International Women’s Day: Running the World

Girls, we run this motha, yeah

Girls, we run this motha, yeah

Girls, we run this motha, yeah

Girls we run this motha, girls

Who run the world?

Girls

Who run the world?

Girls

Who run the world?

Girls

Who run the world?

Girls

These opening lyrics were made famous by Beyoncé in her song, Run the World (Girls). Part defiant, part inspirational, this song is often the battle cry of worldwide. And as we prepare to celebrate International ’s Day on Friday, March 8th, we take these words to heart. Celebrated for over a century, International Women’s Day is a global day to highlight the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Some will mark this day celebrating women and the strides we have made. Others will mark this day in protest for how far we still have to go towards achieving gender equality.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we present three dynamic women who are making waves in their selected fields, while pushing initiatives for female empowerment and gender equality. For more women leaving their mark in the world, visit Forbes’ The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Economy: Christine Lagarde – Christine Lagarde is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She is the first woman to hold the post and was appointed in 2011. The organization’s mission is to “foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and - Christine Lagarde 300x228 - International Women’s Day: Running the Worldsustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world”. Prior to the IMF, Lagarde worked as an international attorney specializing in Labor, Anti-Trust and Mergers & Acquisitions and French government official with positions as Minister of Foreign Trade, Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Finance and Economy Minister. As Chairman of the G-20 when France took over its presidency for the year 2011, she set in motion a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system. During Lagarde’s tenure at IMF, she has provided oversight and guidance to its 189 member countries and has helped navigate the eurozone debt crisis, manage emerging market risks and the threat of a US trade war with China. Most recently, she has warned that disputes and tariffs are putting global growth in jeopardy and urged countries to fix global trade.

 Politics: Sahle-Work Zewde – In October 2018, Sahle-Work Zewde made history by being appointed the first woman president of Ethiopia and the only female head of state in Africa. Zewde is a veteran, having entered her new - Sahle Wok Zewde 300x250 - International Women’s Day: Running the Worldpost with more than three decades of experience in diplomacy. She has served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to France, Djibouti, Senegal and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional trade bloc in East Africa. She was the United Nation’s top official at the AU prior to her appointment as president. Zewde is fluent in English, French and Amharic, Ethiopia’s official working language. While the position of president is mostly ceremonial, it still carries political weight and social influence. Many are optimistic that Zewde’s appointment, as well as that of women to other key positions in Ethiopia, is a signal that the conservative nation is ready to move toward female empowerment and away from ethnic, religious and gender discrimination.

 Philanthropy: Melinda Gates – One half of the driving force behind the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, - Melinda Gates 300x300 - International Women’s Day: Running the WorldGates uses the influence of the foundation’s $40 billion trust endowment to develop strategies to tackle global challenges such as education, poverty, contraception, and sanitation. Through various partners, Gates is able to bring together resources and expertise to find answers and drive change to positively impact the lives of billions of people worldwide. Realizing the major impact that women have in their families and communities and the uphill battles they faced, Gates became an advocate to champion their issues. To further champion women, Gates founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company, through her executive office. Its mission is to invest in female-led or minority-focused venture firms that encourage disruptive innovation and better products for all.

 

The accomplishment of women is an accomplishment of society as a whole. When women succeed, families thrive, children are nurtured and economies are bolstered. For more information on how to support women’s initiatives or to find a local event, visit International Women’s Day.

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