Last weekend was Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., and I gave myself a break in posting. To make up for the omission, I’m distributing a second post today.
Part of my mission in authoring this MySheCave.com blog is to share inspirational stories about women and to encourage equal rights for women across the world. Today’s post is dedicated to three brave and inspirational women and has been drafted in that spirit:
Diana Nyad – What more can be said about the 64-year-old woman with a 35-year-old dream who never gave up on achieving that dream? Her advice to “never, ever give up,” is not only good advice for women and girls facing hardships and challenges but is also equally valuable advice for men and boys. And, from now on, when we hear or read the words, “Cuba-to-Florida,” we’ll certainly remember Diana and the fact that a woman was the first person to achieve the milestone of swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage and without swim fins
Venus Williams – The final women’s match of the 2013 U.S. Open Tennis Championships is being played today. Though she’s not playing, Venus Williams deserves some recognition by the two women who are playing (one of whom is her sister) and by all the other women who play on today’s professional tennis circuit. Why? Because Venus took a major step to advance the reality of equal pay for women tennis players. Do you know the story of how Venus argued for equal pay among women at Wimbledon? Though I’m not a professional tennis player, I still would like to say “thank you” to Venus. It’s hard to believe that it was only six years ago that female Wimbledon winners were being paid less than their male counterparts.
Sushmita Banerjee – Also known as Sushmita Bandhopadhyandian, Sushmita wrote a memoir about her dramatic escape from the Taliban that became a Bollywood movie, Escape from Taliban. On Thursday, Sushmita was shot dead by militants, allegedly members of the Taliban, in Afghanistan. Sushmita was a brave woman who likely endured 20 bullets for her beliefs related to freedom and equality for women. I want to ask every woman who is reading this page to consider these questions:
- Who among you wishes to live in a world where you can’t run a business, because you’re a woman?
- Who among you wishes to be ordered to wear a burkha or another article of clothing, because you’re a woman?
- Who among you longs to be denied the right to walk outside of your home unaccompanied, because you’re a woman?
- Who among you wants to be forced to have your husband’s name tattooed on your left hand, because you’re a woman?
- Who among you is willing to die, as Sushmita did, to defend and protect your rights as a woman?
In October 2012, feminist Gloria Steinem told a San Diego, California audience that the global women’s movement still has a long way to go. Women like Diana, Venus and Sushmita are the ones lighting the way.