For 2019, I still would like to explore more of the phenomenal women and their stories, precisely those who paved the way for the better world. And of course to challenge myself to get out of my reading bubble, the comfort zone. I decided that 2019 will be My Year of Reading The Women Pioneers, the real work in action that I’m hoping to learn from and get inspired as I’m building my new ventures. It will be diversity reading list from the women around the world, the women of science, art, culture, literature, politics, human rights, women’s rights, environmental, sport, and of course business. It took me a long time to finalize an overwhelming list and I came down to 17 women pioneers across the world that I’m extremely interested to learn about their stories. Here’s the list:
Ela R. Bhatt is widely reconized as one of the world’s most remarkable pioneers and enterprenerial forces in grassroots development. Known as “the gentle revolutionary,” she has dedicated her life to improve the lives of India’s poorest and and most oppressed women workers. In 1972, she found Self-Employed Women’s Association(SEWA), a trade union with more than a million memebrs now. She has recieved several awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Right Livelihood Award, as well as honorary doctorates from Harvard, Yale and other academic institutions.
Forugh Farrokhzad was an Iranian poet and filmmaker. Her published works include The Captive, The Wall, Rebellion, Reborn, and Let Us Believe in the Dawn of the Cold Season. She broke with many traditional conventions and thus exercised an immeasurably important influence on modern Iranian poetry.
Patricia Grace New Zealand Maori Literature & Culture
Patricia Grace is a major New Zealand novelist, short story writer and children’s writer. Her first published work, Waiariki, was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She won numerous prestiges literary awards both in national and international.
Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a doctorate in France and the first woman anywhere to earn the great doctorate in physics. She was the first female professor at the great Parisian university, the Sorbonne. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, for physics, which she and her husband Pierre shared with Henry Becquerel in 1903 for their studies of the nature of radioactivity. Eight years later, she became the first scientist, male or female, to be awarded a second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for the isolation of the elements radium and polonium, and this time hers alone to claim.
Simone de Beauvoir France Feminism, Literature, Philosophy
Simone de Beauvoir was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues.
Anaïs Nin was a French-Cuban American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica.Nin wrote several novels, critical studies, essays, short stories, and volumes of erotica. Much of her work, including the collections of erotica Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously amid renewed critical interest in her life and work.
Estée Lauder was an American businessperson. She co-founded her eponymous cosmetics company with her husband, Joseph Lauder. Lauder was the only woman on Time magazine’s 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century
Elizebeth Smith Friedman, a pioneer in U.S. cryptology, the first American woman cryptologist, the woman code breaker, the woman leader, the woman who put many drug dealers and mafias in jail, the woman who destroyed the Nazi spy network, the mother of NSA.
Toni Morrison being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 1993, makes her the first African AMerican to be so honored and makes n0t only a personal triumph but also recognition of artistry of African American fiction and the validity of the black woman’s voice.
Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American author/poet to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world” 1945. Her poems are mainly portrayed womanhood, children, education, religion, life, love, despair, beauty, nature and the world. They are the reflection of her own life, the catastrophe, the wound, perseverance and determination. It is deeply emotional, devastated yet beautifully and powerfully composed.
Frida Kahlo is one of the most celebrated artists and the biggest source of inspiration not only in Mexico but also to the whole world. There are multiple websites, books and media dedicate solely to her, including this book, The Diary of Frida Kahlo, An Intimate Self-Portrait with the introduction by the famous Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes. This book contains a colourful printing both of her remarkable arts and her writings, letters, journal and poems.
Marina Silva was the first rubber tapper ever elected to Brazil’s Federal Senate. As a native Amazonian and a Senator, she built support for environmental protection of the reserves as well as for social justice and sustainable development in the Amazon region. As Minister of Environment, she took drastic measures to protect the Amazon forest, clamping down on illegal activity, and managed to reduce deforestation by almost 60 per cent from 2004 to 2007.
Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. She is the founder of greneen Belt Movement, which, through networks of rural women, has planted over forty million trees across Kenya since 1977. In 2002, she was elected to Kenya’s Paliament and in 2003, she was appointed assistant minister for environment. In 2004, sh became the firt African woman to recieve the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mamphela Ramphele is South African activist, physician, academic, businesswoman, and political leader known for her activism efforts for the rights of black South Africans and her fight against South Africa’s discriminatory policies of apartheid.
2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist, social worker and women’s rights advocate. Leymah is best known for leading a nonviolent movement that brought together Christian and Muslim women to play a pivotal role in ending Liberia’s devastating, fourteen-year civil war in 2003. This historic achievement paved the way for the election of Africa’s first female head of state, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It also marked the vanguard of a new wave of women emerging worldwide as essential and uniquely effective participants in brokering lasting peace and security.
Game Changers The Unsung Heroines of Sports History By Molly Schiot
Featuring icons Althea Gibson and Wyomia Tyus, complete unknowns Trudy Beck and Conchita Cintron, policymaker Margaret Dunkle, sportswriter Lisa Olson, and many more, Game Changers gives these “founding mothers” the attention and recognition they deserve, and features critical conversations between past and present gamechangers—including former US Women’s National Soccer Team captain Abby Wambach and SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion—about what it means to be a woman on and off the field. Inspiring, empowering, and unforgettable,