TIME released it's 2015 list of Most Influential People and women dominated the list this year. 10 of those women represent the best of humanity in promoting success and representation.
Women are doing it for themselves, according to TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2015. Political leaders, social changers, judges, and humanitarian roles are all represented by women this year. Of the 100 most internationally influential, many want to effect change.
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Choosing only a select number wasn't easy, but the main criteria was the global social impact. The push for betterment of women by women. And the chance to move others to looking for a brighter future.
Henry A. Kissinger compliments Elizabeth Holmes's need for basic medical rights on an affordable level as an undergraduate and the decision to leave Ivy League education for the chance to make a difference. Thanks to hard work, Holmes not only found a way to keep blood test methods on an obtainable level for many agencies and people, but also focused on doing good in a world of conflict.
Because her medical breakthrough is "mobile and can therefore be easily transported to underdeveloped regions," prevention becomes life-saving and helps transform once-remote societies into healthy, thriving communities.
Just as Holmes broke through the wall of medical technology, Dr. Joanne Liu's work as the president of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) showed the world how quick intervention and constant surveillance can help stem the tide of outbreak.
The outbreak and rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa made headlines and Liu used her position to sound the alarm for an epidemic on the rise. Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls it a "privilege to work alongside Liu and her colleagues" to reduce Ebola from high numbers to low. Working along with more than 800 experts, he reminds readers that the constant charging "the world to better respond to crises," epidemics can be halted. It just takes focus and flexibility, something Dr. Liu excels in.
While doctors were reinventing how to change the world, political leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former U.S. Secretary of State and president hopeful Hillary Clinton, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren all strove to create a better world for women.
Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of the Emerson Collective, believes Clinton is "speaking not only of gender but also of justice and liberty" through women advocacy in a field ripe with sexism. "She is a realist with a conscience and an idealist who is comfortable with the exercise of power" because in the end, gender is not what defines the woman. "What matters more is what kind of woman she is."
While Jobs focuses on Clinton, Clinton is in fact focusing on Warren. The 2016 Democratic candidate believes Warren's power is in the fact "she never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire." That justice, that sense of "unflagging determination to level the playing field for hardworking American families" is the legacy that will go beyond Ted Kennedy's commitment to Massachusetts.
"She fights so hard for others to share in the American Dream because she lived it herself."
Chancellor Merkel works hard at diplomatic resolution, of conflict resolution without bloodshed. And Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko acknowledged that the country "needed a strong reaction from the world to the brutal aggression against the sovereign nation" and Merkel responded in an attempt to stave off a war. A determination to fight for lives of those citizens in the middle of a conflict.
She "managed to leverage German economic power into diplomatic power to lead a major security effort on behalf of the world, which, most importantly, entrusted her with that effort" and earned the commitment from oppositional leaders.
As the world focuses on crises and unending need for resolution, social pushes for more awareness are rising.
Obiageli Ezekwesili forced the world to acknowledge the dangers of Boko Haram, using her position of power as Nigeria’s former Minister of Education to make sure #BringBackOurGirls remained in the minds of global citizens. Over a year later and answers still remain a mystery, but Ezekwesili has not forgotten her mission.
Silence is unacceptable. Even though Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe has never met the brash leader, she believes society must “remember that these girls are undergoing psychological and maybe physical torture” and that vocalization is needed to “bring back our girls.”
The education of girls, of young women, remains important for those under the oppressive and violent discharge of limiting governments and terrorist groups.
Malala Yousafzai made headlines in 2012 when a gunman shot the young girl over her anonymous honesty in living under the Taliban in Pakistan. Already a feminist and advocate, the world galvanized around the victim. Suddenly, the world was forced to witness of privilege of education.
Mezon Almellehan calls Yousafzai an inspiration because no matter what, “education is the only way to regain our spirit and control over our lives” as refugees. The 16-year-old speaks of life as a Syrian refugee, of the fighting spirit to continue beyond the wishes of oppressors. Watching the Pakistani teen earn the Nobel Peace Prize showed that a single individual “can make a difference” and “that all girls and boys can bring change to our world.”
And what is change without representation? Laverne Cox’s hit role in Orange is the New Black makes it clear trans women are important. That being different doesn’t mean one is worth less. Jazz Jennings, a transgender teenager, is an advocate and author who calls Cox “a pioneer for our community” because “loving herself enough to share her story with the world” is an inspiration for those seeking acceptance and support.
Sometimes representation means looking at the classic arts as well. During her teenage years, Misty Copeland was a ballet prodigy. But beyond the scope of talent is the fact Copeland worked for thousands of hours to achieve status as the first African-American soloist in over two decades for the American Ballet Theatre. In a world full of exacting standards, the ballerina opened the first showing of Swan Lake by The Washington Ballet in 70 years.
Never one to give up through adversity, she moved with grace on- and off-stage. She did not let any one moment of conflict stop the passion for success. “In that way, she is a model for all young girls,” says five-time Olympic medalist Nadia Comăneci. Comăneci’s work in gymnastics involved minor ballet exercise, in how to be fluid and athletic in other ways.
But the Romanian also declares “it was an honor to learn that a movie about me inspired a 7-year-old Misty to see the joy in movement” because it doesn’t matter where you come from, only that you preserve and succeed. But where else can such strength in character and personal ethics serve the community in a larger capacity?
Perseverance and a strong belief in self are mandatory traits for judges, a self-conviction that must not bend to the pressures of society or lobbyists. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has served on the Supreme Court since President Clinton appointed the judge in 1993, but beyond that she has continuously advocated rights through impassioned belief in the justice system. Education and community will strongly motivate the opportunity for citizen balance.
Fellow Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia attests that “what only her colleagues know is that her suggestions improve the opinions the rest of us write, and that she is a source of collegiality and good judgment in all our work.” He also believes that her “opinions are always thoroughly considered, always carefully crafted and almost always correct.” This is a woman who looks at power and sees the responsibility in minute detail.
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Women leaders around the world inspire and effect change through actions and perseverance. Whether the person is serving in a court of law, representing a long history of progress, or pushing boundaries by offering humanitarian aid without condemnation, these women fight for change.