe," which has been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash and is a musical staple on the islands. Read more about Queen Liliuokalani here

Marie Curie (1887 – 1934): A Polish and naturalized French citizen, Marie Curie was a famous chemist and physicist, who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. In 1906, she became the first female professor at the University of Paris. Read more about Marie Curie.

Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954): Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is celebrated for her iconic self-portraits. She used vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as by European influences that include Realism, Symbolism, and Surrealism. Many of her works symbolically express her own pain and sexuality. She is honored in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture, and by feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form. Learn more about Frida Kahlo. 

Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) Rosa Parks was an American civil rights leader. Known as “The First Lady of Civil Rights” she is best known for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. Her quiet, courageous act changed America, its view of black people, and redirected the course of history. Read more about Rosa Parks.

Anne Frank (1929 – 1945) Author of Diary of a Young Girl in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944 during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's best-known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.

Anne Frank’s words continue to inspire resilience, kindness, and hope in the generations that follow her. Learn more about Anne Frank.

Sylvia Earle (b. 1935): is an American marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. She is the first person to walk on the bottom of sea. Sylvia has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, and was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. Listen to this amazing interview with Sylvia Earle. 

Junko Tabei (1939 – 2016): As a Japanese mountaineer, in in 1975 Junko Tabei was the first woman to summit Mount Everest and, in 1992, the first woman to climb the Seven Summits (the highest peaks of the seven continents) in 1992. In a field dominated by men, this remains a remarkable triumph for a woman. After she graduated college with a degree in English literature, she formed an all-women climbing club and, in addition to mountaineering, Tabei has written books, taken on environmental initiatives for sustainable climbing, and presided over preservation organizations. Read more about Junko Tabei. 

Malala Yousafzai (b. 1997):  Malala Yousafzai Malik is a Pakistani activist for female education and the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is the second Pakistani to ever receive a Nobel Prize. Known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan where the Taliban had banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement. Learn more about Malala here.

This short list cannot do justice to the millions of women who have shaped history (and the future) with their bravery, intelligence, curiosity, and creativity. We hope this inspires you to revisit the life of a woman who has changed yours. Happy Women’s History Month!

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