Women in History
Women: We hold some of the most powerful positions in the world, we support and encourage each other and we stand together in solidarity. I am proud to be a woman and the future is absolutely female. Women in history have accomplished so much, despite what has stood in their way. We have been hunted, persecuted, and silenced throughout history, and the individual stories of those who fought and died for freedom, equality and for each other are a true inspiration to us all. There are so many wonderful and influential women I could talk about who have changed the world, so I wanted to name a few of the women who have inspired me and are the reason I am truly proud to be female.
Emmeline Pankhurst is considered one of the original suffragettes, at the start of the revolution, Emmeline encouraged a peaceful protest. She was inspired by Russian methods such as hunger strikes and peaceful but important discussions with the Labour Party. However as we know, the movement gradually became more militant. As the first world war hit the UK, Emmeline encouraged women to be involved in the war, discouraged additional violence and asked women to stand united with their country.
All of her efforts eventually led to the right for women to vote. Emmeline Pankhurst stood up for what she believed in, exercised kindness, open-mindedness and hard work. She not only raised two children alone after her husband died, she cared for, inspired and encouraged women all over the world to stand up, and stand together. She believed in so much, achieved so much and nothing anyone ever did could dampen her spirit.
Boadicea Queen of Iceni
Colchester used to be the Capital of Roman Britain, and my hometown. Boadicea, Queen of Iceni, the Celtic tribe in Norfolk burnt the town to the ground, which means most of the Roman architecture that can be found throughout the city was built post Boadicea’s invasion. We now have a statue created by an artist in 1999 as tribute to her efforts and the impact she had on the history of our town.
After the death of her husband, the rape and torture of herself and her children, she did now allow herself to become a victim of the Roman Empire. She stood tall, inspired thousands to join her cause, and caused the Roman’s to reconsider their position in Britain. Her revolt caused fairer taxes, a new type of governance on tribes and an increased respect from Nero. There is no literature written by anyone other than the Roman’s, which we know to be a distortion from the truth, however even though she was written to be a villain, she is still considered the hero of Britain.
“She was huge of frame, terrifying of aspect, and with a harsh voice. A great mass of bright red hair fell to her knees: She wore a great twisted golden necklace, and a tunic of many colours, over which was a thick mantle, fastened by a brooch. Now she grasped a spear, to strike fear into all who watched her……”
Margaret Damer Dawson
Margaret Dawson isn’t a name that I had heard of until recently, and since learning of her work, I am shocked this isn’t taught in schools. She founded the Women’s Police Service in 1915 which quickly spread nationwide to combat male violence against women, and they protected Belgian Refugees from being drafted by men into prostitution. Her movement also laid the groundwork for women to be integrated into policing later on. As well as spending her life protecting women, Margaret also campaigned for animal welfare. Her compassion, drive and pragmatic approach to situations led to her being recognised for many awards across England, Finland and Denmark.
The Princess of Wales was much loved and adored by the masses in Britain and globally. She mothered two of the most iconic British Royals to date: William and Harry, who have changed public perception on what it means to be Royal. She sparked the modernisation of the Royal Family and helped shape it to the most loved Royal Family of modern times globally. Diana diversified her charity commitments and was involved with much more than the usual expectation of “royal appearances” at events, driving public interest in animal welfare, use of landmines, homelessness and child health care. Stephen Lee quoted Diana’s “overall effect on charity as probably the most significant of any other person in the 20th Century”.
Upon her death, the out-pour of public grief was startling but a true indication to the impact that Diana had to the lives of the British public. I was three years old when she died, and I can remember the flowers, and the sadness that overwhelmed those around me.
” I want to be the people’s princess”
Audrey was not only an iconic award winning actress and model, who’s glamour and style is still coveted today, she was also an ambassador for UNICEF for 43 years. She travelled to Ethiopia, Turkey, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and so many more countries.
“The ‘Third World’ is a term I don’t like very much, because we’re all one world. I want people to know that the largest part of humanity is suffering.”
Audrey raised awareness and was heavily involved in the initiatives to support starving families, vaccinate entire nations and aid in the access of clean water. She remained heart broken, shocked and desperate to help anyone in a less fortunate position than herself. She was selfless and used her position to continually try and make the world a better place by tackling the most serious of the worlds problems.
Have I missed anyone off my list who is a huge inspiration to you, or you feel has changed the world in such a way that has changed your perspective? I’d love to know who you find inspirational and why?