In honour of International Women’s Day, on 8 March 2016, the Rowa Runners took a moment to outline women that they have found inspirational. This year the focus of International Women’s Day is ‘A Pledge for Parity’, recognising equal pay, equal rights. 

Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858) - by Becca

An Austrian travel book author, she is known as one of the first female explorers. Despite a lifelong dream to travel, it was not until her children were grown that she was able to raise the funds to up and leave. She travelled the world not once but twice, with her accounts being translated into seven languages. She also carefully collected specimens from all areas of nature to send back to museums. Her accomplishments were recognised through the literary success of her accounts, and her acceptance into the geological societies of Paris and Berlin.  

Joyce Banda (1950-) - by Nathanial

I draw my inspiration from Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi, because of her boldness to bring equality to all the citizens of her country. She is a charismatic and energetic woman determined to do away with the social ill of society like corruption.

Thomasina Miers (1976-) - by Peter

Thomasina Miers an English cook, writer, entrepreneur and television presenter. In 2008, she founded the Wahaca chain of Mexican street restaurants in the UK. She is an inspirational woman because she is someone who decided to follow her passion, and dedicated her energies accordingly until she succeeded. Furthermore, she is a co-editor with Annabel Buckingham of the cookbook Soup Kitchen, for which significant sums of money went to homeless charities. 

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) - by Melisa

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was the founder of the order of Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation dedicated to helping the poor. A great humanitarian from India, all through her life Mother Teresa served people selflessly. Her work among the poor and dying in India won her the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979. She is best known for fighting for the rights of the sick and the helpless. 

Julia Gillard (1961-) - by James

Julia Gillard was Australia’s 27th Prime Minister and the first woman ever to take the role. Despite facing extreme sexism, misogyny and political infighting, she led her country for three years of minority government, and managed to pass fundamental (yet controversial) education reform. Gillard was responsible for one of the best parliamentary speeches of the 21st Century when she argued against the misogyny of the then Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, and his party.

Rebecca Chisamba - by Ronnie

Rebecca Chisamba is a well-known TV presenter of the Mai Chisamba show. She is hardworking and intelligent. On her show she talks about issues affecting Zimbabwe, including gender issues. She inspires me a lot, and I personally admire her hardwork and intelligence. 

Dr Eunor Guti - by Takudzwa

Dr Eunor Guti is the Co-Archbishop of F.I.F Ministry. She has dedicated her whole adult life to preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God. She has preached at various international conferences and has been instrumental in setting up two children’s homes in Zimbabwe, one in Mutare. In her teachings she is very concerned about the welfare of ordinary Zimbabweans and has held a lot of conferences aimed at emancipating the ordinary Zimbabwean, especially women, to improve their lives through entrepreneurship and buying/selling. Dr Guti also has been instrumental in setting up two schools and the recently opened church university know as Z.E.S.U. 

Mai Tawanda - by Manley

She is a woman who stands above the rest, she works hard and is determined in doing everything she puts her mind on. She loves praying, which she has also taught me. Mai Tawanda does not care whether you are a boy or a girl, anyone can do anything, for example chores, thereby promoting gender equality in the home. She is a single mother who looks after her family well as if the father is still around. She is an organised, loyal and loving mother. 

Baroness Mary Warnock (1924-) - by Ela

Baroness Mary Warnock spearheaded the change in policy for children with ‘Special Educational Needs’ (SEN), and as a result is changing the lives of many children in the education system in England. At a time when such children were often segregated, Mary noted that a change needed to be made. In the recommendations for the 1981 Education Act, Mary urged for the inclusion of children with SEN and stated that wherever possible those with disabilities, or additional needs, should be in mainstream schooling and given the appropriate support. It is from this that the inclusion of all children, regardless of their needs, now have the right to an equal and balanced education. 

Tsitsi Dangarembga (1959-) - by Tafadzwa

Bulawayo-born author, actress and filmmaker, spent part of her childhood in England where she began her education, and concluded her A’Levels at Hartzell High in Mutare, Zimbabwe. She attained several degrees in different fields in Zimbabwe, and abroad. She also founded the International Images Film Festival in 2002, in response to the proliferation of beauty contests at that time, in order to provide diverse narratives by and about women. She has done so much in her precious life, which inspires me. As a tribute to this beautiful soul, I have the same hairstyle as she has or had. THUMBS UP TSITSI!!!!!!!!

Jennie Lee (1904-1988) - by Shira

Jennie was one of the first female Members of Parliament (MP) in Britain, and is little well known compared to her spouse and fellow die hard socialist, Aneuren Bevan. She first ran and was elected as a Labour MP at a by-election in 1929, and at the age of 24 was the youngest member in the House for the two years she served in office. She was elected again in 1945 and during her ensuing 25-year occupancy of the Cannock seat, she greatly contributed to the founding of the Open University in 1964. Her entire life was devoted to the success of the Socialist movement, and was achieved at a time when women’s place in society, and in the Commons especially, was a continual battle requiring the strong first female MPs to defy and push the boundaries of traditional gender roles.

Mrs Kambarami - by Grace

Mrs Kambarami, a teacher at a local Early Childhood Education and Care Centre in Rowa, is an inspirational woman. Mrs Kambarani has an incredible passion for teaching and does not allow the barriers of limited resources and an inadequate school building to impact negatively on the children’s’ education. She is incredibly motivated; you only have to spend a few minutes with this lady to notice that she puts her heart and soul into her work and that this is more than a job for her. 

Written by ICS Team Simukai Rowa Runners