This is the title of a conversation came across as I scrolled through the Reddit application recently. Under here, were unanimated accounts from both women and men about various genuine, non-flamboyant, real life situations where women mentioned in the anecdotes shone their light so brightly that they became memorable heroines to many people.
It was inspiring in retrospection and I felt the need to give these women flowers, dead or alive. By telling their stories, their benefaction is upheld and constantly bolstered up. It is still a women’s month and what better way to cap it off than celebrate our female heroes?
A hero typically points to persons of distinguished courage or ability admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities. These, as we have come to know, come in many forms. Research has generally zeroed down to what makes a hero as involving in prosocial, altruistic actions that involve an element of personal sacrifice.
First, I believe such women ought to be celebrated for their empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. A little more compassion going around would surely make the world a degree less harsher than it already is.
Secondly, I find need to celebrate these women for their resilience in the face of adversity as well as celebration of competence and skill at what they do and what their efforts have meant in making the world a better place.
A bunch of the stories in the subreddit mention a manager of theirs at a current or former workplace, who stepped in so strongly for them when they were down or had a gruelling encounter with a client or customer.
If you have worked in a store, restaurant or any business with a similar set up, you know what it feels like turning up for work when you are not feeling your best on a particular day or even days.
This could be due to issues ranging from emotional breakdown such as heartbreak, feelings of betrayal from family or friends, fear, mental health issues such as chronic depression, anxiety and financial challenges.
The number of reasons one is likely to turn up to work feeling unwell are plenty and the fact that someone would take a conscious and deliberate efforts to intervene on behalf of their employee, especially being the manager is a true heroic action in itself. The possibility of employees aspiring to be that person for somebody else someday is much welcome in efforts to improve working spaces.
Another category that was widely discussed and stuck with me were women scientists who have achieved great feats that are phenomenally inspiring. The Sciences(STEM) are grounds for some of the greatest explorations and are inclusive of engineers, physicists, chemists, doctors and innovators who have helped advance our understanding of how the world works.
Science helps in satisfying basic human needs and improving life standards, for example, in finding cures to diseases or inventing technology that has helped advance our societies. As much as we have been aware of the fact that the world needs science, it has become apparent that science needs women too, considering that they are still greatly underrepresented in this field, with a statistic of more than 30 per cent.
Only women in research globally in addition to their works rarely get the recognition they deserve. I believe there is an urgent need to promote sciences to more girls and women partly through celebrating those women that have already achieved milestones in this realm.
Some women that are worthy of mentioning here include Catherine Nakalembe, a remote sensing scientist, Harriet Mayanja Kizza, a former Dean of the School of Medicine at Makerere University, conservationist and veterinary doctor; Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, star of the BBC documentary ‘Gladys the African Veterinary’, Josephine Nambooze who was the first woman in East Africa to qualify as physician as well as other celebrated scientists from Africa and world over such as Maathai Muta Wangari,Francesca Nneka Okeke,Elizabeth Friedman and Hedy Lamarr.
Women in arts; music, poets, painters and writers whose works have impacted humanity are another category that was often mentioned. Notable examples in this category are Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Lillian Aujo, Nina Simone, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mary Shelley, Pamela Phatismo and Peju Alatise.
Women sports personalities are another category that was greatly discussed in the chat. These included women setting world breaking records in various sports who ought to be loudly celebrated for inspiring many. Examples here included Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams both at the top of tennis and deceased motorsport racer Sabine Schmitz.
Without contention, women revolutionaries or activists who were leaders of massive liberation struggles deserve medals. My favourites are Mariam Sankara, Miriam Makeba, Yaa Asentewa, Pauline Opango and Winnie Madikizela and Harriet Tubman.
These women did what they had to do to make the world a better place. Feel free to seize the moment to give thought to or honour physically if you are able to, the heroines in your life.
A final and probably most prized category here are mothers whose stories show wholehearted giving, care and nurturing against all odds. These are the unsung heroes in most people’s daily lives. Mothers who provide descent lives for their children through unwavering support and unconditional love deserve recognition.