International Women’s Day – Memorializing Outstanding Historical and Contemporary Figures – The NAU Review

NAU’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies has collected a list of outstanding historical and contemporary figures who have advocated for women’s rights/human rights in every conceivable field of intellectual, political, medical, and artistic endeavours. different geographical locations. As a caveat, as you read and marvel at these “worthy women” listed below, please keep in mind that given the temporal and spatial expanse of human history, these individuals are far from exhausting the rich archive of women/gender histories, personalities and personalities. their accomplishments. Further, as we commemorate the outstanding achievements of individuals, it is also our responsibility to recognize the communities and communities in which they lived and worked. The names of our contributors appear in parentheses at the end of each profile.

We curated this list with particular attention to inclusive and diverse representation policies. We embed some links for the people on our list – this is an invitation for you to read and research further, especially as you are intrigued by these outstanding personalities and their contributions to enriching our collective lives.

Fatima Al-Fihri is known as the founder of the world’s first university, the University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco, in 859 CE. After inheriting a large sum of money from her father, Fatima Al-Fihri established an education center. Al-Qarawiyyin University is the oldest degree-granting institution of higher education in the world. The University of al-Qarawiyyin predates the founding of the Egyptian Azhar University founded in 970 CE, the University of Bologna founded in 1088 CE and the University of Oxford, founded in 1096 CE, known for to be the oldest English-speaking university. (Dilofarid Miskinzod, Women’s Studies and Gender Studies

Amrita Sher-Gil and Frida Kahlo: Painters shape our “ways of seeing”, opening up the world to new and competing interpretations. Through their work, they direct the human gaze to admire color and movement, transforming the mundane into wonder and art. Two female painters, Amrita and Frida, were contemporary with the 20th century, leaving behind a plethora of canvases and inviting viewers around the world to learn and marvel at their talent.

Amrita Sher-Gil: A Hungarian-Indian avant-garde painter, much of his work is now exhibited at the National Modern Art Gallery in New Delhi, India. She has traveled widely and in her work she has perfectly adopted the techniques and styles of Indian and Western artistic traditions. Many of his paintings depict Indian women in strength and determination, this is especially true of his canonical painting, Three girls.

Unfortunately, fame and artistic recognition came to Amrita after his death, and sadly even today his work is not well known beyond the subcontinent. Some have also referred to Amrita as Indian Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo: She is a famous Mexican painter, whose canvas did not shy away from depicting pain, death, trauma and loss. In several self-portraits, Frida dedicated her life. Frida’s paintings have gained worldwide recognition and appreciation, a testament to the power of her brush, her imagination and her politics. Scholars have commented extensively on his paintings and used his letters to reconstruct the passion and pain that framed much of his life and work. More than 300 works by Frida are on display at the Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art) in Mexico City. His home in Mexico City has also been turned into a museum, a loving celebration of his life and painting.

(Sanjam Ahluwalia, WSG and Department of History)

Ismat Chugtai and Gabriela Mistral: Writers and poets wrote for multigenerational readers; together they warned us against dystopian futures, while focusing us on redemptive utopias. What a rich world they bequeathed to us, a world that only grows richer as each generation of readers encounters them and their writings.

Ismat Chughtai “Lihaaf/Quilt” (1942) is one of Chughtai’s earliest known Indian short stories focusing on women’s sexuality and lesbian sex/love. by Lihaaf exploration of homoeroticism was deemed vulgar and corrupting societal values, leading to its banning in 1942. As a Muslim feminist writer, Chughtai defied stereotypes, waging a legal battle against the banning of its history under British colonial obscenity laws. A champion of free speech, Chughtai succeeded in having the ban legally overturned, and today this story, along with her other works of fiction and non-fiction, marks her as one of South Asian female writers. most remarkable of the 20th century.

Gabrielle Mistral: One of Latin America’s most decorated poets, she was the first Hispanic-American woman writer to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature, won in 1945. Born Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, her rich literary oeuvre explores themes of love, nature, loss, motherhood and the complex layers of Latin American identities. While Mistral is celebrated by the Chilean state as a matriarchal figure, feminists highlight her work as an accomplished educator and diplomat. In her article, Claudia Cabello Hutt identifies Mistral as “poor, rural, metissingle, queer woman.

(sanjam AhluwaliaWGS and Department of History)

Esperanza Sanchez Mastrapa (1901-1958) was a pharmacist from eastern Cuba. She was active in local black civic associations (such as the Federation of Colored Societies of Oriente Province) and the National Communist Party. Notably, she was also the only black woman elected as a delegate to the 1940 Constitutional Assembly. According to historian Takkara Brunson’s book that discusses Sánchez and others, “radical black women like Sánchez used communism as a strategy of democratic reform between 1940 and the 1959 revolution”. (Elizabeth Schwall, Department of History)

Rosa Luxemburg: A charismatic and articulate Marxist philosopher and revolutionary socialist, Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) was born in Poland to a Jewish family and later became a naturalized German citizen. She was radically anti-war, organizing demonstrations in 1914 in Frankfurt and advocating conscientious objection to military conscription. As a founding member of the Spartacus League, a Communist dissent from the Social Democratic Party, Luxemburg wrote illegal anti-war pamphlets and demanded amnesty for all political prisoners and the abolition of capital punishment. Luxemburg was imprisoned for years for her activism and was captured and murdered, her body thrown into Berlin’s Landwehr canal, by members of the GKSD, a paramilitary unit, during the German Revolution of 1918-1919. She was a tireless advocate of universal suffrage, including women’s suffrage and the restructuring of capitalist families and economies, and leaves a legacy of a democratic tradition in Marxism and a passionate commitment to understanding and transforming oppressive systems. (Francoise ReimerWGS and College of Education)

Enid Mary Blyton was a prolific British children’s author born in August 1897. Before her death in 1968, Blyton published no less than 700 books. His works have been translated into 90 different languages ​​to better reach a diverse audience of children who enjoy his stories as much as those of previous generations. For many children, it is difficult to see themselves in any of the Enid Blyton books they read, as all the characters she wrote about were white, English-speaking British school children. However, series like “Malory Towers” and “St. Claire’s” provided young female readers with a strong female role model – women and girls who boasted of their intelligence and strength, and who supported and uplifted each other. each other. (Aeka Vinod JoshiFlagstaff Academy of Arts and Leadership, Grade 10)

Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera: Johnson was a black trans woman who (along with Latinx trans woman Sylvia Rivera) is known for instigating the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. The Stonewall Riots were protests against police violence. She and other queer people in the community, including Rivera, have fought back against the terrorizing brutality that police have inflicted on working-class queer and trans POCs. Together they co-founded STAR, an organization that worked to find shelter, food security and community for homeless gay youth. Johnson and Rivera both struggled with mental illnesses, worked as sex workers, were repeatedly homeless and spoke about the need for liberation and freedom for those most oppressed by violent systems of racism. , capitalism, ableism, misogyny and trans people. bigotry. Rivera has also been open about her struggle with addiction and surviving sexual assault as a child. They are both examples of powerful and unapologetic women of color who have inspired countless activists and community actions in the decades since, including the speech of Raquel Willis who, during the Brooklyn Liberation March in June 2020, honors the legacy of Marsha P. (Ari BurfordWGS)

Mma Francinah Ramatlakwana: A friend and co-researcher with Professor NAU Frances Riemer. Francinah is a village steward, proud Motswana and lifelong feminist. She took Reimer to her first International Women’s Day celebration in Botswana. Reimer met Francinah while she was teaching in the Botswana Non-Formal Literacy Campaign. Francinah grew up farming and caring for animals in Malolwane, a small village in southeast Botswana, left school at the equivalent of sixth grade and spent her young adult years working in apartheid South Africa. Upon her return to Malolwane, she became a literacy teacher, started and maintained the only daycare center and library in the village, and ran a successful sewing business in her backyard. She was later elected to the village council and the land council. A politically radical African feminist in her daily life and practices, Francinah is deeply committed to the community and to improving the lives of women and children in her community. (Frances RiemerWGS and College of Education)

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