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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

Women are amazing! This is how I decided to start off today’s article because it is beyond true! In honor of it being March, which is women’s history month, I will be highlighting some influential women over the years. I would also like to mention that the women who are highlighted today aren’t necessarily the only or most influential.

There have been so many women over the years who have made an impact on our earth, I cannot do them all justice in one article, so I will be highlighting a few that may not be so well known.

Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)

Hedy Lamarr was a television actress. However, there was more to Lamarr than met the eye though, something special that people often ignored. She was well educated. She played a huge role in the further development of certain technologies such as, WiFi, GPS, and bluetooth. Alongside George Anthiel, she developed a new way to do something called ‘frequency hopping’.

This is a method that it used to conceal radio transmissions. It works by having the signal move from channel to channel in a pre thought-out pattern. 

Now, this was not the creation of Wifi, GPS, and bluetooth, as some people say. It was merely a stepping stone. However, without this stepping stone, would we be as technologically advanced as we are now?

Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)

I did not recognize this name before doing some research for this article, but I am so glad I came across it and I can’t wait to share a short summary of this woman!

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected onto the United States Congress. She was in congress for two terms that fell in line with World War I and World War II. Not only did she play an impactful role in voting to keep America out of further conflict, she is also widely known for her stance on women’s voting rights, along with many other issues. 

One of the quotes I read while doing research on Rankin that stuck with me was; “I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last”.

Malala Yousafzai (1997 – present)

Malala Yousafzai is a brave young woman who went through something tragic for standing up for what she believed in. She is a firm believer that girls have the same right to education as everyone else. However, after speaking out about her beliefs she was shot on the left side of her head by a man who entered her school bus asking who she was. 

Through lots of surgery and rehabilitation, Malala decided to live the life she’d been granted to her fullest potential. Her biggest goal was to make sure every girl had the same chance at an education. She started a charity called ‘The Malala Fund”, which aims to give girls the futures they deserve. She later won a Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest person to ever receive one. She stood up for what she believed in and she is now making a difference in girls’ lives all over the world. 

Jane Goodall (1934 – present)

You may know her name, you may not. I am here to tell you a bit more about this woman! She is largely known as a ‘chimpanzee expert’. Her knowledge and work that dealt with conservation, the environment and being a primatologist led her to win a UN Messenger in Peace award and a Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science. 

However, she falls into the category of influential women because she was a very educated woman in a heavily male-dominated field. She knew it would be hard to be taken seriously in a science driven male-dominated field, but she was determined to do just that. 

In an article written by Jane herself she revealed that she was once questioned while waiting in line to shake the hand of the Queen. Someone asked her “Don’t you dream of being a lady-in-waiting?”, to which she replied “Absolutely not – I want to live among wild animals”. She then goes on to explain how horrified everyone seemed by her statement. She mentions that as much as they thought she was the weird one, she found them just as weird. 

I think what this tells us is that instead of being so concerned about what everyone thinks about us, we should just stay passionate and do what you love. In the end, it will work out in your favor.

Gloria Steinem (1934 – present)

Gloria Steinem is known for her strong stance on feminism. Known as the initial spokeswoman for the American feminist movement through the late 60’s and into the 70’s. Some even refer to her as the “Mother of Feminism”

She focused on show casing what feminism was about. She wanted there to be a deeper and more common understanding for the word ‘feminism’ in society. She didn’t want the word to be laced with negative assumptions. 

She continues to have a strong stance on her opinion and had gone on to be the co-founder of magazines, and other female groups that also helped change the understanding of feminism. 

In conclusion, there are so many women who have had an impact on our society, and there will be so many more! Everyday, every individual has the chance to make a difference. Wake up to an opportunity to better yourself everyday, and you will be powerful. 

Like Beyoncé said “Who run the world?… GIRLS”.

Hi, Im Jaden! I am a Bachelor of Science Psychology major at York University. I love to read, write, workout and crochet.