This past year, women have faced enormous challenges as the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic, however, has not stopped women being at the forefront of global change. On IWD 2021, the inspirational women who have changed the course of world politics and have broken barriers to broaden the world’s sense of what is possible, are celebrated. Only a few of these women are highlighted below, while commemorating the ground-breaking work of thousands of those who have impacted the change. Women are defiant. They are there to lead and guide.
In the beginning of this year Kamala Harris became the first woman, the first black person and the first Indian-American Vice-President of the United States. She is the highest ranking US female official in history. Harris is a former prosecutor and attorney general in California She was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney of San Francisco and served from 2004 to 2010. She has also served as a United States Senator. Ms. Harris has paved the way for women and girls from all ethnicities and backgrounds to hold decision-making positions of power.
Source: Google Images
Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Coronavirus has been labelled the world’s most successful. After her landslide victory in the New Zealand elections in October 2020, Ms. Ardern changed the course of the country’s political history by selecting the most diverse cabinet the New Zealand parliament has ever had. Out of twenty members, eight are women, including five members of, the Maori community, three each of the Pasifika and the LGBTQIA+ community. The inclusive government of Jacinda Ardern sends out a loud message to other global leaders to include women and minorities in decision-making processes.
Source: The Women's Organisation
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and the women of Belarus:
2020 saw brave Belarussian women leading the way against patriarchy. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya challenged Europe’s longest serving leader, President Alexander Lukashenko. After allegations of election fraud, in which Lukashenko claimed victory, thousands of defiant women took to the streets to protest against the unfair election and the violence used against demonstrators. Fighting against the patriarchal society in Belarus, Tikhanovskaya stated that women “are leaders as well, and they don’t have to stay in their kitchens.” Despite Tikhanovskaya’s forced exile from Belarus, she has set the wheels of change in motion for Belarussian women to hold decision-making positions.