Celebrating Unsung Heroines

Celebrating Unsung Heroines - YWiB Toronto

One of the theme’s for our #CelebratingUs month was Unsung Heroines - this theme is quite close to our hearts, as it is dedicated to celebrating the unnoticed, unpraised and unsung efforts and achievements of great heroines. These heroines regardless of their industry, field, specializations, engaged in struggles and realized that a better world is possible - if not for them, for generations to come.

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines in the Civil Rights Movement:

Many women played important roles in the Civil Rights Movement, from leading local civil rights organizations to serving as lawyers on school segregation lawsuits. Their efforts to lead the movement were often overshadowed by men, who got and still get more attention and credit for its successes in popular historical narratives and commemorations.

One of the many women who led the Civil Rights Movements, her name is Ella Baker. Ella Baker was an outstanding African-American civil right and human rights activist in the United States. Her career spanned more than five decades. She was highly respected for her “behind the scenes” advising, supporting, and mentoring greats like WEB Dubois, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks. Baker is known for her critiques not only of racism within American culture but also the sexism and classism within the civil rights movement.

“You didn't see me on television, you didn't see news stories about me. The kind of role that I tried to play was to pick up pieces or put together pieces out of which I hoped organization might come. My theory is, strong people don't need strong leaders.”

-Ella Baker

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines in STEM

The history of science is usually portrayed as the history of male scientists. But women have also played crucial roles in science from the world's first chemist more than 3,000 years ago to a 2018 physics Nobel laureate. Women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, although to a lesser degree than in the past, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences. Unfortunately, the underrepresentation of women in these crucial decision-making fields has had a wider impact than you may realize.

Although women, we still have a long way to go to earn our fair share in the STEM field, we are still blessed to have many trailblazers, who created the space for us and many generations to come to forge ahead.

Katherine Johnson is an unsung heroine. As an African-American NASA Space Scientist,  she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 for a lifetime of work as a pioneering physicist, mathematician, and space scientist. She and her colleagues, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson did the calculations that guided NASA’s 1962 Friendship 7 Mission. A teacher and research mathematician, she co-authored over 25 scientific papers.  About as unique as an African American woman scientist at NASA in the 1950s. She was both—making her the rarest of the rare!

“Girls are capable of doing everything men are capable of doing. Sometimes they have more imagination than men”

-Katherine Johnson

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines in war zones

The UN has unveiled a campaign to highlight the role of women in peace-building and conflict resolution — hoping that their largely unsung work in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Palestine will inspire others.

Studies show that women have a highly influential role to play when it comes to standing up to violent extremism or pushing for reconciliation: negotiated peace agreements have a 25 percent to 50 percent likelihood of failing when women are not involved in political processes and peace talks. Without involving women in peacebuilding, we cannot lay the foundations for lasting peace. And without peace, there can be no sustainable development.

Shirin Ebadi is an unsung heroine. She is an Iranian Lawyer, a former judge, and human rights activist, and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugees’ right. She was the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize. In 2004, she was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the "100 most powerful women in the world".She is also included in a published list of the "100 most influential women of all time."

“ Women are the victims of this patriarchal culture, but they are also its carriers. Let us keep in mind that every oppressive man was raised in the confines of his mother’s home.”

-Shirin Ebadi

Apart from peacebuilders, we also want to take the time to celebrate displaced persons and women refugees, who are not only suffering from post-trauma conditions but also have become the main breadwinners to support their families & children because their men are either in prison/fighting or missing. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines in Canadian History

When it comes to Canadian history, we cannot but admire the great efforts & appreciate the struggles of indigenous women, immigrants, domestic workers, and human rights activists. All these sung and unsung heroines played an important role in writing the Canadian history.

One of the unsung heroines we’d like to highlight is Ruth Gorman. Born in Calgary in 1914, she charted a course that society might not have expected of a debutante. She earned a law degree, became one of the very few female lawyers in the province in the 1940s, and played a largely unheralded role in the fight for Indigenous rights in Alberta and Canada over the decades to come. Her lifelong mission is to correct the injustices in Canada’s treatment of Indigenous People. She deeply believed that Canadian society was not living up to their treaty obligations and at no time, believed that she was engaged in “uplifting” the Aboriginal condition. Until her death in 2002. Gorman worked passionately throughout her life to right injustices that she saw in our community in order to make it a better place.

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines in domestic work

Join us in celebrating domestic workers, who despite the low income and “sometimes” hazardous working conditions, still worked in white women’s kitchens, nursed their children and raised many generations. Your sweats, tears, efforts, smiles and time are of great value to all the generations you’ve raised & cared for, and to us all.

Join us in #Celebrating unsung heroines that are often recognized as volunteers

Think of all the volunteer heroines around you. From firefighters to patrons of the art, to social workers, to nurses, all these volunteer heroines have greatly impacted our lives. Their valuable efforts and time made our lives easier, healthier, happier and for this, we’re forever thankful and grateful.

Join us in Celebrating YOU!

Yes, you’re all unsung heroines in all the different roles you play.