By Gail Davvis-Carter (ListenGive Writer)
Tina Brown, former editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair, New Yorker and other well-known publications created Women In The World Summit in 2010. Since then the Women in the World Summit has continued to grow and give Women across industries a platform to share inspiring stories and provide creative solutions to a better life for women and girls around the world.
For 2017, the changing tides in political leadership worldwide is causing women to re-look at the roles they will play within their countries, communities and families.
Some of the Women sharing their stories and illustrating their contributions to a shift in society are:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian Author, reminicises a moment when as a young girl she received the highest marks in class, but was unable to become the class monitor, because in her ethnic community, boys held leadership positions even in schools. She remembers being so angry because she could not be who she wanted to be because she was a girl; and the young man who was given the class monitor title did not even wish to have it. It brings her to the present where she even shares in her book, how much praise is given to male parents for changing a diaper where they receive a thank you and women changing a diaper do not receive the same. It is where we learn she feels that men are being praised for being a participating parent, something that is automatic when you are two parents raising a child together.
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood shares, “her son is just as much a Feminist as his two sisters.” The importance of this statement for her is that her son, as a young man grew up seeing his female relative as a Governor. On another subject, she further explains that Women more than ever seeing Planned Parenthood in their perception being placed under a microscope, understand the importance of reproductive healthcare, and are actively doing whatever is necessary to keep healthcare available to women everywhere.
Zhang Xin, Soho China Billionaire, a woman who literally is a self-made billionaire, growing up in a time in China, where there was political unrest and she was homeless. She would move on to go to Hong Kong and work as a Factory Worker. At that time, Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom. She would save $3,000 British Pounds and move to the United Kingdom where she would begin an education. She further explains that though in those turbulent times of the Mao’s leadership, he raised the standards of women by allowing women and men to work with equality and receive pay for the same work. With a mother who also supported her growth, she would become one of China’s first Woman Billionaires. What is unique about Zhang is the architecture of her buildings. The shape of her buildings are iconic. What differentiates her is that she brings in talent from outside of China to work together to build within China.
The above women were just a few of the amazing stories told at the Women in The World 2017 Summit. Why I chose the above women to share with all of you is because they are all from three very diverse backgrounds and countries. Yet they have overcome the odds to succeed in difficult times. Its important to forge partnerships among men and women. To see that human beings simply want to connect with each other. But there are times when we must be strong to overcome the struggles that persist or get in the way of us achieving our dreams. And that neither of these three women achieved anything alone. What had to be done alone, is their decision to continue despite whatever obstacle they faced. If you notice in life, when you face an obstacle and you choose to continue moving forward, somehow others are brought in your path to work together with you to go to next level in achieving that overall goal. Don’t lose faith, focus on the positive, and let go of whatever no longer serves you. Live and don’t survive.