Why do we need to hear more stories about women?


Well, for a start, because most of the stories that we hear about women are stories of either victims or heroes. Rarely do we hear the real stories of the ordinary women in between!

These stories are of women creating hundreds of jobs during the pandemic, women who single-handedly crossed the sea to start a better life, women who woke up one morning and realized that they didn’t want to continue living a lie, women who decided that working in the corporate world was a waste of their time and instead started their own businesses. 

Women like Hatty Green who, in the 19th century, ignored best investment practices and built an empire. Kenyan Wnagari Maathis who fought for the environment and her own survival every day. And all the women who have stepped away from the harmful and toxic fashion industry and built their own environmentally friendly companies. 

Hearing more stories about women helps to promote gender equality and increase representation in society. When women are underrepresented in the media and in literature, it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and biases and, worse yet, , it inhibits change and progress. 

Hearing more stories about women provides role models and inspiration for young girls and women. It may be scary but hearing more stories will challenge unhelpful societal norms and expectations. Providing more diverse perspectives and experiences to the world can help facilitate a more well-rounded understanding of the world. 

And isn’t what we need the most in the current state of the world? 

Let’s start our journey by learning more about the stories of women we know the least of. 

Across the world, countless women have made significant contributions in various fields and industries but have not received a fraction of the recognition they deserve. 

The concept of “unknown” can be subjective and dependent on one’s cultural and geographic context. This is an important aspect that Rafia Zakaria highlights in her book “Against White Feminism”. 

Moreover, many examples of women who may be considered lesser-known or underrepresented in mainstream media and history include indigenous women, women of color, women living in poverty, and women in marginalized communities. The stories and contributions of these women, who often face additional barriers and discrimination,  are not being as widely shared or recognized.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are many women who are doing amazing work in their local communities or within specific industries. Again, these women are largely unknown to the world even while making huge impacts within their own circles. .Ziva Voices wants to highlight these women. Because these women are the role models the world needs. 

Women across Africa

Let’s start with some women across Africa who are making a significant impact in their communities through their non-profits:

  1. Tecla Loroupe: Kenyan long-distance runner and founder of the Tecla Loroupe Peace Foundation, which works to promote peace, education, and health in Kenya and other African countries.
  2. Agnes Gathaiya: Kenyan social entrepreneur and founder of The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation, which works to improve the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Kenya.
  3. Ify Malo: Nigerian social entrepreneur and founder of The SiCAP Foundation, which works to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria and other African countries.
  4. Adjoa Kusi-Appiah: Ghanaian lawyer and human rights activist who is the founder of the African Women’s Development and Communications Network, which works to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment across Africa.
  5. Tariro neGitare: Zimbabwean social entrepreneur and founder of the Tariro Foundation, which works to improve the lives of girls and young women in Zimbabwe through education and health programs.

Women across Asia.

And here  are just a few of the women who are making an impact across Asia: 

  1. Dr. Alka Bansal: Indian cardiovascular surgeon and founder of the “Heart to Heart” initiative, which provides free heart surgeries to underprivileged children in India. With a mission to bring hope and healing to those in need, Dr. Bansal is a true embodiment of compassion and dedication.
  2. Dr. Chen Wei-Yi: Taiwanese epidemiologist and advocate for public health, who has been instrumental in fighting against the spread of infectious diseases in Taiwan and across Asia. Her tireless work has saved countless lives and she continues to be a beacon of hope for those in need.
  3. Dr. Kit Chan: Singaporean social entrepreneur and founder of the “Half the Sky” movement, which works to empower women and girls across Asia through education and economic empowerment programs. With a deep commitment to gender equality and social justice, Dr. Chan is a true leader and inspiration for women everywhere.
  4. Dr. Lee Sun-Mi: South Korean scientist and researcher, who has made major contributions to the field of biotechnology, particularly in the areas of gene therapy and regenerative medicine. With her innovative ideas and tireless work, she is helping to usher in a new era of medical breakthroughs and improved health outcomes for people across Asia.
  5. Dr. Wang Fang: Chinese computer scientist and researcher, who is at the forefront of developing new technologies to improve our lives. Her work in artificial intelligence and machine learning has the potential to revolutionize the way we live, work, and interact with the world. She is a true pioneer and visionary, and a shining example of the impact that women can have in the field of technology.

The search for women across the globe get’s additionally hindered by language barriers, as well as by the lack of resources to tell the stories of all these women. 

Women in Latin America.

We rarely hear anything about women from South America and this is just a beginning.

  1. Dr. Ana María Cabral: Argentine lawyer and human rights activist, who has dedicated her life to promoting social justice and equality in Latin America. With her tireless work and unwavering commitment, she is a true champion of the marginalized and a source of hope for those in need.
  2. Dr. María Elena de Hoyos: Mexican pediatrician and founder of the “Pediatrics Without Borders” initiative, which provides free medical care to underserved children in Mexico and throughout Latin America. With her compassionate heart and selfless spirit, she is a true guardian of the next generation and an inspiration to us all.
  3. Dr. Natalia Salazar: Colombian psychologist and founder of the “Women for Women” organization, which works to empower women and girls in Colombia and throughout Latin America. With her passion for gender equality and social justice, she is a true leader and a voice for the voiceless.
  4. Dr. Sandra Vera: Venezuelan ecologist and conservationist, who has dedicated her life to protecting the natural wonders of Latin America and preserving its rich biodiversity. With her scientific expertise and unwavering commitment, she is a true guardian of our planet and a beacon of hope for future generations.
  5. Dr. Carla Rojas: Chilean political scientist and human rights activist, who has been at the forefront of the fight for democracy and social justice in Latin America. With her courage and determination, she is a true hero and a source of inspiration to us all.
  6. Dr. Beatriz Ramírez: Ecuadorian engineer and entrepreneur, who has dedicated her life to promoting sustainable development and improving the lives of those in need. With her innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit, she is a true leader and a catalyst for positive change in Latin America.
  7. Dr. Lucila Castro: Uruguayan sociologist and founder of the “Community Empowerment” initiative, which works to empower communities and promote social justice throughout Latin America. With her deep commitment to the marginalized and her passion for justice, she is a true voice for the voiceless and a shining example of what can be achieved with determination and perseverance.

And of course, there are the ones who have received some media coverage, but not sufficient: 

  1. Wangari Maathai: Kenyan environmental and political activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work on environmental conservation and women’s rights.
  2. Reshma Saujani: American lawyer, politician, and founder of Girls Who Code, an organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology.
  3. Ching-Yu Cheng: Taiwanese computer scientist and researcher known for her work in computer graphics and human-computer interaction.
  4. Evelyn Hu: Chinese-American electrical engineer and computer scientist who specializes in nanotechnology and has made significant contributions to the field of microelectronics.
  5. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: Indian entrepreneur and businesswoman who is the founder, chairperson, and managing director of Biocon, one of India’s leading biotechnology companies.

These are just a few examples of women who do not seek grandeur or esteem but work daily to enhance the lives of others. Ziva Voices believes that we need to spotlight the work of women like them in order to help break down gender inequality, enhance sustainability and improve the lives of women everywhere. 

Let us know in the comments which women you know about. And how inspires you the most? Or simply share with us the name of a woman that the world needs to learn more about. 

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