Editor’s note: This is a continuing series. This is Part 2 of the project. Part 1 is available here.
This short listing is dedicated to all women in honor of International Women’s Day, traditionally celebrated on March 8. The first Women’s Day was organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City in 1909. Celebration of International Women’s Day has been a part of the women’s movement for equal rights. The list below serves as a brief reminder that the world would not be where it is now without strong, educated, clever and talented women.
Kamala Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American politician and attorney who became the first female vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021. She is also the first U.S. African American and Asian American vice president. Before her election to vice president, Harris was Attorney General of California and was elected as a United States Senator in 2017.
Erin Brockovich (born June 22, 1960) is an environmental activist fought against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993 because the company had contaminated drinking water in her town. Based on Brockovich’s case, the movie’s main character and for which it was named for its eponymous heroine was played by Julia Roberts. Roberts received an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance, and the movie received countless other recognition from cinematic organizations.
Indira Gandhi (November 19, 1917 – October 31, 1984) was the Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until 1984. She was killed in 1984. Gandhi led India to a greater stability than before with political, economic, and military developments. In 2001, Gandhi was voted the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organized by India Today. She was also named “Woman of the Millennium” in a poll organized by the BBC in 1999.
Angela Merkel (born July 17, 1954) is a German politician serving her fourth term as chancellor of Germany since her appointment in 2005. She served as the leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018. According to Forbes magazine, Merkel remains the leader of the largest economy in the European Union, after steering Germany through financial crisis and back to growth.
Maria Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the first female president of the Philippines. She was named Woman of the Year by Time magazine in 1986. Her policies were focused on creating a market-oriented and socially responsible economy. In 1987, she became the first Filipino to be awarded with the Prize for Freedom Award.