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7 Women Who Changed the World (and How You Can Too)

(Last Updated On: February 8, 2019)

Throughout history, there have been women who’ve left their mark on society. To cover them all would take far more space than one blog post – and I’m not a historian.

I’ve picked seven amazing women here, but you can add any of your own to the list, too.

The truth is, the actual names don’t matter.

Each of the women who’ve changed the world have certain traits in common.

If you learn to develop those aspects of yourself, you’ll leave your mark too!

Even if it’s on a smaller scale, the true change will be that you’re living empowered – and there’s nothing more worth doing than that!

The List

Ellen DeGeneres

(Note, public domain images of Ellen are not available, so no picture has been included.)

Now an incredibly popular talk show host and comedian, Ellen made a profound impact on society in 1997 when she publically came out as gay.

At the time, it was thought that this would end her career.

Instead, she’s helped bring attention to the rights and needs of the gay community.

While there’s always room for improvement, her bravery has led to more acceptance and better treatment of same sex couples.

In addition, she helped straight teens like me realize that it’s okay to be exactly who we are – no matter what other people think.

Michelle Obama

Some may say she road her husband’s coattails into office. And I guess in a way that’s true since we don’t vote for first lady.

But while she was in the public eye, she certainly showed us what an empowered woman can do!

She helped black women and girls across the country realize their own power, brought attention to issues of food and health right in our own cities, and daily proved the power of love.

I have never seen a couple more supportive of each other than the Obamas.

While it’s certain they kept aspects of their relationship private (and rightly so!), it’s equally as clear that there is a true love and respect between them.

Honestly, I go on for pages listing all the issues she championed. And it started well before she hit the White House!

Oprah Winfrey

(Note, public domain pictures of Oprah are unavailable, so no picture is included.)

Oprah is considered one of the most influential media personalities today.

Her TV show, book clubs, and magazine help empower women and girls across the nation.

And her reach doesn’t stop there!

She brought education to girls in South Africa and continues to find ways to give girls opportunities.

That’s a lot of awesomeness from very humble beginnings!

Which just proves, it doesn’t matter where you start. It matters what you do with your life.

Maya Angelou

In addition to being one of my favorite authors and poets, Maya Angelou was a major contributor to the Civil Rights movement.

Her efforts to raise the plight of black people, and black girls, to public awareness brought her the opportunity to recite a poem at President Clinton’s inauguration – the first women ever to receive this honor.

She achieved many other “firsts” and ultimately was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Again, quite the accomplishments for a girl who started life the way she did!

Marie Curie

In a time when women were meant to entertain and swoon at random, Marie Curie was out leaving her mark on the scientific community.

Best known for her pioneering research in radioactivity, she discovered two elements – radium and polonium. Some say her husband helped. I say he was the man behind the woman.

Those handy x-ray machines that show you if you’ve broken a bone? You can thank Marie Curie for that! She developed them to help treat soldiers during WWI.

After the war, she built a hospital focused on using x-ray and radiation to cure diseases.

Even more incredible, she was the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize. And she did it twice, in two different fields! She remains the only person to ever receive two Nobels in two difference sciences.

Susan B. Anthony

Ladies, we owe this woman a lot.

First, she helped abolish slavery. And once that was done, she went on to champion equal rights for women and African Americans.

Later, she partnered with Elizabeth Cady Stanton to found the National Women’s Suffrage Association, where she worked tirelessly to help women and black men gain the right to vote.

She also helped found the International Council of Women, which still exists today as an NGO with general consultative status to the UN.

As part of her efforts to further women’s rights, she advocated for right of women to divorce an abusive husband and to have guardianship of her children; for working women to be paid an equal wage to men; and for improved rights for married women.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

As current representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often called AOC), is the youngest woman ever to serve in the US Congress.

She uses her position to advocate for Medicare For All, a federal jobs guarantee, guaranteed family leave, abolishing ICE, free college, renewable energy, and tax reforms.

I can’t wait to see what history AOC will make! She’s destined for big things.

 

 

How They Did It

Whether you’re a fan of any of the women on my list or have your own list of amazing women, there’s certain things they all have in common.

They Show Up

Showing up isn’t just about putting in face time.

They bring their spirit and energy to whatever they decide to tackle.

Whether it’s advocating for civil rights, researching in a lab, or helping children with homework, the women show up.

They bring their whole selves to every endeavor and don’t stop until they’ve reached their goal.

They Speak Truth

Regardless of what others might think, they speak truth.

Society doesn’t always make it easy. But people do come around, because deep down, everyone respects truth.

They Take Risks

Speaking truth is risky. But empowered women on a mission do more.

They take risky actions. It may be running for office, going against societal norms, founding organizations, publishing, etc.

Whatever it is, it will get noticed because it’s risky.

See “Problems” as Lessons and Opportunities

Do you think any of these women achieved what they did without encountering resistance?

Not for a minute!

Every single one of them met with people and situations that wanted to bring them down.

Instead of seeing this as a barrier to their goals, they used it to propel them forward.

They took each one as a chance to speak their truth and learn how to refine their message so more people would listen with an open heart.

They Lift Up Others

Empowered women don’t rise by lifting themselves, they rise by lifting others.

Each woman on this list helped other women find their own empowerment. This starts on a small scale.

Conversations with women one at a time leads to groups, leads to larger groups, and eventually to an entire nation.

They Connect with Spirit

While I don’t have any direct proof of this, I’d be willing to be that every woman on this list has a relationship with spirit.

Whether it’s through connecting with their spirit guides, prayer, or simply following their gut, they know that there’s a power greater than themselves guiding the way.

If any of you are blessed to know any of the women on this list who are still living, do me a favor and ask them! I’d love to know what they say!

How You Can Change the World Too

Each of the six things above is an aspect of living empowered.

As you learn to develop these aspects of yourself, you’ll discover you’re empowered to change your life – and the world – any way you want.

It won’t happen overnight. And that’s okay! Chances are you’ll need to do some healing along the way!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

No one does it on their own – no matter how it may look from the outside. And any woman you ask – if she’s truly empowered – would be more than willing to help you!

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