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The Bayhawk Bearer

The Bayhawk Bearer

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Women’s History Month

The Lesser Known Influential Women in History

As we are deep into Women’s History month, it is important to understand who we are celebrating and why. Women’s History Month, and as an extension, Women’s History Day on March 8th, are often ignored and taken for granted. However, to be better informed civic members in the United States and the world, it is necessary to embrace yourself in the rich history of the women who have made major contributions in our daily lives. Women’s History Month Gives us the opportunity to achieve this.

Throughout history, women have made major contributions despite being unfrequently recognized. We all know Rosa Parks or Marie Curie, but do you know about Wangari Maathai or Katharine Graham? In order to fully embrace the spirit of Women’s History Month, research into these lesser known heroes is necessary. Here are some of the most influential women of our time:


Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)

Wangari Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmental organization dedicated to conserving the environment, recognizing climate change, and creating more opportunity for women in rural Kenya. She was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contributions to sustainable development. The Green Belt Movement has made a major impact including planting 51 million trees in Kenya and values environment conservation, community empowerment, accountability, and volunteerism.


Katharine Graham (1917-2001)

Katharine Graham was a pioneer for women in journalism. She was the first female publisher of an American newspaper and the first female chief executive officer of a Fortune 500 company. She lead The Washington Post through the publication of the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate story. Under her leadership, The Washington Post’s revenue grew by one billion dollars, proving herself to be one of the country’s most successful business leaders.


Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)

Indira Gandhi was the first and only female Prime Minister of India. She was known for her unprecedented centralization of power and her role in the Green Revolution where she addressed chronic food shortages with higher-yield seeds and better irrigation. She also helped lead India to the nuclear age. Despite her many positive accomplishments, she was often criticized for her authoritarian rule and government corruption. In 1977, she was defeated in an election, however she returned to power in 1980 as prime minister. In 1984 she was eventually assassinated by her two body guards.


Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)

Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean Poet who is best known as the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Though a writer, she was also an educator, cultural minister, and diplomat. Her poems were most known for their passionate verse, emotional power, and warmth.


Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017)

Maryam Mirzakhani was a Stanford mathematics professor and the only female winner of the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics. She specialized in theoretical mathematics like moduli spaces, Teichmüller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry.

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About the Contributor
Skyla Otto
Skyla Otto, Editor in Chief
Skyla Otto is one of the founders of Bellingham High School's student run newspaper, the Bayhawk Bearer. She and Jones Walther began planning for the paper in 2021 during their Sophomore year, and when it took off in their Junior year, both of them took up the mantle of Co-Editor in Chief. Along with her avid participation on the Bayhawk Bearer team, she was also a Co-Editor in Chief for the yearbook for two years.