Sunday 22 October 2017

International Women's Day: Google Doodle honours 13 inspiring women

Google Doodle for International Women's Day
Google Doodle for International Women's Day
Google Doodle to mark International Women's Day

Sasha Brady

Google has released a slideshow of 13 inspirational women to mark International Women's Day 2017.

The Google Doodle features 13 "female pioneers" from all walks of life who made remarkable achievements in their chosen field over the last century, paving the way for the females who followed.

Google Doodle for International Women's Day
Google Doodle for International Women's Day

“They pursued a range of professions and passions and hailed from an array of backgrounds and countries," Google says.

"In fact, all of these women have been featured in individual doodles in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. So today we’re taking the opportunity to share their stories with everyone.”

The slideshow stars off with a little girl whose grandmother tells her "the best bedtime story ever" before she introduces her to the 13 women who come alive in the child's imagination.

1. Ida B. Wells

American journalist and activist. She championed women's rights in her writing and brought international attention to the lynching of African-American men in the southern states.

“We salute Ida B. Wells with a Doodle that commemorates her journalistic mettle and her unequivocal commitment to the advancement of civil liberties,” Google says.

Wells-Barnett is also known for her rally cry, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

2. Lotfia El Nadi

Egypt's first female pilot who got her pilot's licence when she was just 26, against the wishes of her father.

Speaking about her love of flying, Lotfia had said: "I learned to fly because I love to be free".

3. Frida Kahlo

Mexican artist and activist. Despite suffering from signigicant health problems throughout her life, Kahlo never stopped working and striving. As well as dedicating her life to art, Kahlo also fought hard for the rights of women, Latinos and workers.

"I painted my own reality," she said.

Her work has encouraged many women to pursue their passions and fight for what they believe in, despite whatever obstacles life might pose along the way.

4. Lina Bo Bardi

Italian modernist architect and political activist who created many iconic buildings after she moved to Brazil.

She also worked as a publisher, teacher and political activist in both Italy and Brazil.

Her most recognisable work is the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil.

5. Olga Skorokhodova

Russian researcher who focused on deaf and blind communication.

She lost her sight and hearing at age 5 as a result of meningitis and dedicated her life to carefully documenting how the deaf and blind perceive the world around them.

Her work has contributed towards improving education for deaf and blind students around the world.

6. Miriam Makeba

South African singer and actress who used her platform to push for civil rights and speak out oppression in South Africa.

When she died, Nelson Mandela said: "Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us."

7. Sally Ride

American astronaut who became the first female to go to space in 1983.

She later because a professor of physics and was concerned that girls and minority students abandoned their interest in science and maths and used her high profile to motivate them to stick with it.

She also wrote a book for young adults that raised awareness on climate change.

8. Halet Çambel

Turkish archaeologist and athlete who first female Muslim to compete at the Olympics (and publicly snubbed Hitler at the ceremony).

She also worked as an archaeologist and spent much of her time preserving important historical site in Turkey.

A vocal defender of Turkey's cultural heritage, she was also very active in social issues.

9. Ada Lovelace

English mathematician who is considered by many to be the world's first computer programmer.

In 1843 she published notes on the Analytic Engine which included the first sequence of operations for a computer.

10. Rukmini Devi

Indian dancer who is credited with popularising the country's classical dance Bharata Natyam, which had almost disappeared until she rescued it from obscurity.

Devi was also an animal rights activist and was the first chair of the Animal Welfare Board of India. When asked how she became an activist, she said: "I was standing one day on a railway platform, waiting for my train when I felt my sari being tugged by someone. I turned around to find it was no ‘someone’ but a monkey, a caged monkey, pulling at my sari to ask me to help it get out of that trap ... I felt that the monkey had given me a task, a mission."

11. Cecilia Grierson

Argentinain doctor - the first female in her country to gain a medical degree in 1899, during a time when medical schools were off-limits to women.

She also worked as a human rights activist and founded the first nursing school in Argentina.

As vice president of the International Council of Women, a suffragist organisation, she fought tirelessly for social causes like welfare benefits, maternity leave for working women, and the end of the slave trade.

12. Lee Tai-young

The first female lawyer and judge in Korea.

She used her position to revise national law which helped improve the rights for women in her country.

Lee wrote many books on women's issues and translated Eleanor Roosevelt's book On My Own into Korean. In her memoirs, Lee summarised her life's work as "build[ing] a dam which can produce energy and power to lighten the darkened corners of society and reinvigorate its stalled and rusty engines."

13. Suzanne Lenglen

The French athlete who won 31 Championship titles between 1914 and 1926. She became the youngest ever major tournament champion when she won the world hard court championships at 15

She is also credited as helping to popularise the sport, especially for women and for not giving two hoots to other people's opinions when dressing for the court. Bill Tilden, a US tennis star, once said that "her costume struck me as a cross between a prima donna's and a streetwalker".

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