Women have always been deprived of their rights. They were never treated equally as the men and were never appreciated for their achievements. Feminism may be a revolutionary word today but fifty-sixty years ago this concept didn’t even exist. But that didn’t stop the women from making contributions to society.
And these amazing women are examples. They came forward when the world needed them the most and created history with their talent, bravery and perseverance. But unfortunately we know very little about them.
Rosa Parks was a 42-year-old African-American who is known as the ‘the first lady of civil rights. It all started when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on the Montgomery City bus. This reply – ‘no, I’m not’ – ignited a boycott which continued for 381 days until the city repealed its law enforcing racial segregation on public buses.
Gertrude Bell was a writer, cartographer, archaeologist, and explorer who helped establish modern-day Jordan and Iraq after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Bell helped both the British government and the Arab leaders in the establishment with her extensive knowledge and experience about that area. Her writing about the different experiences while travelling and exploring the world are still studied today.
While we give all the credits to Francis Crick and James Watson for their discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, many people didn’t know that Rosalind Franklin used her skills in X-ray crystallography to capture a clear and concise picture of the DNA. She took that picture without taking any permission from the other scientist, Maurice Wilkins, and showed it to Watson who was flabbergasted. In 1958 Watson, Crick, and Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize but Franklin’s contribution remained unnoticed.
Andrée de Jongh
Andrée de Jongh, aka Dédée, was the founder of the Comet line which helped Allied airmen to get safely through occupied Belgium and France, over the Pyrenees, and into Spain and Gibraltar. She saved 118 of the nearly 700 men throughout her 24 missions when she was just 24 years old. She was later named a Belgian countess and awarded the George Medal for her contribution.
Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing. When the Crimean War broke out in 1853, Florence took 38 nurses to Turkey’s military hospital; it was the first time women had been allowed to do so. She campaigned to improve the quality of nursing in military hospitals and wrote a book named ‘Notes on Nursing’ in 1859, which is still being read.