13 women who are making the world a better place

While some terribly unpleasant things happened this year, there have also been some small yet positive steps made.

After reading about these legendary women, you'll know you can contribute towards the society no matter what - you don't need to be in a specific field, time or environment to make a difference to the world.

By Julius Choudhury

Malala Yousafzai
At 17 years old, Pakistani female education activist Malala Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel laureate on Oct. 10, 2014. When she was 11, she wrote a blog for the BBC, talking about her life under Taliban occupation. In 2012, Yousafzai survived being shot in the head by the Taliban. She went on to become an advocate for human rights and fighting Taliban forces to promote education for women in Swat Valley, Pakistan.

Liya Kebede
Ethiopian-born model Liya Kebede is a famous name in the fashion industry. But it’s her work as a maternal health advocate that has positively affected the lives of thousands around the world. Kebede has served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health since 2005. In the same year, she also founded the Liya Kebede Foundation which works to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia and other parts of the world.

Tammy Tibbetts
Tammy Tibbetts is the co-founder and president of She's the First, a charity organization that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries and is working to create the next generation of leaders. Since 2010, they have provided more than 2,674 scholarships.

Jamila Bayaz
Afghanistan’s first female police chief, Col. Jamila Bayaz, is entrusted with running security details in District 1 of Kabul, Afghanistan, which houses the presidential palace, government ministries and the central bank. Apart from facing a conservative society and militant threats, the policewomen of Afghanistan are under constant threat from insurgents. Bayaz is also the mother of five children.

Zainab Bangura
In 2012, Zainab Bangura, from Sierra Leone, was appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. Stressing the point that sexual violence needs to stop, Bangura’s office helped bring out a U.N. declaration in which 140 member states committed to ending molestation and rape during conflict.

Diane Luby Lane
In 2006, Diane Luby Lane founded the Get Lit-Words Ignite teen literacy programs to reach out to youth through classic poetry. Presently, Get Lit connects with over 20,000 teenagers and helps them reach out to their families and communities through art and social activism.

Catherine Samba-Panza
Known as “Mother Courage,” Central African Republic’s (CAR) interim president from 2014 to 2016, Catherine Samba-Panza, was selected to lead the country in January 2014 to bring under control ethnic clashes that forced more than one million people from their homes. Being the first female president of CAR and a women’s right activist, Panza worked towards steering her country away from violence.

Mary Grace Henry
When she was just 12 years old, Mary Grace Henry formed the organization Reverse The Course in 1999, which sells hair accessory products to sponsor girls’ education in Uganda and Kenya. So far, Henry’s organization has sold over 16,000 accessories, sponsored 115 girls, and is funding 251 years’ worth of educational supplies like tuition, textbooks, uniforms and shoes.

Stephanie Sinclair
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair’s photo series “Child Brides” exposed forced marriages in 50 countries. It also led to the formation of her non-profit organization in 2012, Too Young to Wed, which aims to eradicate child marriage and provide support for girls in the communities covered in “Child Brides.”

Maria Rose Belding
Maria Rose Belding’s online database, MEANS (Matching Excess and Need for Stability), helps connect people with excess food items with those in need. Operational since 2013, MEANS is already operating in 45 U.S. states, assisting donors to get in touch with pantries and food banks.

Chetna Sinha
The founder of the non-profit Mann Deshi Foundation, Chetna Sinha helps empower women in the rural areas of western India. Sinha and her organization provide the women with training, management help, and access to markets, lands and production practices. Mann Deshi presently supports over 300,000 women and girls and also arranges for their loans and savings through the Mann Deshi micro-enterprise development bank.

Maggie Doyne
Maggie Doyne’s foundation, BlinkNow, assists underprivileged children find education and a roof above their heads in Surkhet, Nepal. Doyne had built the Kopila Valley School in Surkhet in 2010 with all her personal savings and the help of the local community. The school today educates over 350 children and helps reduce the financial burdens of their families with meals, medicine, books and uniforms. Doyne is also the legal guardian of around 50 students of the school.

Mehrezia Labidi
The vice president of Tunisia’s constituent assembly, Meherezia Labidi is the most senior female politician of the Ennahda Movement party. She also led the debates over Tunisia’s constitution, post-Arab spring. She constantly made a strong stand for women’s rights and the constitution, which was passed in 2014, acted as a breakthrough for women’s rights.


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Women's Lifestyle: 13 women who are making the world a better place
13 women who are making the world a better place
Women's Lifestyle
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