We need to tell more women’s stories. They do after all make up more than 50% of the world’s population! Why are so many of their stories untold? We know that their experience has been left out of history books in a big part because of illiteracy. Literacy has an empowering effect on women. And we can see through history examples when literate women have told their stories and the stories of others.
But how far have we actually come?
We have come a long way. But there is still a long way to go. Did you know that women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate people? That seems unbelievable in 2021, but it’s true. Now that International Woman’s Day has passed for another year, let’s pause to reflect on the leaps that have been made, and those we still need to make.
We’ve been sharing stories of inspirational and trailblazing women and minority groups in our series Untold. In fact, we’ve created a playlist to help you discover these stories for yourself. But, here’s a sneak peek of some of the incredible stories, you’ve probably never heard.
Marie Van Brittain Brown: Creating CCTV in Queens
Spare a thought for the burglars of America – they’re going out of business! Since 1993, property crime in the US has fallen by 69%. Thanks to the pioneering work of one woman: Marie Van Brittan Brown – visionary inventor of the Home Security System.
Mary Anderson: The Inventor of the Windshield Wiper
The first mass-produced car in America was basically a lawnmower with leather trim, but it was a start, right? This is the story of Mary Anderson and the Windshield Wiper – an invention that happened by a stroke of fate!
Zitkala-Ša: Advocate for the Rights of Native People
At the turn of the 20th century, the US government forced Native Americans to assimilate into Anglo-American culture. But Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, aka Zitkala-Sa, an activist, author, and educator, fought against the Americanization of Native nations.
Barbara Jordan: The Black Texan Politician who Broke the Glass Ceiling
At a time when women and people of colour were all but excluded from the US government, one woman stormed the corridors of power and made them her own. This is the story of Barbara Jordan, the African American from the South who defied expectations by being selected to serve in Congress and who became one of the finest legislators in US history.
Hot off the Press
Mary Carson Breckenridge: Mother of American Midwifery
More women have been lost in childbirth than men in war? Maternity is the young woman’s battlefield,” wrote Mary Breckenridge in 1927. “It is more dangerous, more painful, more mutilating than war, and as inexorable as all the laws of God.” Born in 1881, Mary Carson Breckenridge changed the face of US midwifery.
To celebrate the release of our newest Hidden Figure, we’ve included the video below and a set of activities that can help educators discover the story of Mary Breckenridge.
Have you heard of Black inventor Garrett Morgan?
Garrett Morgan was born in 1877, in the years following the Civil War and the end of slavery. The son of an enslaved person, he was a community leader, entrepreneur, and inventor from Kentucky.
If you haven’t heard of him, that’s not surprising. His inventions at the time were often ‘untrusted’ because he was Black. The story of Garrett Morgan should be told. So, we created a video about Garrett Morgan with the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC). In fact, we’ve created a series of videos to tell stories about people, objects, and events from Kentucky, mostly eastern Kentucky that had a wider impact on American history.
The series consists of 10 videos that explore key events in American history such as the bloody Harlan coal strikes, the civil war battle of Middle Creek, the story of abolitionist John Brown’s pike. Since it’s Black history month, we’re releasing not only the Garrett Morgan video but a series of activities that educators can use to help them explore the story of Garrett Morgan with their class.
And there’s more…
We’ve also created a Black history month playlist on YouTube. There you’ll find bite-sized videos and animations on Black stories. Stories include the Raised Fist Afro Comb, The Significance of 1619, and the birth of Street Art. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Finally, is there a story about Black history that you think we should be told? You can share your idea here. Make sure you include your contact details because if it’s chosen to be included in a future series of Untold, we’ll want to get in touch.
17 Days of Activities for Young Changemakers from Concern Worldwide, Horyou and Makematic
This world is the one thing we all have in common! By working together, we can achieve great things for the future of humanity. Making the world a better place for everyone is something we need to work on every single day, and it starts with you and us to inspire those around us.
To put this idea into practice, Horyou, Concern Worldwide and Makematic have decided to set up the #17DaysToLearn challenge for young changemakers, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals!
Your child can be a part of this global partnership by participating in the #17DaysToLearn challenge
Each day a new challenge will be set, supported by engaging animations about the sustainable development goals. The ideal age for these challenges is 8 – 16 years old, but really the challenges can be adapted to suit any age. The whole family can join in!
Together, they can show the world that every expression of optimism, no matter how big or small, has a great positive impact. Each one of us can inspire and educate others about the SDGs.
The #17DaysToLearn challenge will start Monday 20th April at 9am (GMT)!
#17DaysToLearn Challenge Instructions
- Download the free Makematic app on iPhone and Apple TV, Android and Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku. You can also log in here.
- Forward the challenge details to other parents or ask your children to invite their friends to complete the challenge.
- Each day we’ll be asking you or your child to share your challenge using the hashtag #17DaysToLearn via Twitter, Facebook or any other Social Media. We want to see activists and changemakers of the future share their achievements to inspire others.
- Learn more about Horyou and Concern Worldwide and the work they are doing to further the SDGs.