International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. On this day, people are encouraged to recognize the political, social and economic achievements of women around the world.
These recent biographies profile remarkable women:
Hawa Abdi was born in Somalia in 1947. After becoming a medical doctor in 1971, she began studying law, earning her degree in 1979. In 1983, she opened an obstetrics clinic on family land which eventually grew to become a 400-bed hospital. A relief camp also operates on the grounds and housed 90,000 people during the 2011 drought. On multiple occasions militant groups have threatened the compound but she has vowed to continue offering medical assistance and shelter to anyone in need.
This is her autobiography:
Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman, 90,000 Lives Changed by Dr. Hawa Abdi
After her retirement, Olga Kotelko began playing slow-pitch baseball. At 77, she turned to track and field. She currently holds 26 world records and continues to compete. She celebrated her 95th birthday on March 2, 2014.
During the Great Depression, Dorothea Lange began photographing destitute people in San Francisco. She was hired by the federal Resettlement Administration to document rural poverty and the plight of migrant workers. Her images raised public awareness of the suffering in rural areas.
Read about her life in:
Dorothea Lange, Grab a Hunk of Lightning: Her Life in Photography by Elizabeth Partridge
Mary Sherman Morgan
Mary Sherman was studying chemistry at the Minot University in North Dakota when the United States entered World War II and she was recruited to work in a munitions factory designing explosives. After the war, she was employed at North American Aviation's Rocketdyne Division where she created the fuel that was used to launch the United States' first satellite--Explorer I.
Rocket Girl: the Story of America's First Female Rocket Scientist by George D. Morgan
Krystyna Skarbek/Christine Granville
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1908. When Germany invaded Poland, she joined the British Secret Intelligence Service where she used the name Christine Granville. As Britain's first female special agent, she helped set up a communications network passing covert information between resistance members and the British. Churchill allegedly considered her his "favourite" spy.
Read about her life in this biography:
The Spy Who Loved: the Secrets and Loves of Christine Granville by Clare Mulley