Wicked Wednesday: Strong International Women

Today is International Women’s Day.

Wickeds – who is a (real) international woman you admire for her strength of whatever kind?

Julie: Greta Thurnberg is an inspiration. She speaks truth to power, and doesn’t put up with trolls. She is very concerned with climate issues, and has made a difference in the conversation.

Edith/Maddie: Totally agree about Thurnberg, Julie, and her activism and dedication. For very different reasons, I nominate Ann Cleeves. Her writing is brilliant, and she kept going after her husband of many years died, even starting a new series. I loved meeting her at Crime Bake four years ago and was thrilled to drive her to the airport after the conference closed. Cleeves is hugely famous, but she’s so approachable. If I reply to one of her tweets, she always replies back. In her, I find much to admire and aspire to.

Sherry: Malala Yousafzai is an amazing young woman from Pakistan who fights for the rights of all girls to be educated. Malala said, “Extremists have shown what frightens them most: A girl with a book.” I never dreamed, when I first read this quote, that teachers and librarians in the US would be threatened and fear sharing books.

Edith: Malala has now produced an Oscar-nominated short documentary, “Stranger at the Gate.”

Barb: I’m going with the Women Protesters of Iran, and their allies, who continue to protest nearly six months after the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the “morality police” for wearing her hijab “improperly.” Protestors have been killed, beaten, arrested, and executed. Nevertheless, they persist. No one knows what will happen, and it’s hard to be optimistic, but the protests have drawn international support and internal support for the end to repression of women by the regime.

Liz: Dr. Leyla Hussein, who founded The Dahlia Project for girls subjected to FGM in the UK. It’s a support and counseling service, and they also work with the UK’s National Health Service to get survivors physical health counseling. Hussein also advocates against the practice through education.
Jessie: The women you mention are all so inspiring! I am going to go with a historical woman, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, the British woman who learned learned about an early form of smallpox inoculation from women in Turkey while her husband was stationed there as an ambassador. She approved the use of it on her son while the family was in Constantinople. Even though it met with vehement disapproval when they returned to England she convinced a physician to repeat the procedure on her daughter. Her actions led to the first form of clinical trials in Europe and eventually to the eradication of the disease.

Readers: Who is your favorite strong international woman?

11 Thoughts

  1. Agreed, Edith. Ann Cleeves is a unique individual and an intriguing author.

  2. I have to agree with Sherry.Malala Yousafzai is a remarkable woman and one I always think of when someone says: “Quick! Think of courage!”

  3. I’m going to go with Jacinda Ardern, for the stellar leadership she provided New Zealand during the worst of the COVID crisis, her show of unity with Finland that was also an effective swipe at bully Putin, and for her wisdom in knowing when it was her time to step down in order to take care of herself.

  4. Palestinian women: mothers who worry each day if their sons will be tortured and/or killed; single women afraid they’ll be molested, raped etc. older women who witness the destruction of their homes, their people and their lives.

  5. I think I’d have to go with Malala. She’s always the one I think of when this question is brought up. But all the others are good as well.

  6. The Bletchley Park female code breakers. They did amazing work, and couldn’t even talk about it for 30 years.

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