It was a legendary year for courageous females from all over the world this 2018. Here are our top five inspiring women who made the 2018 headlines in a positive way.
In August 2013, Josephine Majani awoke on hard flooring in the Bungoma District Health Center in Bungoma, Kenya.
Josephine heard nurses yelling, “I saw them carry the baby away. They screamed at me, ‘Why have you delivered on the floor? Who is going to clean up all this blood? Get up. Get your things and go back to the delivery room.’ I was helpless.”
Josephine recalled that she had no memory of being slapped. However, when she gained back consciousness, her cheeks stung. Her experience was captured on video.
According to Martin Onyango, the senior Africa legal adviser for the Center for Reproductive Rights, this extreme lack of attention is not unusual in hospitals in third world countries.
In February of this year, the court provided a landmark ruling awarding Josephine $25,000 in damages and required the hospital staff to formally say sorry to her which set a precedent that demands women be provided quality care and treated with dignity throughout childbirth.
Even though Man Kaur is 101 years old, her routine could tire most 20-somethings.
Every day, she gets up at 4 a.m., bathes, cleans clothing, makes tea, recites prayers up until about 7 a.m. She then goes to the track for an hour of running.
At 101 years old, Man is a competitive runner and holds world records in her age group for several classifications. She is a great role model for women and runners all over the world.
During hajj ( the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) Mona Elthawy was dressed in a hijab and covered from head to toe when she felt someone grabbed her butt.
Rather than informing the authorities about the sick incident, Mona, who was just 15 at the time, just broke into tears.
“Who wants to talk about sexual assault at a holy place? No one would believe it,” Mona said, remembering the encounter which occurred in 1982.
In early February, Mona, who was now an author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, shared her story on Twitter. It was in response to a viral Facebook post that was posted by a Pakistani woman who shared her own experience of being sexually assaulted during hajj. Their posts motivated an outpouring of similar testaments from Muslim women around the globe.
In August 2014, Nadia Murad was one of the countless females from the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq who were kidnapped by ISIS and pushed into sexual slavery. She luckily escaped three months later through a door that a captor left unlocked.
She has shared her horrific story with international media to show the world what occurred in Yazidis. She has now become the voice for captive girls and women who had to deal with sexual violence.
Murad encourages them to reclaim their lives. “The hope of ISIS was to break the Yazidi community,” she states. “But for survivors especially, going back to their lives and getting married and making a life and working, it’s basically making sure ISIS did not succeed.”
Her inspiring work has led to the U.N. naming her the first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking in 2015.
In 2018, she ended up being the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Dr Denis Mukwege, a gynecologist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who treats victims of rape.
Maria Garcia Ramos
Maria Garcia Ramos has been using a wheelchair since she was 14 due to a neurological disorder that damaged her spinal column.
The creator of a non-profit called Mexican Women With Disabilities, she advocates for policy and legislation that push forward rights for women with disabilities.
In 2017, she represented Mexico at the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In March of this year, she participated in SXSW, a technology, film, and music conference in Austin, Texas, where she spoke on a panel to help break stereotypes about women with disabilities.
She also called out the panelists, which included the president of Paramount and executives from Warner Bros., for not including people with disabilities on their shows.
We’re definitely looking forward to the list of women who will make it on the courageous females of 2019. Girl power!
This article first appeared on npr.org.