Women's Herstory Month: The History-Making Women of the Future

 
While some of us may remember getting International Women’s Day snapchats on March 8th, March overall has gone unnoticed as Women’s History Month. In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which officially declared March as “Women’s History Month.” Since then, newspaper and online articles alike have paid tribute to some of the most amazing women of the past: Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth 1, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart (and my personal favorite), Sybil Ludington. But two hundred years from now, when our great-great grandchildren are laughing that we had to drive our own cars, who will they be studying in school that helped shaped history in the early 21st century? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most influential Millennial women that will be listed in our posterity’s digital textbooks. 
 
 
 
1. Alengot Proscovia Oromait (b. 1993)
 
"It's not the age of the body, it's the brain that one has to fight for the constituents".
 
Proscovia became the  youngest Ugandan Member of Parliament at ninteen years old in 2013. The average age of a Ugandan MP is 62 years! When her father, MP Michael Oromait, died suddenly in June of 2012, she campaigned and won his seat in Usuk County with backing from the National Resistance Movement party. Although she has many (older) critics, she accurately reflects a country where 78% of the population is under 30. "’My first day was like any other day of high school," she said. "’You make a lot of friends. There are those who come to intimidate you. You just have to give them the cold shoulder (Independent Magazine).’” Though Proscovia has to balance parliamentary duties, undergraduate course work, sexism, and agism, she has a bright future ahead of her and plans to improve not only her county, but the entire country of Uganda. 
 
 
2. Elizabeth Holmes (b. 1984) 
 
"I realized there had not been a sole female founder-CEO of a multibillion-dollar technology company. I didn't believe it. I still don't believe it."
 
Elizabeth Holmes is America’s youngest self-made female billionaire (net worth 3.6 billion.) She founded her company, Theranos, at age nineteen. Theranos has disrupted the $75 billion dollar medical lab test industry by making labs more efficient, more convenient, and less expensive for consumers with or without insurance. Instead of having to draw large amounts of blood with tubes, Theranos can detect hundreds of diseases and irregularities from just a few drops of blood. The public can have these tests administered at their local Walgreens and for no more than half the cost of Medicare. They also have minimized the amount of blood drawn on children’s lab tests. Elizabeth will certainly continue to take the medical world by storm. 
3. Katherine Chon (b. 1981) 
 
“When you’re faced  with confusion, you fall back on the knowledge you’ve gained over time.” 
 
Katherine Chon is co-founder and President of Emerita of the Polaris Project - a nonprofit organization tackling modern human slavery in the United States and Asia. Inspired by an article she read during her college years at Brown, Katherine has spent the last ten years creating solutions to fight human trafficking. Her victim outreach strategies increased victim identification by fivefold, and she helped create the DC Human Trafficking Task Force which has tripled the number of successful prosecution cases against human traffickers. She currently is the within the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.  
4. Malala Yousafzai (b. 1997) 
 
“We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.”
 
In 2014, Malala became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner at the age of 17. A strong education activist since the age of 12, Malala and her father were outspoken against the Taliban’s efforts to restrict female education.  In 2011, Malala won Pakistan’s First National Youth Peace Prize, while the Taliban voted to kill her in response to her rising popularity.  In 2013, a masked gunman came to her school and shot her with a single bullet to the head. Despite being in critical condition, Malala made a miraculous recovery and that same year founded the Malala Fund which “brings awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education.” Malala’s impact and legacy will only continue to grow as she reaches adulthood. 
 
 
5. Nina Tandon (b. 1980/81) 
 
"I am passionate about science education, (espcially for young girls and in developing countries), entrepreneurship (science-based and social), and stewardship (of our bodies and the environment)." 
 
Nina Tandon is the CEO and cofounder of the company Epibone. Epibone is the first in the world to use patients’ own stem cells to grow human bone. This bone can be grown to fit any size and shape for skeletal reconstruction - revolutionizing the medical industry. Besides researching at Epibone and Columbia University,  Nina also travels across the country doing speaking gigs (@ DU), and wrote her first book, Super Cells: Building with Biology in 2014. Nina is literally bad to the bone. 
 
6. Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, (b. 1984, 1984, 1981) 
 
“When we are able to end hyper-criminalization and sexualization of Black people and end the poverty, control, and surveillance of Black people, every single person in this world has a better shot at getting and staying free.” 
 
The Black Lives Matter Movement has been mainly associated with masculinity due to more encounters between police and African American men. (But let’s not forget Sandra Brand, Tanisha Anderson, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones, among others.) Yet, the Movement was founded by three black women, as a call to action for black people after Trayvon Martin’s murder and as a response to a racist society. Patrisse, Opal, and Alicia had no idea that a Facebook post and a hashtag would later much more. Now, #BlackLivesMatter is considered the next civil rights movement; it is the word chanted at emotional protests and found on countless t-shirts. #BlackLivesMatter was voted by the American Dialect Society as its 2014 Word of the Year. Its importance and meaning has only continued to grow as America, the land of freedom and liberty for all, struggles with its own sins.