A world where women are empowered is a better world for all. If women had unlimited access to all the positions we deserve —  as leaders, healers, scientists, writers, artists, engineers, speakers, athletes, educators, and so much more — we would be a whole lot closer to experiencing true equality and seeing the end of poverty.

There is so much value in uplifting women and making sure we have the reins to lead our own lives, yet we still face barriers, the result of systems designed to cement gender inequality in our lives and futures.

For centuries women have stood up and refused to remain silent in the face of oppression; women have fought for our rights throughout history, and where they could, they brought a band of sisters along with them, making sure to leave no woman behind. That’s the power of womanhood: that in moving forward, taking up space, and designing a world where everyone can be free of poverty’s systematic causes, women refuse to leave their sisters behind.

It’s not just something you’ll see in history, it’s ongoing throughout generations. Today, there are formidable women and girls who continue that legacy in every space. Because, we’ll say it again, a world where women are empowered, is a better world for all.

For Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re giving a much-deserved shout out to some of the incredible activists who’ve dedicated their careers to supporting other women. There’s simply no space to include every woman out there giving a helping hand to her sisters — but here’s to each and every one of you!

  1.  Jasvinder Sanghera CBE For almost three decades, Jasvinder Sanghera has worked to make sure that forced marriage and honor-based abuse become a thing of the past. At the age of 16 she escaped a forced marriage. However, her sister, who was also subjected to child marriage at the age of 15, died by suicide as a result.
  2. Polly Irungu American politician and activist, Shirley Chisholm, once said: "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” and that’s exactly what Kenyan-American photographer, Polly Irungu did. In fact, she did more than that, she made her own table, and invited other Black women photographers to sit beside her.
  3. Sabuni Francoise Chikunda When it comes to protecting and uplifting refugee women and girls, Congolese activist Sabuni Francoise Chikunda plays many roles as she’s become a community leader for asylum seeking women in Uganda.

Read the full article about female activism by Khanyi Mlaba at Global Citizen.