CELEBRATING THE VOICES THAT ROARED LOUD ENOUGH

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For decades now women have fought to be heard. They have fought for their presence to be felt as much as that of men, struggled to be recognized and appreciated.   Programs have been implemented to ensure women are empowered and that the gender gap that has always existed is bridged. The international women’s day is a special day celebrated as a reminder of how far women have come from days in which even voting by women was not allowed to an era in which women presidents exist. It also serves as a reminder of how far women have to go in their agenda to become the movers and the shakers of the world. So let us raise our glasses today to celebrate the women who have hit major milestones so far, the voices that roared loud enough.   

The political world has seen women rise incredibly. 35 countries have elected a female to be their leader in the past 50 years, with the number being 22 since the year 2005. The year 2015 alone has had two women presidents rise to power, Switzerland- President Simonetta Sommaruga appointed on Jan. 1, 2015 and Croatia-President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic elected Feb. 18, 2015. Our achievements cannot go without noticing the very successful race that Hillary Clinton undertook against Donald Trump emerging a close second. After all, she won the popular vote, thanks to the majority of women who voted for her. And 60% of her donors were female — a historic first for any presidential campaign.    All this only goes to show that we can become whatever it is we desire to become.     

Women have not been left out in the athletic world. The sports world has also seen significant milestones hit by women. Only goes to show that what a man can do a woman can do way better.   Jen Welter, a former player for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League, became the first female coach in the National Football League (NFL) in July of 2015. In April of 2015, the NFL officially announced that Sarah Thomas would become the first full-time female official in NFL History. UFC fighter, Ronda Rousey, was the talk of 2015. In fact, in May of 2015, Sports Illustrated referred to her as the "world's most dominant athlete." In an ESPN poll, she was also voted as the Best Female Athlete Ever. In September, it came to light that Rousey had, at the time, received the highest pay of any UFC fighter, male or female.  What a way to go against society’s standards for women.      

Viola Davis became the leading role in the ABC drama How to Get Away with Murder. With this role, in 2015, she became the first African-American in history to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, as well as the first black woman of any nationality to win it. Viola Davis also became the first black actor to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting: winning a competitive Emmy, Tony, and Oscar in acting categories. She is also the first African-American actress and the first woman of color to win five Screen Actors Guild Awards.

But most importantly this day celebrates every woman out there who gets up on a daily basis and chooses to make a difference. The woman working in a cocoa field in Ghana to take care of her family, the woman selling vegetables in a kiosk in Kenya in a bid to send her first son to campus, the woman grinding stones in a quarry in Rwanda to offset her husband's hospital bill. We celebrate you.   We celebrate every woman who wakes up, shows up and gets it done.