Although social media may give the impression that the world likes to tear women down, we believe that there is another side that prefers to celebrate the achievements of women.
National Women’s Health Week is a good place to start. We have a lot of women to thank for leading us to a time when we have a wealth of health information at our fingertips. Some of these women are no longer with us, but their resolute strength stands behind every modern woman.
There are so many more ladies that we could extend our gratitude to, but let’s stick with these 12 women, who have made astounding contributions to women’s health.
1) Elizabeth Blackwell
In 1849, British-born Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to earn an M.D. degree, after she had been repeatedly told that such a venture was impossible. Eight years later, she co-founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
She also wrote several books encouraging women to enter the profession of medicine and rallied to work even though she lost sight in one eye and had significant backlash from her community.
2) Clara Barton
In 1881, this revolutionary woman founded The Red Cross at the age of 60. The former teacher and federal government employee prodded government officials to let her be at the scenes of battle during the Civil War so that she could provide medical supplies and other services.
She was burdened by depression throughout her life, but would always revive when a calamity required her assistance.
3) Rebecca Lee Crumper
Rebecca Lee Crumper changed the course of medical history by daring to be the first African American to receive an M.D. in America in 1864. Crumper later cared for freed slaves who would have had no access to medical care, were it not for her training and compassion.
4) Margaret Sanger
This former nurse grew up with an outspoken father who taught her to stand up for what she believed, and it seems to have worked. She had to flee the United States after writing several articles promoting female contraception.
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Clara Barton, American Red Cross, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Margaret Sanger, United States History, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Katherine Switzer Complete Biographical Information, Katherine Switzer Marathon Woman, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Betty Ford Biography, National First Ladies' Library, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
All About Doctor Ruth, Dr. Ruth, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Official Winfrey's Official Biography, Oprah, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Barnes, Zahra, How Jillian Michaels Became an Icon in the Fitness World, Women's Health, October 9, 2015, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Jane Fonda, Encyclopedia Britannica, February 16, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Learn The Facts, Just Move, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.
Bio, Kris Carr, 2016, Retrieved May 11, 2016.