“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Eleven words. Eleven words spoken by Senator Mitch McConnell to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Eleven words that captured the essence of the long struggle of women to be treated as full human beings. A struggle that continues around the globe to this day.
I could write about the struggle. I’ve written before about the need for the church to be at its forefront. However, I feel that more powerful than my own words would be the words of women who have persisted and changed the world in doing so.
My hope is that, if you haven’t heard of some of these women, you will take the time to learn about them.
“I speak not for myself but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated. ” – Malala Yousafzai
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” – Rosa Parks
“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” – Aung Suu Kyi
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.” – Wangari Maathai
“Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.” – Rigoberta Menchu
“As a woman, I’m expected to want everything to be nice and to be nice myself. A very English thing. I don’t design nice buildings – I don’t like them. I like architecture to have some raw, vital, earthy quality.” – Zaha Hadid
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Virginia Woolf
“We should not be held back from pursuing our full talents, from contributing what we could contribute to the society, because we fit into a certain mold ― because we belong to a group that historically has been the object of discrimination.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.” – Rosalind Franklin
“I counted everything. I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed … anything that could be counted, I did.” – Katherine Johnson
As the father of a young son, I am thrilled to be able to look at him every day and tell him that there are no limits to how far he can go. As the father of a young girl, I hope to help create a world where I can say the same to her. And I am forever indebted to the women of the world who have persisted, paving the way for her.